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Silver Boot 2006


The Lone Star Series is an annual Major League Baseball contest featuring Texasmarker' two major league franchises, the Texas Rangers of the American League and the Houston Astros of the National League. It is an outgrowth of the "natural rivalry" established by MLB as part of interleague play.

The winner of the 6-game series is awarded the Silver Boot. A 30-inch tall display of a size-15 cowboy boot cast in silver, complete with a custom, hand-made spur. If the series is split (3-to-3), the winner is the club which scored the most runs over the course of the series. Under the current rules, the designated hitter is used at the Rangers' home games but not at the Astros' home games.

Lone Star Series Results

Year Winning Team Series Record Runs Scored
2001 Texas 3–3 44–28
2002 Houston 4–2 33–32
2003 Houston 4–2 38–27
2004 Texas 3–3 42–29
2005 Texas 4–2 37–19
2006 Houston 4–2 27–17
2007 Texas 4–2 49–28
2008 Texas 3–3 34–28
2009 Texas 5–1 31–18
Silver Boots Won Total Games Won
Houston 3 26
Texas 6 28


Recent Series

2009

Date Winning Team Score Winning Pitcher Losing Pitcher Attendance Location
May 22 Texas 6–5 Darren O'Day LaTroy Hawkins 36,017 Houstonmarker
May 23 Texas 6–3 Scott Feldman Brian Moehler 36,019 Houstonmarker
May 24 Texas 5–0 Brandon McCarthy Mike Hampton 36,749 Houstonmarker
June 16 Texas 6–1 Kevin Millwood Wandy Rodriguez 21,676 Arlingtonmarker
June 17 Texas 5–4 C.J. Wilson Jeff Fulchino 32,425 Arlingtonmarker
June 18 Houston 5–3 Alberto Arias Jason Jennings 25,445 Arlingtonmarker


2008

Date Winning Team Score Winning Pitcher Losing Pitcher Attendance Location
May 16 Texas 16–8 Jamey Wright Wesley Wright 32,117 Arlingtonmarker
May 17 Texas 6–2 Vicente Padilla Roy Oswalt 38,534 Arlingtonmarker
May 18 Houston 5–4 Brandon Backe Kason Gabbard 33,561 Arlingtonmarker
June 24 Houston 4–3 Brian Moehler Eric Hurley 40,052 Houstonmarker
June 25 Texas 3–2 Luis Mendoza Roy Oswalt 32,567 Houstonmarker
June 26 Houston 7–2 Wandy Rodriguez Kevin Millwood 36,506 Houstonmarker


2007

Date Winning Team Score Winning Pitcher Losing Pitcher Attendance Location
May 18 Texas 7–4 Robinson Tejeda Matt Albers 37,634 Houstonmarker
May 19 Houston 6–1 Wandy Rodriguez John Koronka 41,990 Houstonmarker
May 20 Texas 14–1 Brandon McCarthy Woody Williams 39,938 Houstonmarker
June 22 Texas 11–3 Kevin Millwood Woody Williams 37,847 Arlingtonmarker
June 23 Texas 7–2 Jamey Wright Roy Oswalt 42,315 Arlingtonmarker
June 24 Houston 12–9 Dan Wheeler C. J. Wilson 31,560 Arlingtonmarker


2006

Date Winning Team Score Winning Pitcher Losing Pitcher Attendance Location
May 19 Houston 5–3 Chad Qualls Joaquin Benoit 40,790 Houstonmarker
May 20 Texas 6–0 Kevin Millwood Andy Pettitte 41,480 Houstonmarker
May 21 Houston 5–0 Taylor Buchholz John Koronka 37,979 Houstonmarker
June 30 Texas 3–1 Vicente Padilla Roy Oswalt 40,177 Arlingtonmarker
July 1 Houston 7–0 Taylor Buchholz John Wasdin 35,131 Arlingtonmarker
July 2 Houston 9–5 Wandy Rodriguez Kevin Millwood 39,298 Arlingtonmarker


2005

Date Winning Team Score Winning Pitcher Losing Pitcher Attendance Location
May 20 Texas 7–3 Kenny Rogers Brandon Backe 38,109 Arlingtonmarker
May 21 Texas 18–3 Chris Young Ezequiel Astacio 35,781 Arlingtonmarker
May 22 Texas 2–0 Chan Ho Park Roy Oswalt 40,583 Arlingtonmarker
June 24 Houston 5–2 Roy Oswalt Ricardo Rodriguez 36,199 Houstonmarker
June 25 Texas 6–5 Chris Young Brandon Backe 41,868 Houstonmarker
June 26 Houston 3–2 Chad Qualls Juan Dominguez 35,331 Houstonmarker


The Rivalry



  • On 1 July 2006, Gary Matthews Jr. made an unbelievable catch by taking away a home run from Houston Astros first baseman Mike Lamb in the top of the 8th inning.


