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Tampa Bay Rays add several new features to annual FanFest

ST. PETERSBURG — The new features at Saturday's Rays FanFest include the opportunity to buy some old items, such as autographed memorabilia and game-used equipment going back to the 1998 inaugural season and squares of the champagne-soaked championship carpet and the previous FieldTurf playing surface.

Admission and parking are free, with the event running 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Autographs from Rays players and coaches are available free to season-ticket holders and kids 14 and under; for others it's a $40 donation to charity.

Proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation, the families of slain St. Petersburg police offers Thomas Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz, the ALS Association and the Salvation Army Centers in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Bradenton.

Among the highlights:

• Yard sale: Includes game-used and autographed bats, baseballs, jerseys, batting helmets and lineup cards, champagne bottles from 2008 playoff celebrations, game tickets from Matt Garza's no-hitter and autographed clubhouse player nameplates.

• Carpet/turf: 1-foot squares of FieldTurf and clubhouse carpet from the 2010 playoff clinching celebration for $25.

• Lunch: With manager Joe Maddon, who will serve the spaghetti, meatballs, sausage and pierogies he does at his annual Thanksmas meal, from 1:30-3:30. Limited tickets are $30/$10 for kids in advance through raysbaseball.com, $40/$15 at the door.

• Chat: With Fox Sports expert Ken Rosenthal, 4-5 p.m.

• Free autographs: 40 former big-leaguers signing throughout day.

• Story time: Players will read stories to kids as part of the Reading with the Rays program.

• High fives: Kids running the bases with get a high five from players when they cross home.

• Miscellany: Batting cages, speed pitch, Wiffle Ball, steal home, national anthem auditions, panel discussions, call-a-friend with a player, kids-only clubhouse tour and news conference.

>>fast facts

Rays FanFest 2011

When/where: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

Cost: Admission and parking are free.

For more information: Call toll-free 1-888-326-7297 or visit raysbaseball.com.

Tampa Bay Rays add several new features to annual FanFest 02/15/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 10:56pm]
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