Former Rays star Chris Archer pitches in to help All Children’s

Archer, who is now with the Pirates, arranged for coffee and pastries from local shops to be delivered to hospital staff.
Chris Archer no longer is with the Tampa Bay Rays, but still has a home in St. Petersburg.
Chris Archer no longer is with the Tampa Bay Rays, but still has a home in St. Petersburg. [ KEVIN SULLIVAN | ]
Published April 3, 2020

Stories about the coronavirus pandemic are free to read as a public service at If this coverage is important to you, consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Tampa Bay Times at

• • •

ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer hasn’t pitched for the Rays since July 2018, but he still has a connection to the Tampa Bay area.

And he showed that Thursday, arranging for coffee, bagels and pastries to be delivered to the staff at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

Related: Here's why Rays made a big donation to help Feeding Tampa Bay

Archer spent six-plus seasons with the Rays, making a name for himself on the mound and in the community, helping various youth groups and charities with appearances and donations.

He was traded to the Pirates in July 2018, but still has a home in St. Petersburg and spends time there during the offseason and spring training, which is in Bradenton.

Former Rays pitcher Chris Archer's special delivery seemed well-appreciated.
Former Rays pitcher Chris Archer's special delivery seemed well-appreciated. [ Instagram ]

So with the help of Carli Todd, a former Rays employee and friend, Archer wanted to show some appreciation for the staff at the renowned hospital and provide a boost to two locally-owned St. Pete businesses.

“St. Pete is where his community outreach all started, so he feels a special connection there,” said Todd, a University of Tampa grad who is now director of player development for the University of Texas baseball team. “He felt it would be a great time to give back to the St. Pete community again.”

The result was a delivery of 18 boxes of coffee from Bandit Coffee Co. and enough bagels, muffins and coffeecake from Pete’s General to feed 200-plus staffers during a time when many medical professionals are stressed dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are all so appreciative of the love and support from the community,” said Lindsay Jones, a registered nurse in the hospital’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute. “When Chris played for the Rays, he was such a huge supporter of the hospital and our specific patient population, so for him to continue to support us, even from far away, is so awesome.”

Bandit was honored to get to help.

The muffins and coffee were welcomed, said RN Lindsay Jones.
The muffins and coffee were welcomed, said RN Lindsay Jones. [ LINDSAY JONES | Special to the Times ]

“Chris Archer has been a regular here at Bandit since we first opened four years ago,” co-owner Sarah Weaver said Friday. "We’re all so grateful for his generous donation. Our community is coming together in beautiful ways to support one another.

“Archer paying it forward helps not only support our very small business in this difficult times, but also allowed us to provide a little pick-me-up to those who tirelessly work long hours caring for the most vulnerable. It’s an honor to know our coffee helped power these important workers, with huge thanks to Archer.”

Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene

Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene

Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter

We’ll send you news and analysis on the Bucs, Lightning, Rays and Florida’s college football teams every day.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

The Pirates and their Bradenton-based Marauders minor-league team last week bought and delivered 400 pizzas to feed the staffs at Blake Medical Center and Manatee Memorial Hospital.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and Tampa Bay, six days a week

UNEMPLOYMENT Q&A: We answer your questions about Florida unemployment benefits

CONTRIBUTE TO THE SCRAPBOOK: Help us tell the story of life under coronavirus

MEET THE HELPERS: Highlighting Tampa Bay’s everyday heroes in this crisis

FOLLOW OUR COVERAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Reddit.

LISTEN TO THE CORONAVIRUS PODCAST: New episodes every week, including interviews with experts and reporters

HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.