  • While with the Astros for two years, Roger Clemens never pitched against the Rangers in twelve Lone Star Series matchups.




  • Minute Maid Parkmarker and Rangers Ballpark in Arlingtonmarker both had been using Sea Isle 1 turf through the 2008 season rather than natural grass because of the aggressive Texas summer heat. Before the 2009 season, the Astros chose to replace the previous surface in their respective ballpark with a more durable sod that requires less sunlight than other natural grass turf systems.


  • Beginning in 2008, the Lone Star Series saw for the first time two African-American managers go head-to-head against one another, the Astros' Cecil Cooper and the Rangers' Ron Washington which lasted for two years.


  • There has only been one rainout in the history of the Lone Star Series. A game scheduled for Sunday 30 June 2002 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was unceremoniously postponed due to rain and rescheduled for Monday 2 September. The Rangers won the last matchup of the year against the Astros, 7-2, in front of a minuscule crowd of 24,468, but the Astros won the Silver Boot regardless of the outcome of the game.


  • The contrast between the Rangers and Astros in their ballpark histories, playoff histories, and uniform histories are very apparent. The Rangers, since 1972, have always played in open-air stadiums (Arlington Stadiummarker and Rangers Ballpark in Arlingtonmarker) while the Astros have mostly played in indoor stadiums (Astrodomemarker and Minute Maid Parkmarker). The Rangers have had a lean postseason history with three appearances (1996, 1998, 1999, having never won a playoff series in their history) whereas the Astros have appeared in nine postseasons (1980, 1981, 1986, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005) as well as one World Series in . While the Rangers have traditionally worn variations of red, white, and blue to represent the Lone Star flag, the Astros have changed color schemes (e.g. Shooting Star of the late 1960s, Rainbow Guts) and logos many times throughout their history.


  • Other differences, not related to baseball, include the weather during the summer, population, cultural, and allegiance preferences between the different regions of Texas. Both Houston, TXmarker and Arlington, TXmarker have humid subtropical climates; however, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex mostly has dry winds in the summer (and icy conditions in the winter, with some frost at night) compared to Greater Houston's severe relative humidity and minimal wind except near the coast (and milder winter conditions). The Metroplex is inland located in North Texas while Houston is in the face of the Gulf of Mexicomarker in Southeast Texas. The Metroplex is larger by approximately a half million over the Greater Houston area; the Metroplex ranks 4th in metropolitan areas in the United States while Greater Houston ranks 6th. The city of Dallasmarker has the 8th largest population in the United States and 2nd largest population in Texas; the city of Houston has the 4th largest population in the United States and largest population in Texasmarker. West Texas, North Texas, and the Texas Panhandlemarker regions make up Rangers Nation while South Texas, Central Texas, and Southeast Texas represent Astros Nation . Rangers Nation roughly coincides with historically Anglo-influenced parts of Texas (West Texas, North Texas, and the Panhandle) while Astros Nation roughly coincides with parts of Texas that have historically stronger Hispanic (and other non-Anglo) influences (South Texas, Southeast Texas, and Central Texas).


  • Since , both the Rangers and Astros have been consistently drawing a great number of fans on a regular basis to their ballparks. From 1993 until , the Rangers, with the opening of The Ballpark in Arlingtonmarker replacing the outdated Arlington Stadiummarker in 1994, drew the most fans between the two teams vs. the sterile atmosphere of the Astrodomemarker. Since , with the opening of Minute Maid Parkmarker, the Astros have outdrawn the Rangers for nine consecutive seasons. The Astros' highest season attendance was in 2004 with 3,087,872; the Rangers' highest attendance was in with 2,945,228.


