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Photos: Baseball Fans From Gen X and Older Tailgate at the World Series 2023

See photos of the Gen Xers with the most team spirit


spinner image left rangers fan leo juan ranger sanchez right jerrod and yesica rosson
From left: Rangers fan Leo Sanchez; Diamondbacks fans Jerrod and Yesica Rosson.
Sol Neelman / CASSIDY ARAIZA

The World Series is over, but the team spirit was alive throughout the games and beyond. On Wednesday, Nov. 1, the Texas Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5 to 0 to claim their first World Series title.

AARP caught up with some tailgating Rangers fans outside Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, before the first two games of the World Series on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. Then, AARP scoped out some Arizona Diamondbacks fans in Phoenix on Nov. 1 before the last game.

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See their team gear, what brought them out and what keeps them fans of their team and the sport. Hint: It’s not the “wave.”

spinner image greg wrecking ball wilson in a huge baseball hat
Sol Neelman

Greg “Wrecking Ball” Wilson, 51, says if you’re a sports fan in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, “you’re probably going to see Wrecking Ball on arrival. It’s not (the) biggest sporting event unless I’m here.” Wilson started appearing as Wrecking Ball while an officer in the Canadian air force. “I always see sports (as) more than just a game. It’s a vessel to friendships and family and overall relationships. I don’t care about who won or lost. I care about who I was with and who was making me smile that day.”

spinner image leo sanchez forty nine dressed up as the juan ranger
Sol Neelman

Leo Sanchez, 49, dressed as “Juan Ranger,” a character he created for fun. Sanchez has been a Rangers fan since moving to Dallas in 2006 and says it’s “kind of like a feeling of belonging, you know, part of being a bigger thing.”

spinner image clara trimble age seventy is a fan of all texas sports teams
Sol Neelman

Clara Trimble, 70, is a fan of all the Texas sports teams. The Dallas Cowboys are her favorite, but the “Rangers is number 2,” she says.

spinner image phil schirmer standing with an over sized cut out of ranger outfielder adolis garcia
Sol Neelman

Phil Schirmer, 57, of Arkansas poses with his oversize cutout of Ranger outfielder Adolis García.

spinner image left to right donna nall then virginia nall badgett then jaylee nall
Sol Neelman

From left: Donna Nall, 60, Virginia Nall Badgett, 84, and Jaylee Nall, 22, are part of a family entourage of 21 people spanning three generations that came out to see the Rangers. When asked what it means to have her family at the World Series, Badgett said, “We’re spending their inheritance while we’re doing it together.”

spinner image lisa jacklet wearing a chain with a large t on it
Sol Neelman

Lisa Jacklet, 44, didn’t have a ticket for the Rangers game — the first World Series game she would attend — but tailgated outside in hopes of finding an affordable one last minute. She says tickets for a baseball game are “more accessible for family” than NFL tickets.

spinner image from left to right diamondbacks fans rick lawlar then dustin harper then howdy lawlar
CASSIDY ARAIZA

From left: Diamondbacks fans Rick Lawlar, 78, Dustin Harper, 40, and Howdy Lawlar, 49, outside Chase Field in Phoenix for Game 5 of the World Series on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. Rick is the grandfather of Jordan Lawlar, a shortstop for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Howdy Lawlar shared that he likes to try out the hot dogs at each ballpark he goes to.

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spinner image from left to right cassie then paxton then bailey then byron holloway
CASSIDY ARAIZA

Diamondbacks fans Cassie, 43, Paxton, 14, Bailey, 11, and Byron Holloway, 43, make tailgating a family affair. Paxton became a baseball fan because his grandmother was a die-hard Diamondbacks fan. The farthest the family has traveled to see a game is from their home in New Mexico to Seattle.

spinner image tyson winarski showing off a diamondbacks t shirt
CASSIDY ARAIZA

Tyson Winarkski, 50, reps the Diamondbacks outside Chase Field for Game 5 of the World Series. Tyson has visited 18 major league baseball parks and has been a fan of the game since 1998. Though he is not superstitious, he says his family bought two bricks at Chase Field in Phoenix, and he jokingly wonders if the Diamondbacks lost because he didn’t visit the bricks.

spinner image cindy achtzehw holding a diamondbacks flag
CASSIDY ARAIZA

Cindy Achtzehn, 62, waves a flag outside Chase Field for Game 5. She says her game day tradition is to do laundry if the Diamondbacks start losing. If they’re on a winning streak, “you don’t change anything. You don’t shower, you don’t do anything.”

spinner image husband and wife jerrod and yesica rosson
CASSIDY ARAIZA

Husband and wife Jerrod and Yesica Rosson hold signs rooting for the Diamondbacks outside Chase Field on Nov. 1. Jerrod, 51, seeks out the pulled pork nachos that are served in a souvenir hat. The couple have traveled as far as San Diego for a Diamondbacks game.

spinner image diamondbacks fans denise and reed wilson
CASSIDY ARAIZA

Denise, 67, and Reed Wilson, 75, have been fans of the Diamondbacks since 1998 and will happily travel 50 miles to a game from their home in nearby Florence, Arizona. Their favorite baseball memory is Reed throwing the first pitch in 2018 for St. Joseph’s hospital as a survivor of esophageal cancer.

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