Every team has superfans, and while all of them are special in their own way, there was no superfan like Sister Frances Evans. Sister Frances was a nun and possibly the biggest Texas Rangers fan ever, and she sadly died on Friday at age 90.
While you might think that Sister Frances went to every game at Globe Life Park in a full nun’s habit, she didn’t. (Considering that the stadium doesn’t have a roof and it can get pretty hot there, you can’t blame her.) But she did something at every game that was just as memorable: she would bang on a drum at her seat, which let all the players know that she was there. She was a fixture at the ballpark (she’d been going to games since the Rangers moved to Arlington in 1972), and Rangers staff and players all got to know her — and the beat of her drum.
Derek Holland spent eight years with the Rangers, and even though he’s with the Chicago White Sox now he wanted to pay tribute to Sister Frances. He started with an Instagram post.
Fans of Arlington we take a time to remember someone special and for me she was around to see my whole career in texas and wish I could of got to see her more. Very passionate and loving lady to the texas rangers and always would hear her bang that drum. Hope to see the traditional drum banging when I come to texas. But this is a lady who will be missed and is in my eyes a member of the Texas rangers. Thanks for being a great and loving fan of not only the game but the texas rangers. As I do with my granny I will be writing her name on the back of the mound tomorrow to pay my respects. #bangthatdrum #sisterfrancis #restinpeace #thankyou #rangernation #whitesoxnation
A post shared by Derek Holland (@dutchoven45) on Jul 22, 2017 at 9:10pm PDT
Holland’s sentiments are lovely, and as he said in his post, he found another way to remember Sister Frances. Before he started against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday, Holland wrote two names on the back of the pitchers mound: granny, for his grandmother who died this spring, and Sister Frances.
Here’s what Holland told MLB.com about Sister Frances:
“She was at every single game,” Holland told MLB.com’s Scott Merkin. “She always had a drum, she would always beat it. It was really cool as a player to hear that — you knew it was her. Unfortunately, she passed away and I wanted to make sure she got the recognition she deserved. Obviously I’m on a different team but respect is where it’s made and she deserves that. My prayers are up with her family and everyone affected by it.”
Holland’s tribute was altogether wonderful, but it also reminds fans everywhere that just because a player leaves a team, it doesn’t mean he stops having connections with that team. Sister Frances meant a lot to Holland while he played there, and even though he’s not with Texas anymore, his tribute showed that the Rangers will always be part of who he is.
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