  • On 6 February 2008, Nolan Ryan became the Rangers' team president after being the special assistant to general manager, scouting players, and holding pitching camps with the Astros for the past three seasons . (Nolan Ryan was also the only person to be named DHL Hometown Hero by two organizations, the Rangers and Astros, respectively.)


  • On 18 August 2009, the Rangers acquired Ivan Rodriguez in a trade from the Houston Astros to help them down the stretch for the purpose of achieving their first playoff appearance in ten years. It will be Rodriguez's second stint with Texas.


History

19th Century: The Beginning of Baseball in Texas

The birth of baseball in Texas happened at the same time as the Civil War in 1861 with the formation of the Houston Base Ball Club to promote the game the same way Alexander Cartwright had during the 1840s with the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club in Manhattanmarker. Baseball was played in Galveston and other Lone Star locations prior to the Civil War. The distribution of the game was interrupted by the Civil War but would pick up by the end of the war. Baseball was played during the Civil War mostly by Yankees but occasionally by Confederates. A humorous story by Texas-based Union soldier George A. Putnam told of a baseball game interrupted by Confederate gunfire.Putnam stated:

On 21 April, 1867, the first occurrence of a baseball game was taken into account by the Houston Post. At the San Jacintomarker Battlegrounds near Houston, where General Sam Houston led Texasmarker to triumph in the War of Independence from Mexico in 1836, a baseball game took place on the anniversary now celebrated as Texas Independence Day. The Houstonmarker Stonewalls defeated the Galvestonmarker Robert E. Lees, 35-2, that rivaled the result of what originally happened on the same site.

Baseball spread throughout the state in the next two decades as a popular amateur game. The influence of what Houston had done in the early 1860s, those who acquired the nuances of the game from Civil War travels, and experience of immigrants who moved to Texas during the Reconstruction Era helped in organizing the sport and bringing more attention to the game in the state of Texas. Scarcely a generation after the state’s first recorded game in 1867, Texas fielded 100 minor league clubs—more than any other state.

The acceptance of baseball had expanded throughout Texas like a stampede of cattle by the end of the 19th century. Houston was the founding member of the Texas League in 1888 and also won their first league pennant the next year. The Houston ballclub went by the nicknames of Babies, Red Stockings, Mud Cats, Magnolias, and Wanderers before Buffaloes became permanent around the turn of the 20th century.

20th Century: Growth and Popularity of Baseball in Texas

The roots of the Lone Star Series started in the late 19th century and early 20th century in the Texas League. There were teams in Austinmarker, Beaumontmarker, Cleburnemarker, Corsicanamarker, Fort Worthmarker, Galvestonmarker, Greenvillemarker, Parismarker, San Antoniomarker, Shermanmarker, Templemarker, Texarkanamarker, Wacomarker as well as Dallasmarker and Houstonmarker. (Both the Rangers and Astros have teams in present-day Double A Texas League. The Rangers' affiliate is the Frisco Roughriders while the Astros' affiliate is the Corpus Christi Hooks.) Along with the Texas League, there have been many baseball leagues that briefly existed in Texas or included at least one team from the Lone Star State such as: Lone Star Colored League of Texas , Negro American League, Colored Texas League, Texas Negro League, Texas-Oklahoma Negro League, South Texas Negro League , West Texas Negro League, Mexican National League, Central Baseball League, American Association, All-American Association, South Central League, Arkansas State League, Cotton States League, Rio Grande Valley League, Rio Grande Association, Southwestern League, Panhandle-Pecos Valley League, Longhorn League, North Texas League, West Texas-New Mexico League, Sooner State League, Arizona-Texas League, Lone Star League, Big State League, Gulf States League, East Texas League, Texas Association, Arkansas-Texas League, West Texas League, South Texas League, Middle Texas League, Central Texas League, Texas-Southern League, Texas-Louisiana League, Texas Valley League, Texas-Oklahoma League, Southwest Texas League, Evangeline League, West Dixie League, Gulf Coast League, Western Association, and Sophomore League and also including present-day Pacific Coast League, United League Baseball, Texas Collegiate League, Continental Baseball League, Texas Winter League, and American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.

