Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Tampa Bay Rays
news

Rays Press Releases

Rays, Cash agree to multi-year contract extension

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Rays have extended the contract of Manager Kevin Cash through the 2024 season, with a club option for 2025.

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Rays have extended the contract of Manager Kevin Cash through the 2024 season, with a club option for 2025.

 

"We couldn't be happier with the impact that Kevin has made on our organization, an impact that extends well beyond our major league club," said Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations/General Manager Erik Neander. "We're thankful for this stability and the many advantages that it provides, especially the opportunity to continue learning and improving together."

 

"Kevin's abilities, leadership and character have exceeded our lofty expectations," said Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg. "I look forward to having him and his family a part of our organization for the years ahead."

 

Named the fifth manager in Rays history on Dec. 5, 2014, Cash is already the second-longest tenured. Only five current major league managers have been managing their clubs longer than Cash, who enters his fifth season: San Francisco's Bruce Bochy (entering 13th season), Kansas City's Ned Yost (10th season, ninth full), Pittsburgh's Clint Hurdle (ninth), Oakland's Bob Melvin (ninth season, eighth full) and Cleveland's Terry Francona (seventh). Like Cash, Houston's A.J. Hinch and Chicago's Joe Maddon were both hired following the 2014 season. Including vacancies, 13 of the 30 major league clubs have changed

managers in the past calendar year.

 

Under Cash's direction, the 2018 Rays went 90-72-the most wins in baseball by any team missing the postseason, and their best record since 2013. It was the second consecutive season they made double-digit improvement in wins. The club went 41-25 after the All-Star break, third-best mark in the American League, and 19-9 in September, second in the AL. They went 30-28 against the five AL postseason clubs, including 21-11 from June 22 through season's end.

 

They achieved all this despite a wide range of challenges. The Rays set single-season club records by using 54 players, 31 pitchers, 17 starting pitchers (most in baseball) and 23 rookies. According to Stats LLC, the 2018 Rays were the first team in major league history to use at least 23 rookies and finish at least 18 games over .500. The Rays began the season with a three-man starting rotation, employing frequent bullpen days, and on May 19 introduced "the opener" concept. From that point forward, the pitching staff ranked third in the majors with a 3.50 ERA. The Rays bullpen shattered the major league record by throwing 824.1 innings. Only three players remained on the active roster for the full duration of the season: first baseman C.J. Cron, right-handed pitcher Sergio Romo and catcher Jesús Sucre.

 

Cash has been selected to the American League coaching staff for each of the past two All-Star Games, by Hinch in 2018 and Francona in 2017.

 

A former catcher who played parts of eight seasons in the majors, including 2005 with the Rays, Cash is one of four current managers who played for Tampa Bay along with Nationals manager Dave Martinez (1998-2000), Mets skipper Mickey Callaway (1999, 2001) and Phillies manager Gabe Kapler (2009-10).

Cash, who turns 41 on Dec. 6, remains the youngest active manager in the majors. He is the sixth Tampa-born manager in major league history, and second to manage the Rays. That list includes Hall of Famers Al Lopez and Tony La Russa, Lou Piniella (for whom Cash played in 2005), Dave Miley and John Hart. He and his wife, Emily, have three children.

Tampa Bay Rays

Bill Edwards sells Tampa Bay Rowdies to Tampa Bay Rays

Today, Bill Edwards announced that he has sold the Tampa Bay Rowdies to Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays for an undisclosed sum. Management will transition at the conclusion of the season, at which time the Rays will also take over the existing contract with the City of St. Petersburg for management of the landmark Al Lang Stadium, where the team will continue to play matches.   
 
Rowdies VP & COO Lee Cohen will remain with the club. "I am incredibly grateful to Bill for the tremendous investment he has made in the Rowdies and Al Lang Stadium, and the passion he brought to the Tampa Bay sports community and to the soccer community globally. I have spent some time with Matt Silverman and I look forward to continuing to build on the successes we have had over the last five years and ensuring a seamless transition for our amazing supporters and fans." 
 
Edwards purchased the team in December 2013 and has since invested millions of dollars in stadium renovations, player and coaching personnel, youth soccer development and more.   
 
"The sale is bittersweet," said Edwards. "When I purchased the Rowdies, they were on the brink of bankruptcy; today they are Champions fighting for their rightful spot in the USL Playoffs. I saw the potential of the team and what it could mean for downtown St. Petersburg. I invested my blood, sweat, tears and money, and built an amazing staff that I could not be more proud of. The Rowdies have made great strides, truly becoming a key fixture in the community. I am grateful to the staff and players who have worked so hard, as well as the many sponsors who have stuck with us over the past five years; and I am especially grateful to the fans. We have the best soccer fans in the world, and I don't want them to worry. The team is in great hands. I wouldn't have it any other way." 
 
