Tampa Bay mayors offer bet to Chicago's Daley
As the Rays got ready to play the Chicago White Sox, the mayors of St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater announced a friendly bet with Chicago’s mayor, Richard M. Daley.
In keeping with tradition, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard have put on the table, as it were, food specialties of the area as well as commemorative Cuesta-Rey cigars from Ybor City’s J.C. Newman Cigar Co.
“We have several boxes of these that we don’t want to send to Chicago, but we’re putting them on the table,’’ said Iorio, who sported a Rays pin.
Baker said a day like today would have seemed improbable nine months ago.
The announcement at the Mahaffey Theater, set against Tampa Bay, was paired with a display of local offerings such as a pitcher of Tropicana orange juice, coconut shrimp from Cha Cha Coconuts, 1905 salad from the Columbia Restaurant, key lime pie from the Vinoy, cookies from Margaret Ann’s Gourmet Cookies, locally roasted Kahwa Coffee and edible orchids from Greenbench Florists.
St. Petersburg contributed grouper sandwiches from Mid-Peninsula Seafood, and Clearwater offered stone crab claws from Frenchy’s and conch fritters from the Palm Pavilion.
Tampa offered up Cuban sandwiches from the Columbia restaurant along with the restaurant’s Spanish olives, salad dressing and Salsa Picante hot sauce.
“I think we have an ample meal for Mayor Daley that he will not have,’’ Baker quipped.
In a separate wager, the mayor of St. Petersburg will pledge beach gear, sunglasses and other items from St. Petersburg’s Transitions company and the Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater tourist agency for 150 children in the Boys and Girls Club. Daley is expected to pledge Wilson baseball gear.
Hibbard and Baker are Chicago natives. Baker said he’d opt for deep-dish pizza from Daley but will “take whatever the good mayor decides to send us."
Waveney Ann Moore, Times Staff Writer