Two great Tampa Bay Rays-centric events are taking place on Saturday ― Rays Fan Fest and Baseball Forever’s first pitch. Details for both exciting events follow below.
Rays Fan Fest 2016
Details via team press release:
The 2016 Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest presented by the Tampa Bay Times is set for for Saturday, February 27 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Season Ticket Holders are granted early entry to Fan Fest beginning at 10 a.m. Admission and parking are free.
Fan Fest will feature a number of exciting activities for kids including Reading with the Rays, presented by Suncoast Credit Union; speed pitch, batting cages and home run derby in the All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine Kids Interactive Zone; and baseball clinics in the infield, Kids Run the Bases and a high five station with Rays players, courtesy of Sagicor Life Insurance Company. Rays players, coaches and mascots Raymond and DJ Kitty will appear at various stations throughout the day.
Fans are encouraged to visit the Bright House Networks Phone-A-Friend stage in center field from 1-3 p.m. to have a Rays player call a friend or family member and receive the most up-to-date information on Bright House Networks Products. This year, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, Curt Casali and Richie Shaffer are scheduled to participate in Phone-A-Friend.
The Rays will use their social media accounts to give fans even more opportunities for team and player interaction and exclusive prizes through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat contests during Fan Fest. The team’s main Twitter account-@RaysBaseball-will serve as a communication hub where fans can get up-to-date information on events happening throughout the day and answers to questions about Fan Fest. Fans can also visit the Social Media Zone presented by tampabay.com for photo opportunities with Rays trophies and awards, players and oversized emojis.
To promote “Reading with the Rays,” the club’s summer reading program presented by Suncoast Credit Union and supported by the Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education, Rays players will read select stories on the Pepsi Stage. The Pepsi Stage will also host entertainment throughout the day. Rays Manager Kevin Cash and Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons will be on hand for Q-and-A sessions. In addition, the stage will also feature panels with Rays coaches, broadcasters, prospects and team officials.
Fans will have the opportunity to win premium prizes through enter-to-win contests drawn on the hour during Fan Fest. Prizes include an iPad mini presented by Bright House Networks; a set of four new tires presented by Kauffman Tire; a complimentary one-night stay plus food and beverage credit presented by the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club; a 43-inch TV, an iPad mini and an Apple TV unit presented by CDW; and a golf foursome presented by the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota.
Representatives from the Rays Ticket Sales Department will be available to assist fans throughout the day in the purchase of ticket plans, group tickets, spring training tickets, party area and suite rentals. The first 200 people to purchase a Big 22 Plan at Fan Fest will receive an autographed Kevin Kiermaier print. Rays Season Ticket Holders will be able to access an exclusive photo station to have their pictures taken with Rays players. Season Ticket Holders will also receive a credit loaded onto their Rays Card that can be used on concessions and merchandise on the day of Fan Fest. Tours will be given of the Draft Room, a new club for Season Ticket Holders, for a first look at the renovations and to learn more about what the club will offer.
For a sixth year, the Rays Charity Yard Sale will feature unique, game-used and autographed memorabilia dating back to the club’s inaugural season. All proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation. Proceeds from Don Zimmer collectables will benefit the Clearwater for Youth Don Zimmer Memorial Scholarship Fund for local high school seniors. An autograph station featuring more than 40 former major league players will also be available throughout the day to kids 14 and under and fans who purchased Rays player-specific autograph passes in advance at raysbaseball.com. Autograph passes have already sold out and will not be available for purchase at Fan Fest.
The Rays Charity Yard Sale and autograph sales at the 2015 Rays Fan Fest raised more than $110,000 for the ALS Association Florida Chapter and the Rays Baseball Foundation.
Fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS or visit raysbaseball.com/FanFest for more information about 2016 Rays Fan Fest.
Baseball Forever’s first pitch
While you’re in the vicinity of the Trop, head over to Ferg’s at 5:00 pm for Baseball Forever’s first pitch. Per the official website, the Baseball Forever Campaign is an initiative of the City of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, residents, and fans of the Tampa Bay Rays to keep the team in St. Petersburg.
Mayor Kriseman will hand out 200 ‘Baseball Forever’ t-shirts to fans who believe Downtown St. Petersburg should be the forever home of the Tampa Bay Rays.