Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dodgers to play pair of exhibitions in San Antonio, Texas

There are many Dodger fans in Texas so this sounds great!

From the Dodgers -

Officials from Ryan Sanders Baseball and the Texas Rangers announced today that the 2014 National League West Division Champion Los Angeles Dodgers will be returning to the Alamo City after a 15-year hiatus.  The Dodgers, who were the Major League affiliate of the Double-A San Antonio Missions for 23 years, will be the Rangers opponent in the 2015 edition of H-E-B Big League Weekend.

This is the third year for Big League Weekend, a two-game Major League Baseball exhibition hosted at the iconic Alamodome in Downtown San Antonio.  The games will be played on Friday, March 20 (7:00 p.m.) and Saturday, March 21 (1:00 p.m.). Tickets go on sale Friday, November 14.

“We’re excited about this match up,” said Nolan Ryan.  “The Dodgers are one of the most successful franchises in baseball with some good, young players.  For fans in San Antonio and all over the state it’s a great opportunity to see play them since there is not a National League team in Texas anymore.”

The Dodgers were the Major League affiliate for the Missions from 1977-2000.  The minor league club was actually known as the San Antonio Dodgers for the first 11 years before changing their nickname back to "Missions" for the 1988 season.

“The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking forward to visiting San Antonio for Big League Weekend this spring with the Texas Rangers,” said Dodgers' President & CEO Stan Kasten.  “Playing in the Alamodome should be quite an experience for our team and our fans.”

The Dodgers, under skipper Don Mattingly, put together another fine season as they battled back from a nine and a half game deficit after the first week of June, to capture another Western Division title in besting the San Francisco Giants by six games with a record of 94-68.  It was the second consecutive and 13th National League West title for the Dodgers, thus qualifying for the postseason for the 19th time since moving to Los Angeles and the 28th time in franchise history.

While the Dodgers fell short of the ultimate goal of a World Championship after losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the Division Series, three games to one, there were many individual highlights in the season topped off by the success of the best pitcher in baseball, lefthander Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw became the first-ever pitcher to win four consecutive MLB ERA titles, posting a career-best 1.77 ERA and leading the Majors with a career high-tying 21 wins.  The Dodgers had four starters with 13 or more wins as Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dan Haren joined Kershaw.  Closer Kenley Jansen tied for third in the league with a career-high 44 saves.

The Dodger offense was led by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who led the Majors with 116 RBI, while collecting 41 doubles and 27 home runs, and the return of outfielder Matt Kemp, who was among the NL leaders in doubles (38), home runs (25), RBI (89) and slugging percentage (.506).  Dee Gordon became a fixture at second base as he led the Majors in steals (64) and triples (12).

The Dodgers have won six World Series titles and 21 National League pennants. Eight Cy Young Award winners have pitched for the Dodgers, winning a total of eleven Cy Young Awards (both MLB records). The team has also produced 12 Rookie of the Year Award winners, including four consecutive from 1979–1982 and five consecutive from 1992–1996, the longest consecutive streaks in Major League Baseball.

After winning 90+ games in each of the previous four seasons, injuries derailed the Texas Rangers in 2014 at 67-95. Texas players lost a total of 2,281 days on the disabled list, over 800 more days than any other major league team. A number of key contributors, including Shin-Soo Choo, Yu Darvish, Prince Fielder, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, Mitch Moreland, Alexi Ogando, Martin Perez, Jurickson Profar, and Tanner Scheppers missed all or a significant portion of the season. As a result, the Rangers established major league records for most total players (64) and pitchers (40) used in a season.

Third baseman Adrian Beltre, who played in San Antonio as a Dodgers minor leaguer in 1998, paced the Rangers offense in 2014, finishing third in the American League in on-base percentage (.388) and fourth in batting (.324). Beltre won his fourth Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award while leading the club in nine offensive categories. Darvish posted a 3.06 ERA and recorded 182 strikeouts in just 144.1 innings before missing the final seven weeks of the year with right elbow inflammation. Colby Lewis, who returned to the majors for the first time since July 2012 after major hip surgery, topped the Rangers in innings (170.1) and starts (29) while tying Darvish for the team lead in wins (10). After a pair of injury plagued seasons, Neftali Feliz regained the closer’s role over the final two months, recording 13 saves in 14 tries and posting a 1.99 ERA.

Texas will enter 2015 with a new manager at the helm as Jeff Banister joins the organization after four seasons as Clint Hurdle’s bench coach in Pittsburgh. His major league staff will include bench coach Steve Buechele, a former Rangers stalwart at third base who managed at Triple-A Round Rock last season. Despite the 2014 record, the Rangers have the sixth best winning percentage in the majors over the last five years (2010-14) at .539 (437-374) with three postseason appearances, including consecutive American League championships in 2010 and 2011.      

“The Rangers are very happy to be returning to San Antonio and Big League Weekend in 2015,” said Rangers President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels. “Ryan Sanders Baseball puts on a first class event and has done an amazing job in converting the Alamodome into a Major League Baseball facility. The reception we received playing before the tremendous fans of the San Antonio area has been outstanding and we look forward to another great weekend with the Dodgers.”

Over 75,000 fans packed the Alamodome when the Rangers hosted the San Diego Padres in the inaugural Big League Weekend in 2013.  It was the first baseball event in the building’s 20-year-history.  Last year, big crowds watched again as the Rangers hosted their in-state rivals, the Houston Astros.

For more information on H-E-B Big League Weekend go to

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