The story reads like a tall tale. Or at least we like to believe it's a story of American folklore, or at least American League folklore. Honestly it's pretty simple! Like the Rally Cap or the Rally Monkey, the Claw and Antlers reward teammates for what they do on the field — either getting a hit, or being fast on the bases ( kind of like a deer with antlers).
We do know the story of the Claw can be traced back to Rangers Minor Leaguer Esteban German. German says he was just trying to be funny. One day during Spring Training, he put up his claw when someone got a hit. It was as if to high five his teammates from long distance. The claw stuck and made its way to Arlington. Soon Josh Hamilton was giving the claw after getting a hit — as if to give his teammates a high five.
The “antlers” are different. This is given when a player stretches a single into a double. Or if someone beats out a throw at the plate! The antlers represent speed. You hold both hands open above the ears to imitate a deer. Word is that Nelson Cruz started the antlers or at least made it popular. Apparently Hamilton shot a real buck with a bow-and-arrow and hung it (either a picture or the antlers itself “ this part of the story is unclear) between the two player's lockers. Cruz used it to inspire his teammates.
The claw and antlers have now taken on a mind of their own. You can purchase tee shirts with both images on the front. There are Facebook pages for the groups “The Claw and Antler Nation,” and the “Claw and Antlers Republic. And there's a song called Do the Claw that you can download on iTunes.
However you look at it, the claw and antlers have brought a team and a community together. It represents Rangers baseball and maybe, just maybe, it will inspire a World Series Championship! Go Rangers!
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