ARLINGTON, Texas (WTVA) - After an offseason without a contract, Weir-native Roy Oswalt landed with the Texas Rangers on May 29th, making his debut with the club on June 22nd against Colorado.
Oswalt had played in the state of Texas earlier in his career, but had never played a game as a member of the American League.
"I played [in Texas] nine years with Houston, had a great time, we got to go to the World Series," Oswalt told WTVA. "Won a lot of games with Houston. Played in Philly for two years, had a great time out there. They're a first-class organization. It's been fun.
"It's my first time in the American League so I'm trying to get used to not hitting the other pitcher, but it's been a lot of fun and a little bit of adjustment here and there, but hopefully I'll get back into the playoffs and we'll see what happens."
Oswalt began his 2012 season with back-to-back wins, but ran into trouble shortly after his debut. After his debut against the Rockies, Oswalt gave up 24 earned runs in his next 28 innings on the mound before being placed in the Texas bullpen.
Still, Oswalt is happy he landed in Arlington.
"We don't really have an out in the lineup. Any time you've got a ninth-place hitter that is usually a number four, number five on other squads, you've got a pretty good lineup. Great team, great teammates. First class, we have fun with each other, and that's all of them. A lot of times you get into a bad clubhouse where guys don't really, you know, after the game they kind of go their separate ways, they don't really go hang out. It's been great so far."
One of the keys to the Rangers lineup is outfielder Josh Hamilton. For Oswalt, he's happy to be on the same team as the five-time All-Star.
"Yeah, Josh has been great since I've been here. Had to face him for a little while when he was with Cincinnati and he moved over here from Cincinnati and I didn't see him too much except for interleague play with the Astros. Everybody's been great."
Playing with the Rangers also allows the Weir-native to play alongside another native-Mississippian, Amory-native and former Mississippi State Bulldog Mitch Moreland.
"It's the first time I got to play - well second time, I got to play with Jay Powell with the Astros for a couple of years - but it's the first time I've had a Mississippi guy around for the last, probably, six or seven years. It's been good. We're trying to line up a dove hunt right now for September if we have a day off. I'm trying to get him to pull some strings around here and see if we can find a place to shoot."
"It's been a lot of fun," said Moreland. "We've probably talked hunting more than we've talked baseball, but just getting to know him. I guess I came up kind of idolizing him because he was a fellow Mississippi guy that's had so much success in the Major Leagues and really showed that it's possible to make it happen for somebody from our area, a young kid in our area. It was good to finally get to meet him and especially play on the same team as him and I kind of look up to him."
Roy Oswalt did not appear in August 10th's contest against the Detroit Tigers when WTVA was in attendance, a game the Rangers lost 6-2.
Oswalt started for the Rangers on August 18th, pitching 4.2 innings and striking out five while giving up just one earned run. Still, the 34-year-old is likely headed back to the bullpen when Ryan Dempster returns to the rotation.
Oswalt's earned run average for the year is still nearly twice his career ERA, but he hopes that he can provide the help the Rangers need to get back to the World Series for a third consecutive year.
Next week, we take a closer look at former Mississippi State Bulldog Mitch Moreland as the Texas Baseball Road Tour wraps up.