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Pride in hometown Rangers? Roger that

Pride in hometown Rangers? Roger that

Pride in hometown Rangers? Roger that
ARLINGTON -- Before the Texas Rangers existed, before Nolan Ryan paved his road to Cooperstown with strikeouts and no-hitters, there was only one golden arm in Texas, and his name was Roger Staubach.

The Dallas Cowboys legend strode to the mound at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington before Game 5 of the World Series on Monday, delivering a ceremonial first pitch that didn't exactly live up to the Pro Football Hall of Famer's standards.

"My arm really feels good, I just threw it a little bit low," Staubach said. "I threw it hard."

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And Kenny Rogers, the newly inducted member of the Rangers Hall of Fame, scooped the ball on a short hop from home plate, and the two area sports legends walked off the field together.

Maybe Staubach needed a snap, or perhaps he would have been more comfortable scrambling first. This wasn't as beautiful a throw as the original Hail Mary pass to Drew Pearson in the 1975 National Football Conference playoff game, but Rangers fans didn't mind, sending Staubach off with another roar.

He might be Roger the Dodger, but Staubach is obviously all about the Rangers when it comes to baseball. He has been closely watching the team's rise to a second consecutive World Series, which has the Dallas Metroplex turning its eyes to baseball like never before.

"I've got a bunch of kids and grandkids and I've got a grandson with me, he's a baseball player, and the Rangers are really taking over," said Staubach, who returned from an event at the U.S. Naval Academy, his alma mater, to throw out the first pitch.

Like the rest of Texas, Staubach has come to fall in love with a Rangers team that he says not only displays excellence on the field but also conducts its business the right way.

"Who is there not to like on the Rangers? Really it's a likable team, isn't it?" he said.

Back when the Cowboys were making their mark in the NFL and working their way to their first Super Bowl championship after the 1971 season, they'd made the playoffs the previous five years, losing two NFL title games to the Packers and a Super Bowl at the end of the 1970 season.

So Staubach, who played for the Cowboys from 1969-79, knows what it's like to be on a team that is on the cusp of a championship, as the Rangers are for a second consecutive year.

"First of all, when you get there the first time, it's a thrill, and ... you don't like to lose, period. But when you get there the second time, it's a heck of a lot more difficult to handle it, I'm sure, and I'm pulling hard that they win," said Staubach, who earned two Super Bowl rings among the five the franchise has won. "This game is kind of a biggie tonight. But it's a feeling you have as an athlete that no matter what, you want to eventually win the big game."

John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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