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Rays arrange for first-pitch family reunion at opener

2

March

As part of their military appreciation events, the Rays arranged for one of those touching first-pitch reunions Wednesday where the kids doing the honors got a huge surprise.

Patrick Jackson, a Port Charlotte High grad who served 21 years, caught the toss, then went toward the mound and took off his mask, much to the unexpected delight of Isaiah (7) and Fallon (5).

"That was awesome," Jackson said. "I don't think I could ever imagine anything as beautiful as what happened today. It was just an awesome situation. I appreciate what the Tampa Bay Rays did for me, for my family."

Jackson had been at Fort Bragg, and is soon headed overseas.

"They were kind of just like, 'Daddy I thought you were gone, I thought you were leaving already. I didn't know you were going to be here. I missed you.'" Jackson said.

Jackson was greeted warmly by the Rays players as well, who took pictures with him and thanked him for his service.

Jackson said he was moved enough to become more of a fan.

"It definitely inspired me to watch more baseball," he said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 4:42pm]

    

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