Since Edwards' acquisition of the Rowdies, ticket sales and attendance have increased dramatically, with home games each bringing more than 5,500 fans to downtown St. Petersburg. The local business community has rallied to support the team as well, with sponsorships climbing to unprecedented levels. The Tampa Bay United Rowdies Youth Soccer Club has expanded to serve more than 3,200 young players each year; and active affiliations with local Youth Clubs and Athletic Associations serve nearly 13,000 youth from age 3-19.  
 
Al Lang Stadium has also become home to professional soccer spring training, hosting the MLS Suncoast Invitational as well as the Florida Cup, bringing international teams and their fans to the St. Petersburg waterfront. "We are committed to continuing the winning trajectory that the Rowdies have been experiencing under Bill's visionary leadership," said Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman. "The Tampa Bay Rowdies are a legendary soccer team, and we look forward to extending their legacy and prominence. We are eager to get to know Ralph's Mob and all the Rowdies fans, to growing soccer in St. Petersburg and throughout Tampa Bay, and of course, bringing home a championship, which could be imminent." 
 
Edwards' Big 3 Entertainment will continue to produce the much-loved Al Lang Live concert series in partnership with Live Nation, and remains manager of the neighboring Mahaffey Theater. Edwards also owns and operates the Sundial lifestyle center.  

Today, Bill Edwards announced that he has sold the Tampa Bay Rowdies to Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays for an undisclosed sum. Management will transition at the conclusion of the season, at which time the Rays will also take over the existing contract with the City of St. Petersburg for management of the landmark Al Lang Stadium, where the team will continue to play matches.   
 
Rowdies VP & COO Lee Cohen will remain with the club. "I am incredibly grateful to Bill for the tremendous investment he has made in the Rowdies and Al Lang Stadium, and the passion he brought to the Tampa Bay sports community and to the soccer community globally. I have spent some time with Matt Silverman and I look forward to continuing to build on the successes we have had over the last five years and ensuring a seamless transition for our amazing supporters and fans." 
 
Edwards purchased the team in December 2013 and has since invested millions of dollars in stadium renovations, player and coaching personnel, youth soccer development and more.   
 
"The sale is bittersweet," said Edwards. "When I purchased the Rowdies, they were on the brink of bankruptcy; today they are Champions fighting for their rightful spot in the USL Playoffs. I saw the potential of the team and what it could mean for downtown St. Petersburg. I invested my blood, sweat, tears and money, and built an amazing staff that I could not be more proud of. The Rowdies have made great strides, truly becoming a key fixture in the community. I am grateful to the staff and players who have worked so hard, as well as the many sponsors who have stuck with us over the past five years; and I am especially grateful to the fans. We have the best soccer fans in the world, and I don't want them to worry. The team is in great hands. I wouldn't have it any other way." 
 
Since Edwards' acquisition of the Rowdies, ticket sales and attendance have increased dramatically, with home games each bringing more than 5,500 fans to downtown St. Petersburg. The local business community has rallied to support the team as well, with sponsorships climbing to unprecedented levels. The Tampa Bay United Rowdies Youth Soccer Club has expanded to serve more than 3,200 young players each year; and active affiliations with local Youth Clubs and Athletic Associations serve nearly 13,000 youth from age 3-19.  
 
Al Lang Stadium has also become home to professional soccer spring training, hosting the MLS Suncoast Invitational as well as the Florida Cup, bringing international teams and their fans to the St. Petersburg waterfront. "We are committed to continuing the winning trajectory that the Rowdies have been experiencing under Bill's visionary leadership," said Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman. "The Tampa Bay Rowdies are a legendary soccer team, and we look forward to extending their legacy and prominence. We are eager to get to know Ralph's Mob and all the Rowdies fans, to growing soccer in St. Petersburg and throughout Tampa Bay, and of course, bringing home a championship, which could be imminent." 
 
Edwards' Big 3 Entertainment will continue to produce the much-loved Al Lang Live concert series in partnership with Live Nation, and remains manager of the neighboring Mahaffey Theater. Edwards also owns and operates the Sundial lifestyle center.  

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays announce 2018 Minor League award winners

The Tampa Bay Rays have announced infielder Nate Lowe as its Minor League Player of the Year and lefthander Brock Burke as its Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Additionally, outfielder Carl Chester was named the Erik Walker Community Champion. The Rays also announced the Most Valuable Players for each of their nine affiliates, as well as organization-wide awards for Baserunner of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Relief Pitcher of the Year.

This year's winners will be honored during an awards ceremony at Tropicana Field prior to tonight's game against the Toronto Blue Jays. A pregame autograph session will be held along the first base line from 5:45-6:30 p.m., featuring many of the organization's award winners.