Long before professional baseball came to Texas, college baseball also has been a staple of Texas culture. Outside of the Lone Star Shootout, college baseball in Texas is overwhelmingly popular and has some intense in-state rivalries such as the Battle of the Brazos between Texas A&Mmarker and Baylor Universitymarker, Houston-Rice rivalry, the Holy War between Baylor and TCU, Battle of the Piney Woods between Sam Houston Statemarker and Stephen F.marker Austin State Universitymarker, and the Lone Star Showdown between the Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies. Other in-state rivalries include Texas-Rice, Texas Statemarker-Rice, Texas Statemarker-University of Texas at San Antoniomarker, Texas Tech-Baylor, Texas-Texas Tech, Texas Tech-Texas A&M, Texas-Baylor, Sam Houston State-Houston, Texas Southernmarker-Prairie View A&Mmarker, St. Mary'smarker-University of the Incarnate Wordmarker, Dallas Baptist-Houston Baptist as well as other esoteric rivalries. Tournaments, like the Southwest Diamond Classic in Frisco, TXmarker, Whataburger College Classic in Corpus Christi, TXmarker, and Houston College Classic played at Minute Maid Park, take place there in late February because of the more convenient, warmer weather. Texas collegiate baseball programs can be found throughout the different levels of the NCAA. 1-A conferences that include Texas collegiate baseball are the Big 12 Conference, Conference USA, and the Mountain West Conference as well as the Southland Conference, Southwestern Athletic Conference, and 1-A Independent teams, UTPAmarker and Dallas Baptist. (TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Rice, Houston, Baylor, and SMUmarker (ceased operations after 1980) baseball programs once belonged together to the Southwest Conference before 1996; Clark Field, Dan Law Fieldmarker, Olsen Fieldmarker, and TCU Diamond are just some of the ballparks that played host to Southwest Conference baseball over the course of the SWC.) Other conferences that include one or more Texas collegiate baseball programs are the Heartland Conference, Lone Star Conference, American Southwest Conference, Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, Red River Athletic Conference, Sooner Athletic Conference, Southwest Junior College Conference., Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Western Junior College Athletic Conference, and NAIA independent schools (University of Houston–Victoria).

The Lone Star Series was the consequence of many things that happened to Texas in the 1950s: population shift westward from metropolitan areas on the East Coast, the space programmarker, more modernized higher education, and the formation of the brief Continental League resulting in expansion in Major League Baseball shortly thereafter.

Prior to 1962, there were no Major League Baseball teams in Texasmarker until the Houston Colt .45's of the National League. They played in Colt Stadiummarker for the first three years of existence, fighting against hot and humid weather and outrageously large mosquitoes, which also had an effect on the fans . Unbelievably, they did not play a Sunday night baseball game at home until 9 June 1963, which was also the major leagues' first Sunday night game . The Astros, as they came to be with the new all-weathered Harris County Domed Stadiummarker, really did not have a strong rivalry with any team in the NL, except for the St. Louis Cardinals and later on the Atlanta Braves.

During the planning of the second wave of expansion in the big leagues in 1968, the National League considered putting a new team in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by an overwhelming majority of its owners. However, Judge Roy Hofheinz did not want it to happen or allow it because he owned all the television and radio rights in Texasmarker for Astros ballgames. The other owners were in favor, except Hofheinz, of having a rivalry approaching the intensity of the Dodgers–Giants rivalry in the Senior Circuit. San Diego and Montreal were selected instead. The Dallas-Fort Worth area would have to wait four more years for a team to arrive when the Senators (see below) moved to Arlington, TXmarker. It would be another 32 years before there was a meeting between the Rangers and Astros.

Before they were the Texas Rangers, the team belonged to the Beltway as the second version of the Washington Senators where they played mediocre baseball most of the time for the first 11 years of existence. They replaced the old Washington Senators who had moved to Minnesota to become the Twins in 1961. The new Senators changed into the Texas Rangers in time for the 1972 season and so a rivalry was born. (At one time, the Kansas City Athletics were interested in moving to the Dallas/Fort Worth area in the early 1960s but were voted down, 9-1, by the other American League owners.) The Astros have been in Texas ten years longer than the Rangers, but the Senators/Rangers franchise is one year older than the Astros. They met, starting in 1992, at the end of Spring Training with the Rangers winning 2-0 claiming the very first Silver Boot. On April 1, 1993, Nolan Ryan returned to the Astrodomemarker as a member of the Texas Rangers in front of 53,657, the biggest crowd to see a big league game in Texasmarker up to that point. The Rangers won the last two exhibition games, a 6-5 victory in Arlington in 1999 and a 9-3 victory at Houston in 2000, before the two teams met for the first time in regular season in 2001.

