Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Obama visit a hit with Rays players

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama is joined on stage by members of the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Pitcher David Price introduced Obama.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama is joined on stage by members of the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Pitcher David Price introduced Obama.

TAMPA — Barack Obama has political stars fanning across Florida on his behalf this week, but none with the glow of those hugging him Monday in Tampa: members of the World Series-bound Tampa Bay Rays.

"What an exciting day for Tampa Bay," outfielder Fernando Perez told thousands of Obama supporters at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the morning after winning the pennant.

"We can change the nation, but people like you need to help us do it. Barack Obama will take this country in a new direction, but we're going to have to make sure that every voice is heard," said Perez, joined on stage by teammates Carl Crawford, Cliff Floyd, Jonny Gomes, Edwin Jackson and David Price, who introduced the Democratic nominee.

Obama congratulated the team and appeared thrilled, despite being a devoted White Sox fan.

"I have said from the beginning that I'm a unity candidate, bringing people together. So when you see a White Sox fan showing some love for the Rays and the Rays showing some love back, you know we're onto something here," Obama said to cheers.

Obama noted that Tampa Bay Buccaneer Earnest Graham was also at the rally, and he joked that he had considered getting a mohawk as a show of solidarity with the Rays. "But my political advisers said they weren't sure how that would play with swing voters," Obama said.

Price said "it was cool" to introduce Obama, whom he described as "very knowledgeable, nice guy, good people skills."

Price kept it short and sweet: "Now please welcome the next president of the United States, Barack Obama!"

The surprise partisan appearance by several Rays players prompted some complaint calls to the team, but it's unlikely management will be bent out of shape.

Principal owner Stu Sternberg wrote a $2,000 check to Obama in April, and Rays president Matthew Silverman donated $1,000 to Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor, co-chair of the Obama campaign in Florida.

Staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

Obama visit a hit with Rays players 10/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 24, 2008 6:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New Port Richey restaurant worker shoots attacker

    Crime

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A restaurant kitchen worker shot and injured a man who entered the business and began beating him Saturday, according to New Port Richey Police.

    Vince Angelety, 29, of New Port Richey faces a charge of burglary with simple battery. He remained in the Land O'Lakes Detention Center on Monday, held without bail. [Photo courtesy of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Romano: Florida loves its troopers, right up until payday

    Politics

    Holy smoke, did you see the starting salary figures for Florida Highway Patrol officers outlined in a recent Tampa Bay Times story?

    Florida Highway Patrol troopers secure the scene after a fatal accident in Orange County earlier this year. [Red Huber | Orlando Sentinel via AP]
  3. Memorial Day sales not enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay malls

    Retail

    TAMPA — Memorial Day sales at Tampa Bay area malls were not enough to compete with the beach and backyard barbecues this holiday weekend.

    Memorial Day sales weren't enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay area malls over the long weekend. 
[JUSTINE GRIFFIN | Times]
  4. Austin software company acquires second Tampa business

    Corporate

    Austin, Tex.-based Asure Software acquired Tampa's Compass HRM Inc. late last week for $6 million. Compass focuses on HR and payroll.

    [Company photo]
  5. Hackers hide cyberattacks in social media posts

    Business

    SAN FRANCISCO — It took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. But the attack didn't come through an email or a file buried within a seemingly innocuous document.

    Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr, former NSA employees and co-founders of Synack, a cybersecurity company, in their office in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2013. While last year's hacking of senior Democratic Party officials raised awareness of the damage caused if just a handful of employees click on the wrong emails, few people realize that a message on Twitter or Facebook could give an attacker similar access to their system. 
[New York Times file photo]