There’s going to be real Texas heat for the All-Star game, and not just because Nolan Ryan is throwing out the first pitch Tuesday night.
Temperatures this week in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are forecast to be over 100 degrees. It was 102 when the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers started play Sunday, the first day game in July in Arlington since 1988.
This could be the hottest All-Star game since 1977 at Yankee Stadium, where it was 104 during the day in New York.
The heat wave prompted one local paper to print tips for fans on how to keep cool during the game. Among the advice was to avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
The Ballpark in Arlington features one convenience for fans sitting in the lower deck in right field. Large ceiling fans mounted to the under side of the upper deck spin during the entire game.
The Rangers usually play night games during the summer, including Sundays - although Texas and Cleveland will play an afternoon game July 20, a getaway day for the Indians. The Rangers-Yankees game started early to give players an early start on the All-Star break.
After playing all 10 innings last summer, Cal Ripken will get a rest this year, A.L. manager Buck Showalter of the Yankees said.
Ripken will make his 12th straight All-Star start Tuesday night. But the Baltimore shortstop, who is closing in on Lou Gehrig’s record of playing in 2,130 consecutive games, will come out early, giving backup Gary DiSarcina of California a chance.
Showalter did not say when Ripken would be pulled. The manager is just hoping Ripken doesn’t have to leave because of an injury.
“Can you imagine if he gets hurt in the game?” Showalter said Sunday. “If (Hideo) Nomo hits Ripken in the wrist with a pitch, would we have World War III on our hands?”Showalter has not decided who will start for the A.L., saying it probably would be either Dennis Martinez, Randy Johnson, Kevin Appier or Kenny Rogers.
Hitting in the All-Star game is hard enough for a lot of hitters because they’re facing pitchers they’ve never seen. Just seeing the ball for a lot of first-time players at The Ballpark might be even more difficult in the first inning Tuesday night.
For about 15 minutes, beginning around the starting time of 7:30 p.m. CDT, a sun spot appears, right in front of home plate. The spot is caused by sun poking through lattice work in the grandstand overhang.
“I know some guys have been talking about it, but I don’t think it’s that bad,” All-Star catcher Mike Stanley of the Yankees said.
Stanley, who formerly played for Texas, said the sun at old Arlington Stadium - now razed and part of The Ballpark’s parking lot - was much worse.
Oakland first baseman Mark McGwire, beaned by Toronto’s David Cone on Saturday, will not be able to play in the AllStar game and will be replaced on the roster.
McGwire, who began the day tied for the league lead in home runs (24) and RBIs (59), sustained a mild concussion when he was hit in the helmet by Cone’s fastball. The A.L. said McGwire’s injury will prevent him from taking a flight from California to Texas for Tuesday night’s game.
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