During the 1997 off-season, "radical" realignment plans were bandied around about possibly rearranging teams from one league to another, especially Houston and Texas. In order to cut down on traveling costs and align teams together based on geography, the MLB owners came up with many plans to put the Astros and Rangers in a more suitable placement together. However, the American League and National League would lose their respective identities in the process. (The only move was the Brewers from the AL Central to the NL Central.) One of the plans in 2000 even featured the Texas Rangers in a six-team AL Central so that they would be with other teams in the Central Time Zone while the fledging Arizona Diamondbacks would have had to leave the NL West for the AL West to replace the Rangers. In the 2005-06 off-season, the Florida Marlins were considering moving to San Antoniomarker among other cities due to lack of funding for a new stadium. Another professional baseball team in Texas, whether by relocation or expansion, in either league would create greater rivalries, similar to the kind in the NBA with the Spurs, Mavericks, and Rockets, and possible realignment issues.

Of course, the Lone Star Series wasn't conceived until , four years after Interleague Play began. It was only logical to have the Rangers and Astros matched together since they are the only MLB teams representing Texas. Since both play in two different "divisions" (AL West and NL Central respectively), Major League Baseball had to rectify the oversight even though Interleague Play wouldn't be rotated from division to division on a yearly basis until 2002.

Sources



References

  1. The Official Site of The Houston Astros: News: Lone Star Series kicks off in Houston
  2. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080516&content_id=2712765&vkey=news_tex&fext=.jsp&c_id=tex&partnered=rss_tex
  3. ESPN - Astros vs. Rangers - Recap - July 01, 2006
  4. USATODAY.com - Matthews Jr. finally catching on
  5. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TEX/TEX200805160.shtml
  6. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU200407030.shtml
  7. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU200106170.shtml
  8. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU200506250.shtml
  9. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TEX/TEX200106080.shtml
  10. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TEX/TEX200505200.shtml
  11. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU200905230.shtml
  12. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TEX/TEX200206280.shtml
  13. http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2008/12/08/daily14.html?f=et63&ana=e_du
  14. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=220902113
  15. Texas - Encyclopedia Jr, free information reference for Kids
  16. The Official Site of The Houston Astros: History: Astros Year-by-year Results
  17. The Official Site of The Texas Rangers: History: Rangers Year-by-year Results
  18. cbs11tv.com - Nolan Ryan Named Rangers Team President
  19. The Official Site of The Houston Astros: News: Ryan elected Astros' Hometown Hero
  20. The Official Site of The Texas Rangers: News: Ryan named Rangers Hometown Hero
  21. http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090818&content_id=6482172&vkey=news_tex&fext=.jsp&c_id=tex
  22. Baseball in the West » HistoryNet - From the World's Largest History Magazine Publisher
  23. Texas Baseball Hall of Fame
  24. Early Texas Baseball
  25. Baseball As America
  26. Before the Colt .45s
  27. http://blog.negroleaguebaseball.com/negro_league_blog/2006/08/negro_league_or.html
  28. http://www.sanangelocolts.com/news/?id=6121
  29. Ballparkwatch - Colt Stadium / Houston Colt .45s / 1962-1964
  30. The Chronology - 1963 | BaseballLibrary.com
  31. Rangers, Astros to meet at last. | Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas) (via Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service) (, 2001)
  32. Kansas City Athletics | BaseballLibrary.com
  33. Kansas City Athletics (1955-1967)
  34. The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: As series evolved, so did Silver Boot
  35. Baseball For Thought: A Proposal for MLB Realignment
  36. CPCP's MLB Realignment - ArmchairGM - Sports Wiki Database
  37. Baseball diary, radical realignment, fans against realignment, major league baseball team addresses, NO radical realignment, Bud Selig, Plan A, realignment options
  38. A wealth of realignment possibilities
  39. Baseball Musings: Deep in the Heart of Texas



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