Make us your home page

Details on Saturday's Rays FanFest



UPDATE, 3:15: Carlos Pena will not be able to attend, as he had to fly to the Dominican Republic for an unexpected family matter.  ... An updated version (including the 2011 season) of James Shields' book, September Nights, will be available for $16, and is pre-signed by Shields.

BREAKING: The Rays annual FanFest is set for Saturday at Tropicana Field, doors open 10-5 with free admission and parking.

Among the key points:

* Additional activities involving interaction with players and staff have been added, including clinics by Rays coaches, “Reading with the Rays,” running the bases, call-a-friend, and a "high five" area. There will also be panel discussions featuring players, coaches, broadcasters and media. Also, tours of the Rays clubhouse and a "yard sale" of game-used, autographed and collectible items, with proceeds benefitting the team's charitable foundation.

* Wristbands to get autographs will cost $50 - for all ages, a change from past years - with proceeds going to the Florida chapter of the ALS Association. Most, but not all, attending players are scheduled to sign. Here is the schedule, subject to change:

10:30-11:30 a.m:  Ryan Reid, Tim Beckham, Jeff Keppinger, Ricky Orta, Kyle Farnsworth

11:30 a.m - 12:30 p.m: Brandon Guyer, Burke Badenhop, Robinson Chirinos, Brandon Gomes, Matt Mangini
12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m: J.P. Howell, Matt Joyce, Wade Davis, Sean Rodriguez, Jose Molina
1:15-1:45 p.m:  Evan Longoria, Don Zimmer, Jeremy Hellickson

1:45-2:30 p.m:  Chris Archer, Carlos Peña, Desmond Jennings, Alex Cobb, Matt Moore
2:30-3 p.m:  B.J. Upton, James Shields, David Price
3-4 p.m:  Luke Scott, Fernando Rodney, Cesar Ramos, Jose Lobaton, Josh Lueke
 4-4:45 p.m: Nevin Ashley,  Romulo Sanchez,  Stephen Vogt,  Craig Albernaz
Also, the Rays TV and radio broadcasters will be available to sign autographs for no charge.
* More than 30 former major-leaguers - including Ron LeFlore, Buck Martinez, Roberto Hernandez, Orestes Destrade, Dick Drago, Jose Cardenal - will be signing autographs for free during the day.

That schedule (also subject to change):

10-11 am: Bill Helper, Jeff D'Amico, Brian Tollberg,  Eric Knott,  Bill Nahorodny,  Ken Frailing, Wayne Garrett,  Casey Cox,  Dick Lines,  Rich Folkers, Tom Hume, Bill DeMars.

12:30-1:30: Orestes Destrade, Tom Neidenfuer, Andy McGaffigan, Jim Archer, Darold Knowles, Jimmy Stewart, Bruce Howard, John O'Donohue, Anthony Telford, Jose Cardenal, Jim Perry, Dick Drago

Carl Boles, Doug Waechter, Bryan Rekar, Buck Martinez, Scott Winchester, Mark Whiten, Jason Romano, Travis Phelps, Glenn Beckert, Roberto Hernandez, Al Brice, Richie Scheinblum, Ron LeFlore
* MLB alumni - including former Rays Doug Waechter, Bryan Rekar, Travis Phelps and Jason Romano - will participate in a wiffle ball game from 12:30-1:15, along with Kevin Maris (son of Roger).

* The only rostered Rays players not scheduled to be there due to scheduling issues are 2B/RF Ben Zobrist, RHP Joel Peralta and SS Hak-Ju Lee.

* Special FanFest ticket packages, including the April 6 opener and the choice of 7 other games, will be sold. (There is also a 20-percent discount off the autograph price, packages are available via through Saturday.)


[Last modified: Friday, March 16, 2012 12:39am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours