Ben Dieter became a baseball fan when his family moved to Texas from Pennsylvania in 1984. He was just 9 years old then. Dieter has a blog, web site, podcast, and YouTube channel dedicated to the Texas Rangers. He has been doing an online podcast for 1 1/2 years now, and has been writing about the Rangers for more than four years. It is a labor of love that he does for fellow fans and because of his passion and dedication to the team.
Dieter says, “I became a passive fan of the Rangers in the late 80’s, and I became a day in and day out fan about 6 years ago.”
He has watched at least 150+ Rangers games per season and has been to around 35-40 Rangers games at the ballpark over the last 8 – 10 years or so. He uses this wealth of knowledge to keep other Rangers fans updated on his website, blog, podcasts and more.
Becoming a Fan
He’s more than just your average fan and takes his love of the Texas Rangers one step further by providing help, info and fun updates to others fans via the Internet. I asked Ben how he became such a Rangers superfan in the first place.
“I loved watching pitchers like Nolan Ryan and Charlie Hough and hitters like Pudge Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez,” he tells me. “Because of their bats, the Rangers were never really out of the game, and as a kid (and as an adult) that was always so exciting.”
Don’t Lose that Bet!
While he’s not one for dressing up or doing crazy things for his team, Dieter once had a bet with the podcast crew on the NCAA bracket challenge.
“If I would have lost that challenge (which thankfully, I didn’t) I would have had to dress up in Yankee clothes for a Rangers/Yankees game,” he explains. “I think I may have backed out of that one if I lost!”
Maybe we should make a new bet with him if the Rangers go to the World Series.
Collections and Memorabilia
Lots of sports fans collect memorabilia. I know I still have a garage full of baseball cards and other goodies from my youth. So what kind of stuff does a Rangers superfan have from all those years of rooting on his team?
Dieter says, “I do not collect cards anymore but I did for most of my childhood. I probably have around 3000 baseball cards. My favorite ones have to be the huge Nolan Ryan collection that I have along with a signed Tom Grieve card and a signed Chris Davis card (even though he no longer plays for the Rangers).”
He says most of his cards are from the early 90s and he goes through them every few years to see if there are any valuable ones. He also collects bobble heads (all he can get that are Ranger-related), lots of hats and shirts and he has an AL Champions flag from 2010.
We know Rangers gear can get expensive and so does Dieter’s wife. “My wife does not support my gear habit as much as I would want her to financially,” he adds. “If she did I would have a whole lot more Rangers stuff!”
“I started the ranger report to make a place for fans like me to come and interact with me and with each other,” Dieter says.
He also has a Twitter account (@therangerreport) and a Facebook page dedicated to the site and says that is where he gets most of his fan interaction. Dieter says, “I have hosted several live chats on my site and it has been a blast getting to know a bunch of Rangers fans I would have never gotten to know any other way!”
Being a Fan Has Real-life Crossover Impact
As a longtime fan, he has seen many positive and negative changes in the Rangers. He has also learned that being a fan can crossover into the rest of your life.
Dieter shares some of these crossovers, “I have become a much better writer thanks to the Rangers and the blog and website I write on about them. I even wrote a baseball related short story about a made up baseball team from Texas that had some eerie parallels to the Texas Rangers. I have started writing several books as well since doing my blog about the Rangers.”
He has learned some great life lessons that all fans can relate to. “It has taught me to take life one day at a time. Even if I have had a terrible day, there is always tomorrow, just like the Rangers have to put a bad game behind them.”
I will leave you with these great closing words from Dieter about the Rangers, “Also, lately, they have taught me that doing it the right way works better than trying to take a cheap out. It is something that I take with me in my job and my personal life every day.”