For almost two decades, Max Pierre played his sax outside sporting events in Tampa Bay, serenading fans attending Rays, Lightning or Bucs games with tunes like Tequila, and the themes to The Pink Panther and The Flintstones. “Bust a move,” Pierre would say in between notes, earning tips that most would drop into the open saxophone case at his feet and the inevitable attention of those who heard his music, sometimes dancing or singing along, always smiling.

Sunday, the Rays held a moment of silence to pay tribute to several people connected to the organization who passed away during the offseason, including Max, who died Jan. 5

“The Rays have been incredible,” said Dennis Pierre, Max’s cousin.

The Rays reached out to the Pierre family, inviting them to the game and making sure they had as many tickets as they needed. Dennis Pierre came down from Atlanta with Max’s 85-year-old mother, Elsie Pierre, and his childhood friend, Queen Jones. Several of Max’s local friends also attended the game in his honor.

Dennis is not sure why Max moved down to Tampa Bay, but he remembers him playing his sax outside Reds games in his hometown of Cincinnati. Dennis thinks the move to Florida had a lot to do with the weather, because he recalls Max saying he needed to “do this year-round.”

After Max’s death, Dennis says Elsie was flooded with condolences from the many friends and fans in Tampa Bay who sent photos, videos and even CDs he’d recorded.

“We were humbled and taken aback by how the community loved him,” said Dennis, adding that it was no surprise considering Max’s personality, which he described as “genuine, authentic.”

When Dennis saw the Tampa Bay Times story about Max’s death posted to Facebook, he read the many comments and was touched.“

I sent my family to that (post), to see that,” Dennis said. “I’m glad (Elsie) is able to see it.”

The Rays hosted the Houston Astros on Sunday. But before the first pitch, before the national anthem, the faces of the deceased flashed on the jumbotron, and among them was Max’s. Fans stood during the slideshow and after it finished, many bowed their heads and were silent. A still, quiet remembering for Max, who liked to “bust a move.”

Max Pierre plays the saxophone outside Tropicana Field on June 26, 2018. MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times
Max Pierre plays the saxophone outside Tropicana Field on June 26, 2018. MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times
Max Pierre sits on a bench along 7th Avenue in Ybor City, Tampa, playing his Soprano Saxophone. Originally from Cincinnati, Pierre has been living in Tampa for the last 5 years.
Max Pierre sits on a bench along 7th Avenue in Ybor City, Tampa, playing his Soprano Saxophone. Originally from Cincinnati, Pierre has been living in Tampa for the last 5 years. "I do it cause I love it," Pierre said. "The people are very receptive and it's always fun interacting with the children." Times (2006)
Max Pierre plays the saxophone outside Tropicana Field as fans leave the stadium, in the parking lot directly in front of gate 5. Many recognize him and wave hello. Some give him the final score of the game, stop to chat and sig along.
Max Pierre plays the saxophone outside Tropicana Field as fans leave the stadium, in the parking lot directly in front of gate 5. Many recognize him and wave hello. Some give him the final score of the game, stop to chat and sig along. "Go Rays!" he shouts, between gulps of air while playing his rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times
Friends and family of saxophonist Max Pierre, including Queen Jones, Dennis Pierre and Max's mom, Elsie Pierre, laugh during the Tampa Bay Rays game against the Houston Astros on March 31, 2019 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Some of Max's family came down from Cincinnati for the game since Max was included in an In Memoriam presentation before the start of the game. MONICA HERNDON | Times
Friends and family of saxophonist Max Pierre, including Queen Jones, Dennis Pierre and Max's mom, Elsie Pierre, laugh during the Tampa Bay Rays game against the Houston Astros on March 31, 2019 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Some of Max's family came down from Cincinnati for the game since Max was included in an In Memoriam presentation before the start of the game. MONICA HERNDON | Times
Friends and family of saxophonist Max Pierre, including (left to right) William Hash, Paul Diaz, Queen Jones, Dennis Pierre and Max's mom, Elsie Pierre, pose for a photo during the Tampa Bay Rays game against the Houston Astros on March 31, 2019 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Some of Max's family came down from Cincinnati for the game since Max was included in an In Memoriam presentation before the start of the game. MONICA HERNDON | Times
Friends and family of saxophonist Max Pierre, including (left to right) William Hash, Paul Diaz, Queen Jones, Dennis Pierre and Max's mom, Elsie Pierre, pose for a photo during the Tampa Bay Rays game against the Houston Astros on March 31, 2019 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Some of Max's family came down from Cincinnati for the game since Max was included in an In Memoriam presentation before the start of the game. MONICA HERNDON | Times