Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rays: Yes, more please!

Tropicana Field has engaged fans, air conditioning, a hitting Hall of Fame, good food, an entertaining baseball team, and a fan friendly ballpark.  I would buy season tickets, and the scary thing is that they are affordable!

We saw a 4-0 shutout of the rival Boston Red Sox, featuring a formerly beloved Carl Crawford (last year was a Ray and left for Boston for big $$$).  Crawford was booed each time he came to bat and then promptly cheered each time he was retired.  Good stuff!

We sat in the upper deck behind some season ticket holders. They were probably in the 60s, but they were an absolute hoot.  They were very into the game and not afraid to get behind their team.

We spent time before the game in the Ted Williams and Hitters Hall of Fame which is located in Tropicana Field.  On display there were numerous Ted Williams items, a player contract signed by Babe Ruth, and then different exhibits on the best hitters of the game.  No Ryne Sandberg material, but Andre Dawson was represented!

Jeff: trying to lose a finger.
During the 5th inning Jeff and I ventured out to the Fish Tank in right-center field and were able to feed and pet the rays.  There were two large southern rays and probably a dozen or so bullnose rays.  Plus, the tank had two horseshoe crabs that I was allowed to pick up off the bottom of the tank!  Pretty cool experience: only ballpark I know of that has a petting zoo!

The makings of a rally were in place in the eighth inning and during a Red Sox pitching change DJ Kitty made an appearance on the jumbotron in right field.  He did his thing for a good minute and it was a riot. He's almost a dead ringer for Gus!  Checkout the youtube video if you get a chance.

Overall, it was a great experience, and if I was forced to retire in Florida, it would definitely be in the Tampa/St.Petersburg area! 

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