The Tampa Bay Rays have announced infielder Nate Lowe as its Minor League Player of the Year and lefthander Brock Burke as its Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Additionally, outfielder Carl Chester was named the Erik Walker Community Champion. The Rays also announced the Most Valuable Players for each of their nine affiliates, as well as organization-wide awards for Baserunner of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Relief Pitcher of the Year.

This year's winners will be honored during an awards ceremony at Tropicana Field prior to tonight's game against the Toronto Blue Jays. A pregame autograph session will be held along the first base line from 5:45-6:30 p.m., featuring many of the organization's award winners.

The following players were named Most Valuable Player for their respective minor league teams: infielder Kean Wong (Durham Bulls, Triple-A); infielder Nick Solak (Montgomery Biscuits, Double-A); outfielder Jesús Sánchez (Charlotte Stone Crabs, Class-A); catcher Ronaldo Hernández (Bowling Green Hot Rods, Class-A); catcher Chris Betts (Hudson Valley Renegades, Short-A); infielder Wander Franco (Princeton Rays, Rookie-level); infielder Kaleo Johnson (Gulf Coast League Rays, Rookie-level); right-handed pitcher Matthew Peguero (Dominican Summer League Rays 1, Rookie-level); and infielder Abiezel Ramírez (Dominican Summer League Rays 2, Rookie-level).

Baserunner of the Year honors went to infielder Vidal Bruján, while lefthander Colin Poche was named Reliever of the Year and infielder Taylor Walls was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Lowe, 23, was named the Rays Minor League Player of the Year after batting .330/.416/.568 (159-for-482) with 27 home runs and 102 RBI in 130 games between Charlotte, Montgomery and Durham. Ranked by MLB.com as the No. 13 prospect in the organization, Lowe was named to the Florida State League midseason All-Star Team and was the league's Player of the Month for both April and May. At the time of his June 7 promotion to Montgomery, Lowe led the league with a .356 batting avg. (69-for-194), 44 RBI and 25 extra-base hits. Between the three levels, his 27 home runs and 102 RBI led the organization and his .330 batting avg. ranked third. His 102 RBI were also the most by a Rays minor leaguer since Stephen Vogt (105) in 2011. Lowe represented the Rays in the All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park, batting cleanup for the U.S. Team.

Burke, 22, was tabbed the Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 9-6 with a 3.08 ERA (137.1-IP, 47-ER) in 25 appearances (22 starts) between Charlotte and Montgomery. He led Rays minor leaguers with 158 strikeouts, ranked fifth in ERA (min. 100 IP) and tied for fourth in wins. His strikeout total ranked 14th in all of minor league baseball. Burke was named the Southern League's Pitcher of the Week for August 13-19, going 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA (12.2-IP, 2-ER). Following his July 9 promotion, he went 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA (55.1-IP, 12-ER) in nine starts for the Biscuits, including a 4-0 mark with a 1.35 ERA (33.1-IP, 5-ER) in his final five starts of the regular season to help lead the Biscuits to the Southern League postseason.

Chester, 22, took home the Erik Walker Community Champion Award. Named after former Rays minor league pitcher Erik Walker, who died tragically in 2006 following his first season in professional baseball, the award annually recognizes a Rays minor leaguer who exemplifies teamwork, sportsmanship and community involvement. Bowling Green's nominee for the award, Chester was selected from a field that included nominees from each Rays affiliate. The Rays Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, will make a $2,500 donation in Chester's name to a charity of his choice.

Bruján, 20, was recognized as the organization's Baserunner of the Year. His 55 stolen bases led the organization by a considerable margin, 24 more than any other Rays minor leaguer. They ranked second in all of minor league baseball, tied for sixth in a single season in organizational history and were the most by a Rays minor leaguer since Andrew Toles (62) in 2013. Ranked by MLB.com as the No. 12 prospect in the organization, he was successful on 55 of his 74 attempts. Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the Best Baserunner in the Midwest League in its Best Tools survey.

Poche, 24, was named Reliever of the Year after going 6-0 with a 0.98 ERA (55-IP, 6-ER) and 87 strikeouts in 31 appearances between Montgomery and Durham. He was acquired by the Rays from the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 1 as one of two players to be named to complete a three-team trade involving Steven Souza Jr. Between the two organizations, he pitched to a 0.82 ERA (66-IP, 6-ER) with a 15.0 strikeouts per nine innings ratio. No minor league pitcher with as many innings recorded a better strikeout-per-nine ratio than Poche. Ranked by MLB.com as the No. 24 prospect in the organization, he struck out 45.6 percent of his batters faced between the two organizations.

