IRVING, Texas -- Several hundred Ranger fans lined a parking lot at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport early Wednesday morning to greet the team when they arrived home after winning a deciding Game 5 of their ALDS against Tampa Bay -- the first postseason series win in franchise history.
The Rangers' chartered plane landed just before 3 a.m. and players spilled out into the parking lot to give high-fives to fans who had waited hours for the players to arrive. Among those players who spent the most time running all the way down the very long line of fans were Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Jorge Cantu and Vladimir Guerrero.
Relief pitcher Darren O'Day joined the party atmosphere by carrying an iPod connected to speakers with music cranked up as he greeted fans.
Most of the players waved back to the crowd in appreciation of their support and took pictures and videos of the wild fan reaction from their cars as they drove away.
Owner Chuck Greenberg spent the most time with the fans, shaking as many hands as he could before retiring to his car. Manager Ron Washington and club president Nolan Ryan left in a car before the players hit the parking lot, but not before both came to the fence separating the runway from the parking lot to wave at the gathered fans.
The players seemed slightly surprised by the size of the crowd that showed up to welcome the team home, and they looked like they were having as much fun meeting the fans as the fans were having meeting the players.