Twitter friends help blind Rays fan (and her guide dog) get to the Trop
Randi Oomens listens to every Tampa Bay Rays game on the radio from her home in Tucson, Ariz., and had always dreamed about going to a game at Tropicana Field. But money was tight and logistics were difficult, especially after Oomens (a.k.a. Ro, or @raynaadi on Twitter) lost her eyesight due to multiple sclerosis a few years ago.
So her Twitter friends launched the #RoToTrop campaign to raise funds and planned a trip for Oomens and her guide dog, Jayden, to attend the Rays' first three home games this season. The team soon pitched in, offering a complimentary suite for Oomens and her Twitter friends. On Opening Day, she received a customized #RoToTrop jersey. On Tuesday, she went on air with radio broadcasters Dave Wills and Andy Freed, and visited with Spanish broadcaster Enrique Oliu, who is also blind.
Oomens came down to the field during Wednesday's BP and met the entire Rays starting lineup -- David Price, Joe Maddon and others. She told Evan Longoria that hearing his walk-up music --"Down and Out" by Tantric -- on a broadcast during his rookie season was what first piqued her interest in the Rays. She got autographs and hugs, and held Ben Zobrist's bat.
After wrapping up a TV interview on the field, Oomens learned about one final surprise: The Rays were inducting her into their Fan Hall of Fame, and she'd deliver the ceremonial first pitch.
"This trip has been the experience of a lifetime and will never be outdone," Oomens said. "The fans and Rays baseball are some of the absolute best people on the planet."