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When Rangers officials saw the photo from Boston, they reached out to Parker about the season’s first ceremonial pitch before the home opener against the Angels. The Rangers say thousands of dollars have been raised in North Texas for the Emilie Parker Fund, started by two of Parker’s high school friends to support the 26 families affected by the shootings. Parker’s brother, Jeremie, still lives in the area.

Parker said it made sense to make the trip, and seemed glad he had. As a bonus, the family got to meet Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan, another great from Parker’s years in Arlington, and former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura.

“I guess there’s a little room where the VIPs get to hang out and we were just invited to kind of hang out for a little,” Parker said. “But that’s definitely not where we belong. We belong in the $5 seats up top.”

Not on a day that he and thousands of teary-eyed Rangers fans won’t soon forget.