ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays are staging their first Fan Fest since 2020, with the Feb. 18 event at Tropicana Field including autograph sessions, entertainment, a charity yard sale of team item, and more.
Fan Fest will be open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., with season members getting access at 10 a.m.
Admission is free, but a mobile ticket is required, available via the MLB Ballpark app or raysbaseball.com/FanFest. Parking at Tropicana Field in Lots 6 and 7 also is free.
All Rays players and coaches are expected at the event.
Among the highlights:
• Free autographs from former and current big-league players and coaches.
• Autographs from select Rays players — Randy Arozarena, Pete Fairbanks, Tyler Glasnow, Brandon Lowe, Manuel Margot, Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs — require paid passes, with the proceeds going to the Rays Baseball Foundation. Wander Franco is expected to be added to this list.
Autographs are $30 for each player for season members, who can buy them Monday at 10 a.m.; and $40 for other fans, available via the Ballpark app or team website. Subscribers to the Rays Insider newsletter can buy them Monday at 2 p.m.; sales to the general public start Tuesday at 10 a.m.
• The Yard Sale will feature unique team-related items from the past and present priced at $5. Another area, the Clubhouse Corner, will offer game-used jerseys, helmets and bats, along with autographed memorabilia. All proceeds go to the team foundation.
• Lowe and his wife, Madison, will conduct a baseball and softball clinic as part of their Lowe’s Legends program, which they created “to provide special experiences and inspiration for underrepresented youth baseball and softball players.”
• Merchandise tied to the team’s 25th anniversary season celebration will be available for the first time.
• There will be tailgate style games and on-stage programming and entertainment.
• There also will be a soccer presence, as Rowdies head coach Neill Collins and head of soccer operations Nico Castillo will host sessions in the Republic Bank Draft Room to discuss the upcoming season.
• The Rays and Rowdies Sustainability Committee will hold an E-Waste Drive from 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. near the Lot 7 entrance.
• The team website’s initial list of players attending also includes: Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Garrett Cleavinger, Zach Eflin, Colin Poche, Christian Bethancourt, Josh Lowe, Francisco Mejia, Isaac Paredes, Harold Ramirez, Jose Siri and Taylor Walls.
For more information, see raysbaseball.com/FanFest.
Culberson signed to minor-league deal
Veteran infielder/outfielder Charlie Culberson was signed to a minor-league deal with an invite to big-league camp. Culberson, 33, has played parts of 10 seasons in the majors, most recently with the Rangers and Braves. He also played for the Giants, Rockies and Dodgers.
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Right-hander Graham Spraker, who pitched for the Blue Jays’ Triple-A team in 2022, also was invited after recently signing a minor-league deal. The Rays now have 78 players invited, with camp opening next week.
8 big-leaguers, 4 minor-leaguers headed to WBC
Eight Rays big-leaguers and four minor-league pitchers were included on rosters announced Thursday for the World Baseball Classic in March. Here are the players, spread over nine national teams:
Canada: Trevor Brigden
Dominican Republic: Franco, Mejia
Great Britain: Spraker
Israel: Andrew Gross
Italy: Joe LaSorsa
Mexico: Jonathan Aranda, Arozarena, Paredes
United States: Adam
No Rays talk at owners meeting
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday there was no talk about the Rays’ stadium situation at the owners meeting in Palm Beach, as principal owner Stuart Sternberg had detailed their Tropicana Field redevelopment proposal that was chosen by St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch at their last session. “We had a nice layout of what was coming,” Manfred said, “so there was no real update there.”
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