Saturday, September 22, 2018
  • The Heater
  • Marc Topkin

Rays Fan Fest includes games vs. players, clubhouse tours, food sampling, story-telling and more

The Rays have announced details for this Saturday's Fan Fest at Tropicana Field, with more than 30 current players and 50 former major-leaguers on hand.

Highlights include a 20th anniversary panel, featuring players from the 1998 Devil Rays and 2008 Rays teams; sampling of food from new concessionaire, Levy; competition with Rays players in tailgate-style games; Chris Archer and Steven Souza Jr. reading stories to kids; tours of the clubhouse; and a "yard sale" and game-used equipment  and other memorabilia.

The major-league alumni, headlined by Carlos Pena, will sign autographs for free, a select number of Rays players are signing for $20 each, with proceeds to the team's charitable foundation. A limited number of those passes are still available for Jake Faria, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Odorizzi, Mallex Smith and Blake Snell. See raysbaseball.com/fanfest to purchase, limit two per player.

The Fan Fest runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with free admission and parking.

Here is the team release on the event:

The 2018 Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest, presented by Tampa Bay Times, is set for this Saturday, February 10 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Rays Season Ticket Holders are granted early entry to Fan Fest beginning at 10 a.m. Admission and parking are free. Highlights for this year's Fan Fest include a 20th anniversary panel, featuring players from the 1998 Devil Rays and 2008 Rays teams, and food sampling with Rays new concession and retail partner, Levy. Over 80 current and former major league players and coaches are expected to attend, and will appear at various stations throughout the day along with mascots Raymond and DJ Kitty. A list of those expected to attend is included on the following page.

A limited number of autograph passes are still available for $20 each, exclusively online at raysbaseball.com/fanfest, for the following players: Jake Faria, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Odorizzi, Mallex Smith and Blake Snell. There is a purchase limit of two autograph passes per player. All proceeds from autograph sales benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, which focuses on youth and educational programming that make a measurable difference in the Tampa Bay region.

Among the free activities, fans are invited to take a tour of the Rays clubhouse facilities. More than 40 major league alumni will be signing autographs for free throughout the day. Also, fans have the opportunity to compete against Rays players at numerous tailgate games, including 22-player foosball, pop-a-shot, air hockey, giant Jenga, ping pong and more.

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 Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital 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. While there, kids ages 14 and under can sign up for a free membership or upgrade to the All-Star Membership for the Rays Rookies Kids Club, presented by Outback Steakhouse. For $20, the Rays Rookies All-Star Membership includes one ticket voucher to every Sunday home game, two meal vouchers, a jersey drawstring backpack, a baseball rope bracelet, membership card with lanyard and the exclusive opportunity to be part of the rewards program. Additionally, kids who sign up for an All-Star Membership at Rays Fan Fest will receive an Outback Steakhouse Lunch Box.

To promote Reading with the Rays, the club's summer reading program presented by Suncoast Credit Union and supported by Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education, Chris Archer and Steven Souza Jr. will read select stories on the Tampa General Hospital Main Stage. The Tampa General Hospital Main Stage will also host entertainment throughout the day. In addition, the stage will also feature "Rays Rookies" TV hosts Zach and Kayla, a Raymond entertainment show and panels with Rays coaches, broadcasters and team executives.

The Rays will use their social media accounts to give fans opportunities for team and player interaction and exclusive prizes through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat contests during Fan Fest. The team's official 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, to witness a live podcast recording of "Sports Day Tampa Bay," featuring Rick Stroud and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, and for photo opportunities with Rays trophies and awards, players and oversized emojis. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to play R.B.I. Baseball, take pictures in a photo booth and charge their cell phone at the phone-charging station at the Social Media Zone.

The Rays Charity Clubhouse Corner and Rays Charity Yard Sale return for an eighth consecutive year. In the Rays Charity Clubhouse Corner, fans can purchase unique, game-used and autographed memorabilia dating back to the Club's inaugural season. Other unique Rays items will be available in the Rays Charity Yard Sale for $5 each. All proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation. To date, Rays Fan Fest has raised more than $550,000, allowing the Foundation to continue to support youth and educational programming in the Tampa Bay region.

Fans may also register for a Tampa Bay Rays branded license plate. A portion of the proceeds from license plate sales benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation and the Florida Sports Foundation.

Representatives from the Rays Ticket Sales Department will be available to assist fans throughout the day in the purchase of Season Tickets, Flex Packs, group tickets, spring training tickets, party areas, suite rentals, business packages and special ticket offers. Season Ticket Holders will also be able to access the Republic Bank Draft Room—a club area which will feature a photo station to have their pictures taken with Rays players, complimentary refreshments and hors d'oeuvres, alumni player appearances and more. Season Ticket Holders will also receive a 15% discount at select merchandise stands.

Fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS or visit raysbaseball.com/FanFest for more information about 2018 Rays Fan Fest.

Here are the current Rays players scheduled to attend:
Willy Adames
Matt Andriese
Chris Archer
Jake Bauers
Kyle Bird
Nick Ciuffo
Jason Coats
José De León
Jake Faria
Johnny Field
Cody Hall
Adeiny Hechavarria
Brent Honeywell
Dan Jennings
Micah Johnson
Kevin Kiermaier
Andrew Kittredge
Adam Kolarek
Colton Murray
Jake Odorizzi
Austin Pruitt
Wilson Ramos
Daniel Robertson
Chaz Roe
Jaime Schultz
Mallex Smith
Blake Snell
Steven Souza Jr.
Denard Span
Ryne Stanek
Justin Williams
Kean Wong
Hunter Wood
Ryan Yarbrough

Coaches
Kevin Cash
Matt Quatraro
Kyle Snyder
Ozzie Timmons

And here is the list of major-league alumni scheduled to attend, former Devil Rays/Rays marked with an asterisk:

Craig Anderson
Jim Archer
Greg Blosser
Carl Boles
Dewon Brazelton*
Jim Bullinger
Ray Burris
Lance Carter*
Barry Cort
Casey Cox
Orestes Destrade
Mike Devereaux
Mike DiFelice*
Lee Elia
Lenny Faedo
Josh Fogg
Rich Folkers
John Frascatore
Wayne Garrett
Toby Hall*
Roberto Hernandez*
Rich Hinton
Tom Hume
Reggie Jefferson
Greg Jones
Darold Knowles
Aaron Ledesma*
Phil Mankowski
Seth McClung*
Andy McGaffigan
Trever Miller*
Lyle Mouton
John O'Donoghue
Carlos Peña*
Jim Perry
Gary Peters
Steve Ratzer
Bryan Rekar*
Rick Reichardt
Jason Romano*
Richie Scheinblum
Pete Smith
Brian Stokes*
Anthony Telford
Rich Thompson*
Brian Tollberg
Doug Waechter*
Mark Whiten

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