Express Fans and Players Celebrate Opening Day as Baseball is Back
Apr 04, 2024

Express Fans and Players Celebrate Opening Day as Baseball is Back

Reporting Texas TV

ROUND ROCK, Texas — America’s pastime was in full swing last weekend and Round Rock Express fans filled the Dell Diamond with excitement for the start of the season.

The Express opened the season March 29 against the Sugar Land Space Cowboys.

“I just wanted to get out, you know, have some fun,” Express fan Sam Gamino said. “Opening night is such a fun night and such a fun experience, just hanging out with my friends.”

The Express is the Rangers’ Triple-A team, and fans wearing Express and Texas Rangers gear packed the park. Kids made sure to find their way to the “Fun Zone,” which included a bounce house, rock climbing wall and a mini train playground.

“The environment they have and the announcers make it really fun,” Izzy Myers said..

Round Rock Express players line up for the national anthem on opening day, March 29, 2024, in Round Rock, Texas. (Campbell Choate/Reporting Texas TV)

While the energy for opening day is always high, the stakes are higher this year. The Rangers took home their first World Series championship in 2023 after a 76-year wait. Express players called up to the big leagues this season will be defending the title of World Series champion.

“Whenever our number is called, we need to go up there and produce,” second baseman Justin Foscue said.

Rangers third baseman Josh Jung suffered a broken wrist April 1 after being hit by a pitch. In a moment all minor league players dream of, Foscue got the call that he will fill Jung’s spot on the roster.

“The team up there is so loaded that it challenges everyone down here to keep it at a high standard. You gotta come to work every single day, try to get better,” Foscue said.

Manager Doug Davis said that while preparation for a bigger stage is his priority, so is another postseason run.

Last season, the Express were swept by the Oklahoma City Dodgers in the Pacific Coast League Championship series.

“When you win and you get to experience all of that, you kinda like that ride and you like what comes along with it,” Davis said. “Our goal is to certainly find ourselves into the playoffs again.”

The Rangers’ World Series roster included 19 players who played for the Express. Davis said the development of players at a smaller level was key to their win.

“I think we were a big part of that. We had a lot of guys that were able to contribute last year. That’s what this level is all about,” Davis said.

Although their ballparks are roughly 200 miles apart, something as small as the same concession stand food connects the teams. This year’s Express menu includes the “Boomstick,” a hot dog covered in chili, queso, french onion crisps and red jalapenos, an item sold by the Rangers since 2012, although the “Boomstick” at Globe Life Field is a foot longer than the one at Dell Diamond. The name comes from Nelson Cruz’s time with the Rangers, when he received the nickname “boomstick” after hitting eight home runs during the 2011 postseason run.

The Express continue their away series against the El Paso Chihuahuas tonight at 7:35 p.m. but will be back at Dell Diamond on April 9.