‘Spads’ open Texas Rangers season, Globe Life Field

  • Published
  • By Captain Jessica Gross
  • 301st Fighter Wing

Pilots assigned to the 457th Fighter Squadron, 301st Fighter Wing, U.S. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas conducted a pregame fly over after the playing of the national anthem for Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on April 5.

In a celebrated moment of Texas Rangers baseball history, the newly constructed Globe Life Field that was built in 2020, was opened to the public for their stadium’s first-ever baseball opening day.

“Leading the Texas Rangers home opener flyby was exhilarating,” said Lt. Col. Brett Comer, 301st Fighter Wing Operation Support Squadron commander. “I was extremely honored to represent the Air Force and the Spads on such a special day where people were yearning to feel a little piece of normal.”

The flyover included a two F-16C Fighting Falcon formation over more than 38,000 spectators in attendance, along with Ranger broadcast affiliates. To add to the total Texas flare and national pastime, the wing brought a bit of history of their own.

The formation included the recently painted 457th Fighter Squadron heritage painted F-16, which displays the State of Texas flag and a tail flash commemorating the 75th anniversary of the squadron’s history.

“I know Texas Rangers fans love seeing a flyover,” said Lt. Col. Gerremy Goldsberry, 457th Fighter Squadron pilot. “This year was extra special because the lead F-16 was painted in our squadron’s 75th Anniversary paint scheme commemorating our WWII tail flash and the Texas Flag! I truly hope they enjoyed that surprise.” 

Participating in professional sporting event flyovers is a familiar practice for the 457 FS, who also conducted the opening flyover for Major League Baseball’s World Series Game 1 here on October 20, 2020.

Flyovers have been a part of military history dating back to World War I, where they began through symbolism of a successful battle. Professional sporting military flyover events have occurred for more than a century and began with a 60 aircraft flyover for the first World Series game between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs on September 5, 1918.

Pregame flyovers evoke emotion not only for the fans in the stands but also in the Airmen who streak across the sky.

“I hope the flyby made everyone at the stadium feel proud of our country,” said Comer. “I know it made me feel proud to be a part of America!”

 “My two favorite things to do in life are flying fast jets and playing baseball,” said Goldsberry. “This is as close as I’ll get to doing both on the same day.”

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