Sportress of Blogitude

Tampa Bay Rays players again greet fans at gates on Opening Day (photos)


While the Tampa Bay Rays may play in the worst stadium in Major League Baseball, but for fans who make their way to Tropicana Field to take in a ballgame, the way the team treats them is first-class.

As the team has done every season since the franchise’s first in 1998, way back when they were known as the Devil Rays (remember that?), players greeted fans as they entered the Trop before taking the field in their Opening Day match-up with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.

Players posed for photographs, scanned tickets, essentially doing their part to make sure to let fans know how much they are appreciated.

Imagine the thrill of a young fan — or even an old one (see granny up there?) — to be greeted by one of their ballplayer heroes.

In another demonstration of what a top-notch, classy organization the Rays aspire to be, the team invited young Ella Bell to the game, where she threw out the first pitch, as part of a joint effort between the Rays and the Childrens Dream Fund, a Tampa charity “with the single purpose of fulfilling dreams for children ages 3-18 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.”

Awesome. Bravo, Rays. Better yet, the Rays won, beating the Blue Jays by a score of 9-2. A banner day for fans all the way around. Well, except for the stadium, but ambiance is more perception than reality, right?

[H/T Big League Stew, top image via @TBTimes_Rays]