Walls, 22, was named Defensive Player of the Year, recording a .961 fielding percentage over 903 innings at shortstop for Bowling Green. His 288 assists led Rays minor leaguers and ranked third among Midwest League shortstops. Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the Best Defensive Shortstop in the Midwest League in its Best Tools survey. Walls was selected by the Rays in the third round of the 2017 June Draft out of Florida State University.

Wong, 23, hit .282/.345/.406 (127-for-451) with nine home runs and 50 RBI in his first full season with Durham. He ranked 10th in the International League in hitting, led the team in hits and total bases (183) and also ranked among team leaders in RBI (third) and doubles (23, fourth). He was named to both the International League midseason and postseason All-Star Teams, and was the International League Top Star in the Triple-A All-Star Game.

Solak, 23, hit .282/.384/.450 (135-for-478) with 19 home runs, 76 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 126 games for Montgomery, his first season in the Rays organization. He led the Southern League in hits, on-base percentage and runs scored (91), ranked second in RBI, third in walks (68) and total bases (215) and fourth in batting avg. In addition, his 19 home runs and 76 RBI both ranked fifth among Rays minor leaguers. Ranked by MLB.com as the No. 11 prospect in the organization, he was named Southern League Player of the Month for August, batting .305 (25-for-82) with five home runs. 

Sánchez, 20, hit .301/.331/.462 (108-for-359) with 10 home runs and 64 RBI in 90 games with Charlotte prior to his promotion to the Double-A level on August 3. He was named to the Florida State League midseason All-Star Team and finished the season ranking among league leaders in batting avg. (fourth), slugging percentage (fourth) and RBI (sixth). Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the Best Batting Prospect in the Florida State League in its Best Tools survey. Sánchez represented the Rays in the All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park, where he started in right field for the World Team. Ranked by MLB.com as the No. 31 overall prospect in the minors, his 75 RBI between the two levels ranked sixth among Rays minor leaguers. This marks his fourth team MVP honor; he previously won it with the DSL Rays in 2015, the GCL Rays in 2016 and Bowling Green in 2017.

Hernández, 20, spent the entire season with Bowling Green, batting .284/.339/.494 (115-for-405) with 21 home runs and 79 RBI in 109 games. He ranked second in the Midwest League in homers and third in both RBI and slugging percentage. In addition, his 21 home runs and 79 RBI both ranked third among Rays minor leaguers. Ranked by MLB.com as the No. 7 prospect in the organization, Hernández earned both Midwest League midseason and postseason All-Star honors and was the league's Player of the Month for June, batting .366 (30-for-82) with 10 home runs and 25 RBI. Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the Best Power Prospect in the Midwest League in its Best Tools survey.

Betts, 21, hit .248/.333/.456 (51-for-206) with nine home runs and 36 RBI in 56 games for Hudson Valley. His nine home runs tied for third in the New York-Penn League, and his 22.9 AB/HR ratio ranked second in the league. He was named the league's Batter of the Week for June 25-July 1 and was one of five Renegades to earn midseason All-Star Team honors. Prior to the start of the Short-A season, Betts appeared in 16 games with Bowling Green, his first extended action since the 2016 season. Between the two clubs, he recorded 10 home runs and 42 RBI in 262 at-bats.

Franco, 17, hit .351/.418/.587 (85-for-242) with 11 home runs and 57 RBI in 61 games with Princeton, his first professional action. Ranked by MLB.com as the No. 40 overall prospect in the minors, he was named Appalachian League Player of the Year, leading the league in hits and total bases (142) and tying for the league lead in RBI. He also ranked among league leaders in extra-base hits (28, tied for second), triples (7, third), slugging percentage (third) and batting avg. (fourth) while recording more walks (27) than strikeouts (19). Franco hit for the cycle on July 14, recorded a 25-game hitting streak from June 23-July 25 and a 53-game on-base streak from June 23-August 24. Following the season, he was named to Baseball America's Minor League All-Star Team and was the publication's Breakout Prospect of the Year.

Johnson, 22, hit .311/.400/.539 (52-for-167) with seven home runs and 25 RBI in 47 games for the GCL Rays after being selected in the 32nd round of the 2018 June Draft. He was named to the Gulf Coast League postseason All-Star Team, ranking among league leaders in home runs (tied for third), extra-base hits (22, second), slugging percentage (second), total bases (90, second), and runs scored (32, fifth). He was promoted to Hudson Valley on August 23. Between the two levels, his .303 batting avg. (61-for-201) ranked sixth among Rays minor leaguers.

Peguero, 18, went 5-1 with a 2.69 ERA (60.1-IP, 18-ER) and 60 strikeouts in 13 appearances (12 starts) for the DSL Rays1. He led the team in strikeouts, ranked second in innings and tied for second in wins. He recorded a 28-inning scoreless streak from July 13-Aug 13, and went 4-0 with a 0.60 ERA (30-IP, 2-ER) and .168 opponents' batting avg. (17-for-101) over his final six starts of the season. In his second professional season, he went at least five innings in nine of his 13 appearances. 

Ramírez, 18, hit .291/.391/.414 (69-for-237) with nine doubles, seven triples, two home runs and 50 RBI in 66 games for the DSL Rays2. He was named to the Dominican Summer League postseason All-Star Team, leading the DSL Rays2 in hits, triples, RBI and total bases (98) and ranking fourth in the league in RBI. In the month of July, Ramírez hit .338/.426/.506 (26-for-77) with eight extra-base hits and 17 RBI in 22 games.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays host Yankees and Blue Jays in final homestand

Highlights include Dan Johnson band PopSockets

The Tampa Bay Rays will conclude their 2018 home schedule with a sevengame homestand against American League East rivals, the New York Yankees (September 24-27) and Toronto Blue Jays (September 28-30).

The Rays take on the Yankees on Monday, September 24 with the first of three consecutive 7:10 p.m. starts. The final game of the series on Thursday, September 27 is slated for a 1:10 p.m. first pitch.

The Tampa Bay Rays will conclude their 2018 home schedule with a sevengame homestand against American League East rivals, the New York Yankees (September 24-27) and Toronto Blue Jays (September 28-30).

The Rays take on the Yankees on Monday, September 24 with the first of three consecutive 7:10 p.m. starts. The final game of the series on Thursday, September 27 is slated for a 1:10 p.m. first pitch.

The weekend series with the Blue Jays begins Friday, September 28 at 7:10 p.m. and continues on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. When gates open prior to Saturday's game, all fans will receive one of two Dan Johnson bobbleheads, presented by Moffitt Cancer Center, while supplies last. One version of the bobblehead illustrates Johnson's Rays debut on September 9, 2008, in which he hit a game-tying home run as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The second version of the bobblehead is from Johnson's 'Game 162' heroics, as he hit a game-tying home run as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning on September 28, 2011 against the Yankees at Tropicana Field. 

The series concludes on Sunday afternoon with a 3:10 p.m. start and all kids 14 years and under will receive a PopSocket, presented by FOX Sports GO, while supplies last.

Sundays are Family Fun Days, courtesy of Tampa General Hospital. Every Sunday home game will feature free parking for cars with four or more passengers and a variety of postgame activities for kids, including Kids Run the Bases and a DJ Kitty Dance Party. For the fifth consecutive season, concourse activities will be complimentary for kids 14 years and under. In addition, this Sunday, two Rays players will sign autographs for kids 14 years and under along the right field line from 2:00-2:30 p.m.

The Rays are also offering weekday specials throughout the season including: 

Monday -- Salute to Service Monday presented by Suncoast Credit Union: Military, Teachers and First Responders can receive two (2) complimentary tickets to select Monday home games, additional bonus dates and special ticket offers throughout the season. Some exclusions apply. Military, Teachers and First Responders are encouraged to visit raysbaseball.com/specials to sign up. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB-approved verification service. Tickets will be made available one week prior to each scheduled game date.

Tuesday -- $2 Kids Tuesdays presented by Morgan Auto Group: For all Tuesday home games, tickets for kids 14 years and under are $2 with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket. $2 Hot Dogs, presented by Kayem Franks, will be available for all fans for all Tuesday home dates.

Wednesday -- Senior Special Wednesdays presented by Duke Energy: For all Wednesday home games, Press Level tickets for fans 60 years and older are only $15.

Thursday -- $19.98 Ticket Combo presented by Coca-Cola: For all Thursday home games, fans can purchase Press Level tickets that include chips and a 20-ounce bottled Coca-Cola beverage for $19.98.

Friday -- $7.11 Tickets presented by 7-Eleven: For all Friday home games, fans may purchase Upper Level tickets for only $7.11. To take advantage of this special price, fans should visit a participating local 7-Eleven store and pick up the Rays Friday night discount coupon. The coupon code will be redeemable online at raysbaseball.com/specials or at the BayCare Box Office at Tropicana Field. Each coupon will be good for up to four (4) tickets. Fans will be able to upgrade to the lower level for an additional $7. Budweiser and Bud Light will be available to purchase for fans 21 years and older for $5 at the Budweiser Porch in Center Field. Please drink responsibly.

• 7Rewards members can show their app at Gate 3 Guest Services on Friday home games and receive one benefit, one time during the season, in addition to a free small slurpee coupon. Items available include one (1) voucher for a 20-ounce bottled soft drink or bottled water at Tropicana Field concession stands, free parking for a future Rays home game, 'Buy One, Get One' ticket offer or a Rays promotional item. All items are subject to availability.

