ARLINGTON -- Ken Longley said the World Series was "on my bucket list."
After waiting most of his life, he can scratch that one off.
Biggest crowd at Rangers Ballpark, Saturday made of dreams, Kelly Clarkson's classic national anthem, first Rangers World Series home game, the Boomstick fireworks, a 4-2 Game 3 win over the Giants and absolutely priceless ticket stubs.
"I've been watching baseball a long time, and this is my first World Series, and I've been wantin' to be out here. We needed it," said Longley, from Fort Worth, rejoicing with wife Gail. "Good for the Rangers and the Nolan Ryan partnership group. I've been coming ever since they moved here, and I'll keep on coming back. We're back in this now, and we're gonna get 'em all back."
Brent Spivey is from across the Red River in Medill, Okla., moved to Dallas 10 years ago and has "been a Rangers fan ever since." He sat -- or shall we say stood -- in Section 220. His voice was a little hoarse.
"It was awesome, man. Best game ever," Spivey said. "[This was] my first World Series game. It was even more than I expected. We're back in it, it's 2-1. They gotta get ready for us."
What was the best part of the night?
"Josh [Hamilton's' homer," he said. "Everybody's been waiting for him. He's the modern Roy Hobbs, no doubt."
It was Hamilton's clout in the fifth inning that added insurance following Mitch Moreland's three-run homer two frames earlier. By that point, it was a state of euphoria, everything almost too perfect here. You could see that clearly enough when the Giants proceeded to add a pair of solo shots, from Cody Ross and Andres Torres. The Rangers' bullpen held up this time, Neftali Feliz recording his first postseason save and the fans didn't want to leave the house.
"I think it was the best [darn] thing that ever happened. Can I say that?" said Darryl Young of Weatherford, Texas, sporting a blue "Show Me Your Antlers" T-shirt. "[I] waited a long time for this."
"I waited even longer," said his wife, Wendy.
Try the whole 50 years. Her father, Melvin Day, now 87, used to take her to Washington Senators games when she was a girl and lived there.
That second Senators franchise (circa 1961) moved to Texas after the 1971 season. The Rangers had been one of three active clubs never to reach the Fall Classic, leaving only the Mariners and Nationals.
"I used to go to those games when I was a girl," she said. "I tell people I was a Rangers fan before he ever was. This meant a lot being here. We just loved the whole atmosphere."
Felipe Saldivar of Dallas used StubHub.com to find a single seat in Section 213. He said he got it for the $200 face value even though "those were going for $1,000."
"I loved it very much -- it was well worth the money," Saldivar said. "It's still very surreal. I can't believe we're here. Just the atmosphere, all the fans -- it made it so enjoyable."
He was holding his breath just a little bit toward the end as well. You never know when a World Series might come back, so you just savor this moment and get the most out of it.
"It's one game at a time. It's one pitch at a time," he said. "After leading 4-0, and then the Giants making it 4-2, having the tying run at the plate, one swing and it could have been tied. So you just have to take it pitch-by-pitch."
Rangers fans all over Twitter were giddy as well, putting Moreland and Feliz into trending topics during the game. One of them, Wade Bryant of Bentonville, Ark., tweeted from Rangers Ballpark: "Just witnessed the first ever #Rangers #WorldSeries Win! It was amazing!!!! History! #itstime."
Wade King of Wills Point, Texas, kind of floated more than walked as he left the upper deck seating and sauntered through the concourse.
"It's great for our state. It's been too long," King said. "I was here when Nolan Ryan threw his 5,000th strikeout. You remember David Clyde? I remember catching a foul ball that he pitched. Fergie Jenkins. I mean, I've been coming since I was 8. It's close to 40 years."
He added with a jolly laugh, "It took three month's salary, but it was worth it. ... We collected aluminum cans for three years for this."
King was there with his son Shane, and both of their wives.
"The Rangers have been in it too long not to have done this before, so we all had to be a part of it," said Shane King.
They'll be back, and now they know it. They have tickets for Game 5 thanks to StubHub, and now they know it won't be a sweep.
"We're in it. The three-run shot is what meant the most to me," Shane King said, alluding to Moreland's remarkable nine-pitch at-bat against Jonathan Sanchez. "It's what we needed. Two games of just kind of being stale. We had an out before that, and it was just there. He hits one and you knew it was gone the second it left his bat.
"You know, you hate to say it, but if there was any other team, I would root for it would probably be the Giants. But this is our time. We're here."