Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Postseason logo symbolizes playoff hopes for Tropicana Field workers

Tropicana Field’s grounds crew works Friday to prepare the field for Monday night’s American League Division Series playoff game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox. The starting time is 6 p.m. for Game 3 of the series.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Tropicana Field’s grounds crew works Friday to prepare the field for Monday night’s American League Division Series playoff game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox. The starting time is 6 p.m. for Game 3 of the series.

As Tampa Bay Rays fans scrambled for playoff tickets Friday afternoon, a slower, more methodical preparation began inside Tropicana Field.

The postseason logo started as a plastic stencil. It became a series of white dashes, then a few formed letters, then a splash of crisp blue and red lines.

"This right here," field foreman Mike Deubel said, pointing toward the evolving shape, "says you're in the playoffs."

Deubel helped paint the Rays' first-ever team logo in 1998. Ten years later, he put a World Series version on the field. In 2010, he laid out a postseason logo, and sprayed down another in 2011.

This year, like the others, he stenciled in the letters and shaded them freehand with a spray-painting machine. The field isn't air-conditioned unless there's a game, and Deubel dripped sweat into the paint as he filled in the flags.

It took his three-man crew hours to finish two versions, along the first-and third-base lines. Without air conditioning, the field has little air flow so the paint would need to dry at least overnight.

Three of the logo's shades came in new from Major League Baseball. The reds and whites were left over from past games. All were collected a week before they knew for sure they'd need them.

"We kind of stuck it in a back room and didn't look at it," Deubel said.

Superstition kept him from touching the MLB stencil, too, until Friday morning.

Deubel usually works while the Rays play, so he never sees a game live. When he's finished, he goes home to his family. But he said it's impossible to be in this place without feeling like you're part of the team.

Claire Wiseman can be reached at (727) 893-8804 or cwiseman@tampabay.com.

Playoff party is Monday

The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox will face off Monday in the 2013 American League Division Series at Tropicana Field, scheduled for 6 p.m. Four hours before the game, Central Avenue will be closed from 13th to 15th streets for a block party with tents, DJs and fans excited about the Red Sox and Rays' first postseason meeting since 2008. (The upstart Rays knocked off the defending champion Red Sox in the AL Championship Series that year). Ferg's Sports Bar and the city of St. Petersburg are hosting the free party to kick things off, and you don't need a game ticket to join the party. "If you can't get a ticket, come here," owner Mark Ferguson said.

Postseason logo symbolizes playoff hopes for Tropicana Field workers 10/04/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 4, 2013 11:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the warm response from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute were proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings, allowing 15 hits and 11 runs while lasting just seven innings total.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Oleg Sosunov, competing in the Lightning’s preseason opener, is a 6-foot-8 defense-man whom Phil Esposito jokes can reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494