• Rays Season Ticket Holders can receive a one-time bonus of 711 Free Rays Rewards points by showing the 7Rewards app at Membership Services at Tropicana Field. All Season Ticket Holders who receive points also will receive a free small slurpee coupon.

2019 SEASON TICKETS ON SALE NOW -- 2019 Season Ticket benefits include great savings, the best seat locations, concession and merchandise discounts and access to exclusive events. Through the Double Play Season Ticket opportunity, fans can select from their choice of a premium gift or experience including a complimentary catered suite to a 2019 Rays home game, an experience at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa and an all-expense paid spring training experience. Fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS or visit raysbaseball.com/seasontickets for more information.

20TH ANNIVERSARY FAN STORY RECORDINGS -- In celebration of the Rays 20th anniversary season, the Rays are collecting fans' stories from the first 20 years of Major League Baseball in Tampa Bay. Bring a friend, family member or colleague to the Mobile Studio outside of Gate 1 before any of the games against the Yankees (September 24-27) to record a conversation about your favorite team memories. Edited stories will be archived at the Library of Congress by StoryCorps. To reserve your time, contact publicaffairs@raysbaseball.com or visit the videos page at raysbaseball.com/20.

20TH ANNIVERSARY RAYS MERCHANDISE -- The Rays team store will be offering a buy one-get one 50% off for all 20th Anniversary apparel items throughout the homestand.

"SHIRTS OFF OUR BACKS" FUNDRAISER -- The annual "Shirts Off Our Backs" fundraiser, hosted by the Rays BaseballFoundation, will take place during the entire homestand. Fans can donate to the Rays Baseball Foundation in exchange for scratch-off cards with the chance to win game-worn jerseys from the final game of the season on September 30, tickets to a 2019 Rays home game or other prizes. Fans can purchase one scratch off for $5, 5 for $20, 10 for $30 and 25 for $50. Scratchoff cards will be available for purchase at the Authentics Store, Gate 1, Gate 3 and from roaming volunteers.

STUDENT TICKET OFFER -- Students with a valid .edu email address can purchase $5 lower level tickets to any game during the Blue Jays vs. Rays series, September 28 through 30. Students are encouraged to visit raysbaseball.com/student for more information.

MINOR LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS -- Prior to the game on Friday, September 28, the Rays will hold a ceremony to recognize the 2018 Rays minor league award winners. The winners will be made up of the Rays Minor League Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Baserunner of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Reliever of the Year, in addition to the Most Valuable Player for each of the Rays nine organizational affiliates. The Rays will also recognize the recipient of the Erik Walker Community Champion Award. Named after former Rays minor league pitcher Erik Walker, who died tragically in 2006 following his first season in professional baseball, the award annually recognizes a Rays minor leaguer who exemplifies teamwork, sportsmanship and community involvement. Before the ceremony, the award winners are scheduled to sign autographs at Tropicana Field from 5:45-6:30 p.m. along the first base line.

BATS N' BREWS -- The Rays and iHeartMedia Tampa Bay's "Bats N' Brews" radio show, presented by Budweiser, airs live Friday, September 28 from the Budweiser Porch in center field. Kevin Campbell from Mix 100.7 will host the show.  

DAN JOHNSON MEET-AND-GREET -- Prior to the game on Saturday, September 29, Dan Johnson will participate in a meetand-greet with Season Ticket Holders in the Republic Bank Draft Room from 5:00-5:20 p.m.

SALUTE TO SERVICE $15 TICKETS -- The Rays have extended their Salute to Service promotion, presented by Suncoast Credit Union, to include $15 tickets for the game on Saturday, September 29. Military and First Responders can purchase up to four (4) tickets to that game for $15 each. This special offer is available online only through raysbaseball.com/specials and expires the night before the game at midnight. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB approved verification service.

GATES OPEN -- Sunday-Thursday, 1½ hours prior to first pitch; Friday-Saturday, 2 hours prior to first pitch.   

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays collaborate with NormaTec on world-class athlete recovery room

The Tampa Bay Rays have completed construction of a Recovery Room Powered by NormaTec. Located under the dome at Tropicana Field, this cutting-edge space is devoted to athlete recovery for their players, and features NormaTec's PULSE PRO Recovery Systems. In addition to the recovery room, the Rays have also invested in additional NormaTec Recovery Systems to utilize during travel. The team has also released this video with an inside look at the new facility.  
 
"The partnership with NormaTec has not only benefited our major league team, but also throughout the entire organization," said Joe Benge, Head Athletic Trainer of the Tampa Bay Rays. "Our goals are to keep players injury free and performing at their best year-round; the partnership with NormaTec helps us towards achieving those objectives." 
 
