5. Opening Day 1976 – vs. Minnesota Twins (W 2-1)
This may be no surprise, but the early years of Texas Rangers baseball do not feature many success stories.
It was not until the Rangers fifth year in Arlington that they won their first opening day.
Jeff Burroughs got the scoring started in the second inning with a home run off the first pitch he faced that season.
Minnesota found hits and runs hard to come by on this day. They eventually broke through in the sixth inning with a Butch Wynegar RBI single.
Perry and Minnesota’s Bert Blyleven put on a pitching duel of epic proportions. Both teams fired tough pitching. Three hitless innings ended regulation and the hard-worked starters showed no signs of breaking.
Gaylord Perry remained in the game for extra innings but the Twins replaced Blyleven with Bill Campbell, a move that would prove their downfall.
Perry compiled more 1-2-3 innings in the tenth and eleventh, but Campbell walked the first batter he faced in the tenth. Campbell quickly worked himself out of the jam but would not be so lucky the next inning.
The Rangers quickly loaded the bases and Toby Harrah put the game away with a single to left-field.
Texas would win the series over the Twins and go on to a sub-par 76-86 record.