No. 26

by Nathan Hague

Rod Woodson was one of the best defensive backs of his time, and probably of all time. He was a workhorse who wasn’t necessarily flashy but got the job done. When all said and done, he finished his career as an 11-time Pro Bowler, a three-time MVP for the Steelers, was named NFL Defensive Player of the year in 1993. He was named to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and the 1990s All-Decade team.

Woodson attended Purdue University before being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 10th overall pick. He spent nine seasons in the Steel City before heading to the Bay area when he played for the San Francisco 49ers for a season in 1997. From there he went to the Baltimore where he helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV. He spent three years with the Ravens before heading back to the Bay Area, this time to play for the Oakland Raiders for two seasons before retiring in 2003.

In 2009, Woodson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s a member of the Steelers Hall of Fame and his No. 26 is retired. He’s also the best player to ever wear the number in our countdown.

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The Texas Rangers and Arlington announced a few weeks ago a plan to build a new retractable roof stadium near where the existing ballpark is right now. While I think a ballpark that will not be 110° in August is probably a good idea, I am also not 100% sold on the idea either. Here are some of my reasons for not being sold out on the idea.

1. Globe Life Park is not that old. I know that twenty-two may seem old to some of you out there (I am talking to you, millennials), but it’s not. Think about how long Wrigley Field or the Fenway Park have been there. Baseball is a game if tradition, and sometimes I think we loose some of that for the sake of the almighty dollar. I think Globe Life Park is a beautiful place to go and watch a baseball game, and I see no reason why it should die so young.

New ballpark

2. Traffic Problems. The Rangers and the Cowboys both have to park in the lots that are adjacent to the ballpark/stadium, and when construction starts it will remove a big portion of the parking. It is already difficult to get in and out of Rangers games, and it will be even more difficult for the years the park is being built, and then until they destroy Globe Life Park.

3. Heat Advantage. The Rangers are said to have the heat advantage, being that they play in the weather at home more than any other team. Sure, it is pretty hot in July and August in Arlington, but as a fan I never minded it so much it stopped me from going to games. I love sitting almost anywhere in the ballpark, eating a hot dog and watching a great Rangers ballgame. Baseball is supposed to be played outdoors, in my humble opinion.

4. Tradition/Memories. I admit, this one is more of a personal reason, but the Texas Rangers have been to the post season seven different times in their forty plus year as a franchise, and all of them have been in this ballpark. I remember a game where Gary Matthews Jr. climbed the wall to take a grand slam away from the Astros. I can remember being there during the post season runs in 2010 and 2011, and how electric it was in that building. I can remember crying after they beat the Yankees to get to their first World Series in 2010, and when the returned in 2011. I can remember watching greats like Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Juan Gonzalez, Pudge Rodriguez, Adrian Beltre and more playing on that field.

Besides tradition, I also remember going to many games with my dad, who is no longer with us. My dad was a huge sports fan, and I owe him a lot. I would not be a writer if it wasn’t for him. So it will be hard to go and watch Rangers baseball in a building that my dad never got to see them play in. I also have gone with many friends and family over the years, and seen countless great plays and great fans in that ballpark.

Now I admit, change is inevitable, and I am not surprised in the least that this is going to happen, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on the subject for what it’s worth, which, admittedly, probably isn’t a lot. Thanks for reading.

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No. 27

I went back and forth on who should be the best to wear no. 27. There was Eddie George, who had a decent NFL career, but I don’t think it was hall of fame worthy, and although he was good, I am not sure I can call him the best to wear 27. Then there […]

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No. 28

As we continue the Hague Sports Jersey Countdown with No. 28, we follow up Eric Dickerson with Marshall Faulk another running back who also happened to play for the Colts and the Rams. Faulk was a major key as to why the St. Louis Rams were dubbed the “Best Show on Turf.” In 1999, he […]

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No. 29

After a long drought, the Hague Sports continues its jersey countdown at No. 29. There are a handful of candidates but we’re giving the award to Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson. Dickerson played 11 years in the league and finished his career with 2,996 attempts for 13,259 yards and 90 touchdowns. […]

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No. 30

No. 30 could easily have gone to Nolan Ryan but because we had the strikeout king at No. 34, we had to look elsewhere and our search took us to frozen water. I don’t try to pretend to know a lot about hockey but I do remember Martin Brodeur, and his accolades speak for themselves. […]

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No. 31

To me, No. 31 was a very easy one to pick. Greg Maddux won 4 Cy Young awards while winning an astounding 340 games during his career. Greg played 22 season in his career, and he was best known for his time in Atlanta, although he also pitched for the Cubs (twice), the Dodgers (twice), […]

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No. 32

How do you choose the best athlete to ever wear a number when it was worn by two of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen? Earvin “Magic” Johnson just might be the greatest point guard in NBA history. Jim Brown is considered by many to be the greatest running back in NFL history. […]

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Baseball Equality for All

There has been a lot of talk over the last few years about income equality, marriage equality, race equality, religious equality, that I thought I would take a few minutes to talk to you, the readers of my blog, about baseball equality. While there is a large amount of inequality in the world, there is […]

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No. 33

Over the years, the Lakers and Celtics have developed quite the rivalry, meeting 13 times in the NBA Finals where it was Boston who dominated, winning 10 of those series. However, it was a Laker who came out on top over a Celtic at No. 33 in our Jersey Countdown. There’s a reason Larry Bird […]

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