By Nancy Visser

The Dallas Morning News

Alyne McCormick is a huge Texas Rangers fan. But will she ever see her beloved Rangers go to the World Series?

Given that she was born in 1903 — the year of the first official World Series — that had better happen soon.

“This year is probably the best chance we’ve had in a long time,” said Joe Macko, the Rangers’ goodwill ambassador, who was on hand when McCormick turned 106 on Tuesday. Her birthday was celebrated at Autumn Leaves, a retirement community at White Rock Lake.

McCormick lived on her own until 101 in Blooming Grove, a town between Hillsboro and Corsicana. When she moved to Autumn Leaves, she asked her children, “Do I look like I belong with these old people?”

Since then, she’s settled into the lakeside community.

Born Millie Alyne Youngblood in Tyler, she was one of six children of a Baptist minister and his wife. She got her teaching certificate from what is now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and taught first grade until she married Robert Bruce McCormick. Married women weren’t allowed to teach in those days, said her daughter, Carolyn Beene, 71, of Dallas. (Beene, incidentally, had to stop teaching in Arlington in the ‘60s when she got pregnant.)

Bruce and Alyne McCormick raised their four children in Blooming Grove, where Bruce owned and ran a funeral home.

When her husband died at 86, Alyne McCormick continued to live in their home in Blooming Grove. At 98, she quit driving. At 99, she stopped mowing her own yard. At 101, she got sick for a bit and had to have some help come in. That’s when she realized that she might need to move where she could get some assistance.

“She made it pretty easy on us. She was pretty gracious about it,” Beene said.

McCormick uses a wheelchair now and has difficulty talking, but she said she’s happy and points out that she’s never broken a bone. Beene said her mother attributes her longevity to “moderation in everything.”

She fills her days reading (she loves mysteries) and watching Dr. Phil (she doesn’t approve of the people on the show.) “Husbands quitting their wives for other women,” she said, with a dark look crossing her face. “I don’t like it.” But she likes to hear Dr. Phil dispense the advice.

She doesn’t have cable but watches the Rangers when she can.

Beene said her parents were baseball fans who figured they would have to go to Kansas City to see a major league game. Then the Rangers came to Arlington, where their son lived, and they would baby-sit the grandkids by taking them to ballgames.

Macko, 81, who was a professional player for 16 years and an equipment manager for the Rangers for many years, said he planned to bring McCormick some Rangers paraphernalia for her birthday — and plenty of baseball talk.

By the way, that first World Series? The Boston Americans beat the Pittsburgh Pirates five games to three.

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