Win Free Copy of Essential Games DVD Set!

UPDATE: The contest is over now, I’ve gotten enough people now for the giveaway thanks to the addtl submissions sent in.

If you’ve been a fan of the Texas Rangers, you’ve watched a lot of games on TV, and while the Rangers don’t have a pedigree like say the Yankees in the post season, there are quite a few notable games in the back catalogue.  That’s what I’m writing about today.  This coming Tuesday, there’s a DVD set due out which contains four of these “Essential Games” from the Rangers history.  I’m going to write about the set, and due to the folks from A&E Home Entertainment/MLB Productions, I’m going to have five copies to give away to my site visitors.  That will take the form of a trivia contest, more on that below.  First off, a review..

This is actually one entrant in a series of “Essential Games” DVD’s all due out Aug 14, 2012.   There are a total of nine releases in this series overall.  Other than the Rangers, there are entrants for the Red Sox, Cubs, Phillies, Yankees, Mets, Mariners, & Tigers.  Actually, there’s two for the Yankees. One covers just “Yankee Stadium”, and the other covers “Perfect Games & No Hitters”.   However, I’m here to talk about the Rangers one.    Overall, this is a good set to have if you are a Rangers fan, and especially if you have some emotional tie to one or more of these games (like you watched it originally, or were at the game or something like that).   The four games are:

  1. May 1, 1991 – Nolan Ryan’s Seventh No Hitter (Broadcasters: Steve Busby & Jim Sundberg)
  2. Oct 1, 1996 – ALDS Game 1 vs. Yankees – The First ever Rangers Playoff Win (Broadcasters: Bob Costas & Joe Morgan)
  3. Oct 22, 2010 – ALCS Game 6 vs. Yankees – The Rangers advance to World Series (Broadcasters: Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, & John Smoltz)
  4. Oct 15, 2011 – ALCS Game 6 vs. Tigers – Rangers advance to World Series (Broadcasters: Joe Buck & Tim McCarver)

By far, though the single best moment on any of the nine hours and six minutes of footage comes with about a minute left on DVD 3.  That’s the moment when Alex Rodriguez strikes out looking to send the Rangers to the World Series for the first time.  That moment alone is worth the price of admission alone.

Each individual disc is packed in it’s own slim case DVD.  There is some nice artwork on them, however.   The paper inserts have some program or yearbook connected to the game they’re with.  For example, on the Ryan game, they have the 1991 yearbook cover on there.   The back side of each of the individual cover artworks has a short description of each game, plus an abbreviated box score from the game. I do like the artwork design on the individual discs.  Also, the DVD’s themselves contain a line score of the game, which is a nice touch.  So yeah, I do like the art design on the package.   That’s a positive.  Here’s a few pictures of the individual discs and their art layout.

However, the big negative to me is the complete lack of bonus features.   There’s nothing in the way of commentaries, extras, nothing.  The only thing on these discs other than the games themselves are chapter stops for the respective innings in the games.  And that’s not really a “feature” as such.  That’s IT.  I would have liked to have seen perhaps some TV footage surrounding the games on the local broadcasts or something, but alas, no.  In fact, on the game with Ryan’s 7th No hitter, there’s not much after the last out is actually recorded.  It’s a hard cut from the cheering back to the menu.  All four games end that way, there’s very little after the actual technical end of the game on here.  Perhaps one minute at most.  That’s more galling for the 2010/11 games, as there was a boatload of network coverage for each of them.   I know I’ve seen more footage than that on local documentaries about the 1991 Ryan game; so a concious choice was made to reduce what’s on these discs other than the games themselves, that’s a bit disappointing.  Also, the 2010 & 2011 games are in SD, because these are just DVD’s, not Blu-Rays.  Would have preferred the HD option, but that’s not enough to have stopped me from getting the set.

Still, if you want to relive the games, this set is great for that issue, and that’s not something that should be overlooked, despite the extras issue.

As a side note (this has no bearing on the DVD set at all), each DVD has a different set of broadcasters, and it allows you to compare and contrast styles.  The Ryan disc has local Rangers broadcasters as it was an in season game.   The others are playoffs, so you have network guys there.  One of my favorite broadcasters is on Disc 2, that being Bob Costas.  I like that guy – A LOT.  I wish Costas would succeed Bud Selig as commissioner of baseball, but I find it unlikely the owners would allow that.  But I digress.  Disc 3 has the godawful Craig Sager on it.   I had forgotten how awful that dude was.  Good thing I don’t have Cable TV anymore, and can’t see him.  :)

Still, despite the flaw of ” the lack of extras”, I feel it’s a good set to have, because the games are very critical to the team’s past, and if you’re a fan of the Rangers, you’ll probably want to relive them.  You can pick up the set via the “Buy It” links I have here in the article, or just clicking here.

As promised before, I’m giving away five copies of the set for free thanks to the folks at A&E/MLB Productions.   I’m going to be running a trivia contest.  What you’ll need to do is answer the five questions correctly, and whoever gets the answers right will be put into a pool of folks that I will choose the winners from.  Once the winners are chosen, the folks from A&E will ship the discs to you directly, they won’t come from me.   A few fiddly bits first about the contest:

  • You MUST include your full name and address with your submission.  Failure to do so will result in your entry not being considered.   The reason for this is I’ve run contests like this before where I didn’t get that info, and in some cases, I have to wait around for a week to find out where to ship a prize.  I don’t do that anymore.
  • You MUST send your contest entry to this email address: – Sending the entries anywhere else besides that will result in your entry not being considered.  This also includes comments to this post on my site, it must go to the email address.
  • The contest will run from when this post first appears to my site till about 6PM or so on Monday night, when I’ll pick the winners and alert A&E
  • This contest is only available for those in the lower United States.  I’m sorry, but that’s a restriction placed on me from A&E.  No Alaska or Hawaii or anywhere else other than the continental US.

The questions shouldn’t be that difficult for a good Rangers fan, so here goes:

  1. What are the retired uniform numbers for the Rangers, and who are they retired for?   Yes, this technically counts #42.
  2. What was the first time a season ended with the Rangers in first place?
  3. Who caught Nolan Ryan’s 7th No hitter?
  4. Who else other than Nolan Ryan has pitched a no hitter in a Ranger uniform?
  5. Who was only Rangers player (and one of just four overall) to play all nine positions in a single game?

A big thanks to Suzanne @ A&E for making this all happen!


Given my deadline is about 4 hours from my updating this post and not enough people have gotten the trivia questions right, I’m changing the format.   You still need to send in your name and address, but just email me at, and please include your name and address.  I’ll pick some random folks to get the set.  Thanks!

Thanks to those who sent in under the additional rules.  I now have enough to pick from.  Thanks for entering!

The answers to the trivia question were:

  1. 26 (Johnny Oates), 34 (Nolan Ryan), 42 (Jackie Robinson)
  2. 1994 – Rangers in first when strike occurred with record of 52-62
  3. Mike Stanley
  4. Jim Bibby (7/30/73), Bert Blyleven (9/22/77), & Kenny Rogers (7/28/94 – also perfect game)
  5. Scott Sheldon (9/6/00)