The Silver Boot is a trophy rewarded to the Texas team that beats the other the most each year. The Lone Star series or Silver Boot series is an interleague matchup of rivalries, meaning one team is in the National League (Houston Astros), and the other is in the American League (Texas Rangers).
The Boot sort of got its started in 1992 before interleague games were played. The Astros and Rangers started an end-of-Spring Training game giving these two Texas teams a chance to play each other and the winning team would receive a trophy. The trophy went to the Texas Rangers the first year, but it was not as glamorous as it is today. In 1992 the trophy was just a regular leather boot painted silver. This Silver Boot trophy is referred to as Silver Boot I.
In 2001 the Texas teams matchup took to a new level when the two teams were scheduled to play each other in the regular season for the first time, interleague play was now introduced. For the new experience and change the two teams got a new trophy, Silver Boot II. This trophy was a glass cut boot outlined with silver and had a crystal ball under the toe of the boot. Since 2001 the two teams have been scheduled to play each other in 2 series (6 games) each year, and the team with the most wins would take home the Silver Boot or in the event of a tie the team that had the most runs scored would win. In 2001 the Rangers won on run differential and the manager, Jerry Narron accepted the trophy on the field after the game. This was the only time the trophy was ever presented to the winner on the field. The Astros came back and won it the next two years, 2002 and 2003. In 2004 the Lone Star series ended in a tie again but after runs were counted up the trophy went to the Rangers, but when it was received in the mail it was shattered.
In 2005 the teams got Silver Boot III, which is the one still awarded to the winner of the Silver Boot series today. Silver Boot III is a size-15 cowboy boot cast in silver with a hand-made spur attached. In 2006 the Houston Astros won the Silver Boot series to receive Silver Boot III for the first time, and possibly the only time. The Texas Rangers have won the Silver Boot series the past 5 years (2007-2011). It is also looking like the Rangers will win it again this year. The Rangers and Astros have already played 1 of the two series this year resulting in the Rangers winning 2 of the 3 games. The second and last part of the 2012 Lone Star series starts today June 15, 2012. If the Rangers win 2 of the 3 games they win the Silver Boot. If the Astros win all 3 games Houston will win the Silver Boot. If Houston wins 2 of the 3 then it will end in a tie and will refer to the run differential. But that is not the true story here.
This year could possibly be the last year for the Silver Boot III trophy and the Lone Star series. Next season the Houston Astros will relocate to the American League West, the same division as the Rangers. This means the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros will play more games against each other in the regular season. But it is not the relocation of the Astros that is causing talk of getting rid of the trophy, it is more of the fact that no one seems to care anymore. The current owners of the Rangers and Astros are considering the possibility of retiring the trophy because they no longer feel that the two teams are rivals any more. Rangers general manager, Jon Daniels said, “It has to be a rivalry on the field for it to be meaningful.”
Currently no decision has been made on this matter. I hope that the owners decide to keep this tradition going. As a fan, I enjoy the Lone Star series and love traditions like these. I also find it fun to watch these series each year with my friends that are Astros fans. I do not believe it would do any harm to keep the tradition alive.
How do you feel? Do you think the Astros and Rangers should retire the trophy or would you like to see it continue?
The Texas Rangers won all 3 games agains the Houston Astros in the second series of the Lone Star series. The Rangers win the Silver Boot for the 2012 season.