Now that the Texas Rangers have won a post-season series for the first time, they get to play the team that has won more than any other.
Bring on the New York Yankees, who have 27 World Series titles and 40 American League pennants.
"We feel like we can play baseball with anyone," Ron Washington, the Rangers manager, said.
"We only can blaze our own trail right now, and every time we do something that's good, it adds to the history of the Texas Rangers."
Game 1 of the AL Championship Series is tonight at Rangers Ballpark.
The Rangers reached the play-offs three times in the early 1990s, and were knocked out in the first round every time. The team who beat them? New York. Every time.
The Yankees went on to win the World Series in each of those years and have a nine-game post-season winning streak against Texas.
"This is a different group of guys, and they have a lot of confidence," Washington said. "We're not shocked by anything. We're here because we believe and belong here."
These Rangers can run. They can pitch. And they can still hit home runs.
Their victory over Tampa Bay in Game 5 of the division series illustrated all three - twice, runners scored from second base on infield grounders; ace left-hander Cliff Lee allowed only one run and Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer to top off a 5-1 victory.
"We're confident. We don't care who we go up against," said Michael Young, the longest-serving Rangers player, in his 10th season. "We know we're good and we believe in ourselves."
New York and Texas split eight meetings during the regular season, but the Rangers won four of five at home including a three-game sweep last month.
As AL West champions, the Rangers have home-field advantage over the wild-card Yankees for this series.
"The three games we played them here in September," Washington said, "proved that we could play with those guys."
Nolan Ryan, the Rangers' president, agreed. "We played the Yankees well and so I think that we can meet the Yankees head on and compete with them," he said.
"Normally in this league you pretty much have to go through New York if you're going to go somewhere past this. So, I think our guys anticipated that and I think they're ready for it."
The Rangers acquired Lee in July, in anticipation of games like the one he pitched against Tampa Bay in the final game of their first-round series. He struck out 11 while improving to 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA and three complete games in seven career post-season starts.
"He did exactly what I used to watch him do when I was sitting at home during the play-offs," Washington said.
Since Lee pitched on Tuesday, he will not be able to pitch against the Yankees until Game 3 in New York on Monday night. But that also puts him in position to pitch in Game 7, if the series goes that far.
CJ Wilson, the left-hander, will start Game 1 for Texas against CC Sabathia. Wilson won 15 games during the regular season, but was 0-1 with a 5.65 ERA in three starts against the Yankees.
American League Championship Series
Texas v New York
Game 1: Today at Texas
Game 2: Tomorrow at Texas
Game 3: Monday at New York
Game 4: Tuesday at New York
Game 5: Wednesday at New York*
Game 6: October 22 at Texas*
Game 7: October 23 at Texas*
* if necessary