Local groundskeeper called up to the Majors for a day
Corey "Ralph" Cowart has spent countless hours raking the fields of the Highlands City Babe Ruth Complex in Polk County, Fla. But he never dreamed he'd get to do the same on a Major League field.
The Rays helped make that dream come true on Sunday before their game against the Tigers while honoring Cowart as the Polk County Volunteer of the Year. The 30-year-old with cerebral palsy got to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and also received the additional surprise of Rays head groundskeeper Dan Moeller asking if he would be an "honorary" member of their crew for the day. Cowart happily obliged and helped brush the mound and batter's box and paint the baselines.
On Monday morning, Cowart will do as he does every day and ride his bike to the baseball complex to rake all of the infield dirt so that local kids can play on fields kept in good condition. And he'll be able to tell the Babe Ruth League pitchers that he's the same guy that prepped the mound for Jeremy Hellickson at Tropicana Field.
-- Jonathan Gantt / MLB.com Real-Time Correspondent