Ryan Yarbrough wanted to give back something to the fans who supported the Rays from a distance in 2020.
So he is giving away signed balls and other memorabilia for 12 days leading up to Christmas via a contest on his Yarbo48 Instagram account.
“Just having a little fun and trying to spread a little holiday cheer,” Yarbrough said Thursday. “We didn’t really get the chance to have a lot of fan interaction or anything this year, so this is kind of our way to do that in this crazy, pandemic, social-distanced time.”
The idea spawned from conversations Yarbrough and his wife, Nicole, had over how to do something good for fans and came into focus.
They post a question and the prize on the Instagram page each day, fans like the post and answer in the comments, and the Yarbroughs will choose a winner. (Teammates Josh Fleming and Pete Fairbanks have been regular smart-aleck commenters.)
Thursday was Day Four of the project, and Yarbrough said the prizes will get better leading up to Christmas Day. The questions have ranged from baseball trivia to a brainteaser to soliciting names of diehard fans.
This is the latest community project by the Yarbroughs, who grew up in central Florida and now live in Tampa. They previously donated breakfast to frontline staffers at St. Joseph’s Hospital and school supplies to Campbell Park Elementary.
Yarbrough said they have talked about eventually launching a charitable foundation but for now are enjoying helping out when they can.
“We’re still in the building blocks of doing something along those lines,” he said. “For now, this is the best way we can give back and interact with people. Anything we can kind of do to help. We’re both from here, and we love it here. It’s been a lot of fun.”