NormaTec utilizes patented technology to increase circulation and help athletes with both rehab and recovery. The dynamic NormaTec compression massage mobilizes fluid, and reduces pain and soreness, allowing athletes to recover quickly and better manage intense training and competition schedules. NormaTec's technology is currently relied on by 97% of pro teams, Olympic and elite athletes, and the sports medicine professionals who treat them.   
 
"It is an incredible honor to work with the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball team on this initiative," said Gilad Jacobs, CEO of NormaTec. "We are excited about how well their new recovery room came together, and have already heard great things from the players and their athletic training team about their use of the NormaTec Recovery Systems."  
 
The move to create a NormaTec Recovery Room for their players puts the Tampa Bay Rays among several other pro teams who have now added official recovery rooms powered by NormaTec. The Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Ravens, Florida Panthers, LA Lakers, Las Vegas Golden Knights, and Kansas City Chiefs are just a few of the other organizations who have recently completed construction on NormaTec Recovery Rooms.   

The Tampa Bay Rays have completed construction of a Recovery Room Powered by NormaTec. Located under the dome at Tropicana Field, this cutting-edge space is devoted to athlete recovery for their players, and features NormaTec's PULSE PRO Recovery Systems. In addition to the recovery room, the Rays have also invested in additional NormaTec Recovery Systems to utilize during travel. The team has also released this video with an inside look at the new facility.  
 
"The partnership with NormaTec has not only benefited our major league team, but also throughout the entire organization," said Joe Benge, Head Athletic Trainer of the Tampa Bay Rays. "Our goals are to keep players injury free and performing at their best year-round; the partnership with NormaTec helps us towards achieving those objectives." 
 
NormaTec utilizes patented technology to increase circulation and help athletes with both rehab and recovery. The dynamic NormaTec compression massage mobilizes fluid, and reduces pain and soreness, allowing athletes to recover quickly and better manage intense training and competition schedules. NormaTec's technology is currently relied on by 97% of pro teams, Olympic and elite athletes, and the sports medicine professionals who treat them.   
 
"It is an incredible honor to work with the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball team on this initiative," said Gilad Jacobs, CEO of NormaTec. "We are excited about how well their new recovery room came together, and have already heard great things from the players and their athletic training team about their use of the NormaTec Recovery Systems."  
 
The move to create a NormaTec Recovery Room for their players puts the Tampa Bay Rays among several other pro teams who have now added official recovery rooms powered by NormaTec. The Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Ravens, Florida Panthers, LA Lakers, Las Vegas Golden Knights, and Kansas City Chiefs are just a few of the other organizations who have recently completed construction on NormaTec Recovery Rooms.   

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays collaborate with NormaTec on world-class athlete recovery room

The Tampa Bay Rays have completed construction of a Recovery Room Powered by NormaTec. Located under the dome at Tropicana Field, this cutting-edge space is devoted to athlete recovery for their players, and features NormaTec's PULSE PRO Recovery Systems. In addition to the recovery room, the Rays have also invested in additional NormaTec Recovery Systems to utilize during travel. The team has also released this video with an inside look at the new facility.  
 
"The partnership with NormaTec has not only benefited our major league team, but also throughout the entire organization," said Joe Benge, Head Athletic Trainer of the Tampa Bay Rays. "Our goals are to keep players injury free and performing at their best year-round; the partnership with NormaTec helps us towards achieving those objectives." 
 
NormaTec utilizes patented technology to increase circulation and help athletes with both rehab and recovery. The dynamic NormaTec compression massage mobilizes fluid, and reduces pain and soreness, allowing athletes to recover quickly and better manage intense training and competition schedules. NormaTec's technology is currently relied on by 97% of pro teams, Olympic and elite athletes, and the sports medicine professionals who treat them.   
 
"It is an incredible honor to work with the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball team on this initiative," said Gilad Jacobs, CEO of NormaTec. "We are excited about how well their new recovery room came together, and have already heard great things from the players and their athletic training team about their use of the NormaTec Recovery Systems."  
 
The move to create a NormaTec Recovery Room for their players puts the Tampa Bay Rays among several other pro teams who have now added official recovery rooms powered by NormaTec. The Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Ravens, Florida Panthers, LA Lakers, Las Vegas Golden Knights, and Kansas City Chiefs are just a few of the other organizations who have recently completed construction on NormaTec Recovery Rooms.   

The Tampa Bay Rays have completed construction of a Recovery Room Powered by NormaTec. Located under the dome at Tropicana Field, this cutting-edge space is devoted to athlete recovery for their players, and features NormaTec's PULSE PRO Recovery Systems. In addition to the recovery room, the Rays have also invested in additional NormaTec Recovery Systems to utilize during travel. The team has also released this video with an inside look at the new facility.  
 
