Giants Face a First-Timer in World Series

Texas Rangers Represent the AL for the First Time

By RJ Middleton
|  Sunday, Oct 24, 2010  |  Updated 8:42 AM PDT
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It's been a minute since the San Francisco Giants made it to the World Series. All the way back to 2002. It's been even a minute longer since the Texas Rangers were there ... since, like, ever.

The Giants and Rangers start a World Series on Wednesday that will satisfy not only a national audience, but also the baseball-nerd you know and love. The gamesmanship has already started, too:  Texas pitcher C.J. Wilson quickly tweeted a challenge to Giants closer Brian Wilson: "See your beard soon mr wilson." (via SFExaminer.com)

If you thought Tim Lincecum vs Roy Halladay was awesome, wait until Wednesday when Lincy faces post-season sage Cliff Lee. Seriously??

The Giants haven't returned to Championship Glory since they left the Polo Grounds back in New York in 1957. And the Rangers haven't really ever seen Glory, not since being the team that once was the Washington Senators, nee the Minnesota Twins. Not even  since being the team that hired Billy Martin in-between his stints with George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees.

The biggest (non-steroid-era) thing to come out of the Rangers franchise would have been the mosquitoes at Arlington Stadium. (Editor: If you need a geographic note, Arlington is the hyphen when you see "Dallas-Fort Worth" in a sentence or on a map.)

Finally, the Rangers have vanquished the feared-and-hated New York Yankees, after more than a few tries at it. They are thriving under the ownership, and tutelage, of legendary pitcher Nolan Ryan. They have also earned the right to face another storied and consistent franchise in the SF Giants.

The playoff losses the Rangers suffered were during the Joe Torre Yankees Dynasty, leaving Darren Oliver, Juan Gonzalez and Pudge Rodriguez scratching their heads ... and heading to their summer homes.

Not since 1974 have the Rangers really had a flag to fly. That year they had the rookie of the year (Mike Hargrove), the MVP (Jeff Burroughs) and the manager of the year in Billy Martin -- and yet they still lost when it counted. In their recent past they have shed the most expensive contract in baseball history (thanks, Alex Rodriguez). 

It's the fourth time the Giants have made it to the World Series since moving to the coast in 1958.

They'll act like they've been there before. We'll see if that translates into the first World Series Championship for the club in 55 years.

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