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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Baker, council consider getting Rays' mohawk



ST. PETERSBURG-- The City Council will shave their heads in a Mohawk if the Tampa Bay Rays make the World Series, Mayor Rick Baker jokingly promised Wednesday.

But Baker, who sports a short salt-and-pepper haircut, said he won't commit to his own haircut without permission from his wife.

"I'm in discussions with my wife on the issue," Baker said, who later added, "I might not have enough hair for one."

Council Chairman Jamie Bennett said his wife told him he has to get a Mohawk if the Rays win the World Series.

The Mohawk pledge came up during a press conference Wednesday as Baker and Bennett revealed the city's baseball celebration plans.

"For our city, for our region, for our state, it's a dream come true," said Baker of the team getting into the playoffs. "I've watched Field of Dreams a hundred times... I believe in happy endings."

The highlights:

  • The city will proclaim 2008 the "Year of the Rays" at a future city council meeting. Beginning next week, the council will begin every meeting by singing "Take me Out to the Ballgame" until baseball season ends.
  • The Pier will sport the Rays' colors until the post-season is over.
  • The city will provide banners and posters that read "St. Pete Loves the Rays" to fans.
  • The city is sponsoring a ticket contest. Submit a 100-word statement on why the Rays are your favorite team at The winner gets two playoff tickets and a $100 gift certificate to the Rays' gift shop.
  • The city will host a welcoming ceremony for the team when they return home Sunday at 8 p.m. at St. Petersburg/ Clearwater International Airport.

Meanwhile, Tampa is getting in on the action with their own celebration Friday, dubbed "Tampa Bay Rays Day." The city will host a free viewing party of Friday's Rays against the Detroit Tigers game at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park. Team mascot Raymond will be there at 6:30 p.m. with a game start of 7:05 p.m.   

And the Rays are holding their own party Monday at 5 p.m. at Straub Park. It will feature live music and appearances from the players, said spokesman Rick Vaughn.

So is Mayor Pam Iorio also jumping on the RayHawk bandwagon?

"I’m sure not," she said, laughing. "I have enough trouble with my hair without turning it into a Mohawk."

-Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:36am]


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