The Rangers are a special team. Not really because of their play, even though it has been surprising and outstanding, but because of the players who make up their team. They are a team of second chances on their way to their first chance at a World Series.
The Rangers organization kept manager Ron Washington on even after it was revealed he had a problem with cocaine. They stood behind him. They kept him in his job with the Rangers. They believed he could overcome. They took a huge chance. A risk that has paid off in Washington becoming one of those most beloved by his players and a manager who has taken a team to the World Series that has never been there before.
The Rangers organization took a risk on Josh Hamilton. His story is very well known in sports circles. He had huge problems with alcohol and drugs. He was on his way to being a huge rookie star when his drug and alcohol use completely stopped his career. He was out of a job. No one wanted to take a chance on him. But the Rangers did. Hamilton has come back and is one of the best players in MLB. He was voted ALCS MVP for his play versus the Yankees. The Yankees have so much respect for him as a player, the intentionally walked him 3 times in Friday night's game. But more importantly, Hamilton has turned his life around. His teammates love him. They have Mountain Dew celebrations just for him after they win.
Colby Lewis was playing baseball in Japan last year. He couldn't buy a job in MLB. But the Rangers took a chance on him and on Friday night he pitched 8 innings of 3 hit baseball against the Yankees. He helped his team to win the game and give Cliff Lee the opportunity to pitch game 1 of the World Series. Lewis, who didn't know if he would play in major league baseball last year, helped his team get to the World Series.
There are probably more second chance stories on this Rangers team. They seem to be filled with them. I think whomever they face in the World Series has reason to be afraid, very afraid. Second chance people who genuinely appreciate what they've been given want to prove they are deserving of that risk so many took on them - that's a huge motivation. This team of second chances may turn out to be world champions in a few days.