Rangers, In­di­ans set for week­end

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Kevin Lyt­tle klyt­tle@states­man.com

H-E-B Big League Week­end, now in its fifth sea­son, con­tin­ues to ex­pand as a spring-break des­ti­na­tion for Cen­tral and South Cen­tral Tex­ans.

The Amer­i­can League cham­pion Cleve­land In­di­ans will play the two-time de­fend­ing AL West-win­ning Texas Rangers on Fri­day night and Satur­day after­noon at the Alam­od­ome.

The week­end, co-spon­sored by Ryan San­ders Base­ball, own­ers of the Round Rock Ex­press, has turned into much more than just a cou­ple ex­hi­bi­tion games.

The Alam­od­ome also holds a large sports col­lectible show — this year fea­tur­ing for­mer Hous­ton Astros out­fielder Jose Cruz — base­ball card give­aways, au­to­graph ses­sions, a hot dog eat­ing con­test and postgame con­certs by Smash Mouth on Fri­day night and Los Lonely Boys on Satur­day after­noon.

The first four Big League Week­ends have av­er­aged about 60,000 fans.

“There’s a lot of com­pe­ti­tion for the en­ter­tain­ment dol­lar dur­ing spring break, but we like how we’ve po­si­tioned our­selves, with so many things in prox­im­ity of the Alam­od­ome,” said J.J. Gottsch, COO of Ryan San­ders Base­ball.

Rangers con­tin­gent: Texas is bring­ing first base­man Mike Napoli, third base­man Will Mid­dle­brooks and out­field­ers No­mar Mazara, Delino DeShields and Jared Hoy­ing to San An­to­nio, along with sev­eral mid­dle-tier prospects.

Spring up­date: The Rangers have had a rough time in Sur­prise, Ariz. Their 6-12 record through Wed­nes­day was the worst in the Cac­tus League.

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