Amid tornadoes touching down in North Texas, Texas Rangers players preparing for Tuesday night’s exhibition game against the Mexico City Diablos Rojos got a close look at the dangerous storms from the dugout at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Catcher Mike Napoli tweeted a video taken from the Rangers dugout by catcher Zach Zaneski, a non-roster invitee still with the team for the exhibition game, that showed heavy winds and rain blowing the weather-protective tarp across the field.
“While they were out there, I was inside being safe,” Napoli said. “I’m not going outside in a tornado.”
The National Weather Service said Tuesday night it appears that six to 12 tornadoes touched down in North Texas. The tornadoes tore roofs off homes, and left flattened tractor trailers along highways and parking lots.
Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck issued a state of disaster declaration after the storms had moved through the area.
Zaneski said he and several other players who had arrived at the stadium early went to the dugout when they heard what was happening. He immediately pulled out his phone and started shooting some video.
The video showed dark clouds rolling through the sky above the stadium. Gusty and swirling winds lifted up the tarp that was covering the field.
“We were just videotaping the sky and all of a sudden it was almost like a train wreck, and the wind got so crazy inside the stadium and it started to pick the tarp up,” Zaneski said. “We didn’t see any funnel cloud, but you could see where it was picking the water from the tarp up and forming something.”
Such weather was a new experience for Zaneski, who is from Connecticut.
“The tarp was in the ground with stakes, and it just got pulled completely out,” he said. “Some of those stakes could have gone flying and we wouldn’t have even known. It was a lot more dangerous than we really thought.”
Team spokesman John Blake said there was no structural damage at the stadium.
Workers at Rangers Ballpark took shelter in hallways during a pair of tornado warnings when the strong storm front passed through the area hours before the game.
“We were on the way here and we turned back around and went back home,” Kinsler said before the Rangers’ 13-4 win.
Young said he and Kinsler left North Dallas early for the ballpark, and it was raining pretty hard before they saw the warning signs on the highway. Kinsler said there wasn’t any damage to their homes.
After waiting at Young’s house for about a half-hour while the storm passed, they picked up teammate Adrian Beltre and got to the stadium in plenty of time to prepare for the game. Young even napped while Kinsler drove.
“He just drove slow,” Young said. “I fell asleep on the way here. I trusted Kinsler.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.