My First Rays Fan Fest at Tropicana Field

Tampa Bay Rays Josh Leuke High-Fives Base Runners During Rays Fan Fest, Tropicana Field, Feb. 18, 2012
Tampa Bay Rays Josh Leuke High-Fives Base Runners During Rays Fan Fest, Tropicana Field, Feb. 18, 2012

Saturday was Rays Fan Fest, a time for Tampa Bay’s beloved Major League Baseball team to interact with fans and get them pumped up for the upcoming season. Yes, it may be February but the boys of summer are already looking forward to baseball season, which swings into action in early April.

Fan Fest Attracs Thousands of Rays Baseball Fans, Tropicana Field, Feb. 18, 2012
Fan Fest Attracs Thousands of Rays Baseball Fans, Tropicana Field, Feb. 18, 2012

But, for my community, baseball begins Monday when pitchers and catchers report at the Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte followed by the rest of the team later in the week. Port Charlotte is lucky to be the spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays. My attendance at Saturday’s Fan Fest was for business purposes but I did manage to enjoy some of the Rays energy.

While David Price Chats at the MetroPCS Booth, His Dog Astro Meets Fans During Rays Fan Fest, Tropicana Field, Feb. 18, 2012
While David Price Chats at the MetroPCS Booth, His Dog Astro Meets Fans During Rays Fan Fest, Tropicana Field, Feb. 18, 2012

Primarily, I spent my time fascinated with pitcher David Price’s adorable French Bulldog named Astro. I mean, c’mon. Isn’t he adorable, especially in a little Rays jersey?

Astro, David Price's French Bulldog, Meets Fans During Rays Fan Fest, Tropicana Field, Feb. 18, 2012
Astro, David Price's French Bulldog, Meets Fans During Rays Fan Fest, Tropicana Field, Feb. 18, 2012

I won’t be able to list all the cool things that Rays Fan Fest offers but what I saw were opportunities for:

  • Autographs;
  • Purchasing memorabilia;
  • Having a Rays player call a friend/family member in the MetroPCS booth – which is where I saw David Price and Astro;
  • Running the bases and have a Rays player give ya a high-five;
  • Touring the clubhouse and locker room  – the only reason I know about this is because our booth was by home plate which is where many people thought the tours were beginning;
  • Gathering more free swag. We gave away CDs, other had items as pens, bags, and other goodies;
  • Mixing and mingling with local radio personalities. Our booth was next to 93.3 WFLZ and I finally got see many of the D.J.’s in person and man oh, man! I feel old. The voices I listen to on an almost daily basis looked YOUNG! No, I didn’t go over and say hello, I’m sure they would’ve thought I was a creepy 40-year-old lady, but I did steal a peak as personalities as Kidd Leow spun tunes with records. I didn’t think D.J.’s used records these days but maybe they do. Or, maybe it was for show.
  • Sitting on the field of Tropicana Field. Won’t it be cool to watch a game then tell a friend, “Hey, I sat on that artificial grass?”

Are you ready for spring training? Are you ready for some baseball?

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Jenn

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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