Today's secret celebrity Rays fan: Cheap Trick's Robin Zander
Cheap Trick is one of the most iconic Chicago rock bands of all time. So when singer Robin Zander showed up last week at a music event at The Club at Treasure Island, he was wearing ... a Rays cap?
“I think they’re going to go to the Series,” Zander said. “Go Rays.”
Over the past couple of years, we’ve gotten to know some of the Rays’ few celebrity fans, like John Cena, Hulk Hogan, Dick Vitale and We the Kings. But Cheap Trick and Chicago are inseparable in the mind of rock fans. Zander can’t be a Rays fan, can he?
“I’m a huge Rays fan, and I have been since I moved here,” he said. “The Cubs will always be near and dear to my heart, but I’m a believer in supporting your local team.”
Zander, who lives in Safety Harbor, has longtime Tampa Bay ties, living here since the early ’90s, and visiting frequently since the mid-’80s. His wife, Pam, is from Pinellas Park, and his children — son Robin, 17, and daughter Robin-Sailor, 9 — have grown up here.
The Zanders have partial season tickets — it’s tough to attend many games during the summer when dad’s bread and butter comes from touring arenas nationwide — but Zander follows the team and goes to games when he can. He’s performed the national anthem at the Trop, performed at a “Rays Beach Bash” and thrown out the first pitch.
“It’s funny,” Zander said. “Of course, we’re all Cubs fans, but our favorite teams are not Chicago teams.” Bassist Tom Peterson, he said, is a Giants fan.
Heaven forbid the Rays and Giants end up meeting in the World Series. Just more salt in the wound for long-suffering Cubs fans.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: Scott Keeler, tbt*