"The partnership with NormaTec has not only benefited our major league team, but also throughout the entire organization," said Joe Benge, Head Athletic Trainer of the Tampa Bay Rays. "Our goals are to keep players injury free and performing at their best year-round; the partnership with NormaTec helps us towards achieving those objectives." 
 
NormaTec utilizes patented technology to increase circulation and help athletes with both rehab and recovery. The dynamic NormaTec compression massage mobilizes fluid, and reduces pain and soreness, allowing athletes to recover quickly and better manage intense training and competition schedules. NormaTec's technology is currently relied on by 97% of pro teams, Olympic and elite athletes, and the sports medicine professionals who treat them.   
 
"It is an incredible honor to work with the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball team on this initiative," said Gilad Jacobs, CEO of NormaTec. "We are excited about how well their new recovery room came together, and have already heard great things from the players and their athletic training team about their use of the NormaTec Recovery Systems."  
 
The move to create a NormaTec Recovery Room for their players puts the Tampa Bay Rays among several other pro teams who have now added official recovery rooms powered by NormaTec. The Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Ravens, Florida Panthers, LA Lakers, Las Vegas Golden Knights, and Kansas City Chiefs are just a few of the other organizations who have recently completed construction on NormaTec Recovery Rooms.   

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays celebrate Roberto Clemente Day on Saturday

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - This Saturday, September 15, the Rays will celebrate Roberto Clemente Day at Tropicana Field in recognition of Major League Baseball's Hispanic Heritage Month, when the team faces the Oakland Athletics at 6:10 p.m. The official, league-wide Roberto Clemente Day took place during the team's road trip on September 5 in Toronto. The annual Roberto Clemente Day was established by Major League Baseball in 2002 to honor the life and legacy of the Hall of Famer and to officially acknowledge club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award.

Rays outfielder Mallex Smith will be honored in a pregame ceremony as the Rays nominee for the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award. The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each MLB club who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. As a result of his nomination, Mallex selected Guiding Eyes for the Blind, which provides guide dogs to people with vision loss, as the charity of his choice to receive a $7,500 donation.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - This Saturday, September 15, the Rays will celebrate Roberto Clemente Day at Tropicana Field in recognition of Major League Baseball's Hispanic Heritage Month, when the team faces the Oakland Athletics at 6:10 p.m. The official, league-wide Roberto Clemente Day took place during the team's road trip on September 5 in Toronto. The annual Roberto Clemente Day was established by Major League Baseball in 2002 to honor the life and legacy of the Hall of Famer and to officially acknowledge club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award.

Rays outfielder Mallex Smith will be honored in a pregame ceremony as the Rays nominee for the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award. The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each MLB club who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. As a result of his nomination, Mallex selected Guiding Eyes for the Blind, which provides guide dogs to people with vision loss, as the charity of his choice to receive a $7,500 donation.

The Rays will also honor several Hispanic community leaders, including those who helped with the Rays efforts to aid Ponce, Puerto Rico following last year's hurricanes. The Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc., Hispanic Woman and Man of the Year and Feeding Tampa Bay organizations will each be recognized and Sol Caribe, a local Latino band will perform the national anthem. In collaboration with the National Puerto Rican Leadership Council Education Fund, the team will host 200 individuals and families displaced to central Florida following Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

To continue Clemente's legacy of care and compassion, the Rays will be hosting the Feeding Tampa Bay Food Drive at Gate 1 and 4. All fans who donate unopened cans and non-perishable food items will receive a complimentary ticket voucher for a 2019 home game. One voucher per person will be issued (some restrictions apply).

Other elements to the celebration, include flags representing the home countries of the Rays Hispanic and Latino players hanging inside Tropicana Field and Rays players, coaches and staff wearing specially-designed T-shirts depicting Clemente's No. 21 and his Puerto Rican heritage during batting practice.

As a special offer for this game, fans can purchase Press Level tickets for $21 online at raysbaseball.com/Clemente.

Tampa Bay Rays

Duke Energy's third annual Victories For Veterans program to recognize 13 nonprofits with $85,000

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-- For the third consecutive season, the Duke Energy Foundation committed $1,000 for every Rays win this season to charities that support veterans in the community through the Victories for Veterans program, a unique partnership with the Tampa Bay Rays.

A total of $85,000 will be invested in 13 organizations to provide services to more than 2,500 veterans in Florida.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-- For the third consecutive season, the Duke Energy Foundation committed $1,000 for every Rays win this season to charities that support veterans in the community through the Victories for Veterans program, a unique partnership with the Tampa Bay Rays.

A total of $85,000 will be invested in 13 organizations to provide services to more than 2,500 veterans in Florida.

"The Tampa Bay Rays successful season has translated into phenomenal wins for our veterans organizations," said Duke Energy Florida president Catherine Stempien. "Our partnership with the Rays has provided invaluable services to nearly 3,700 local veterans and we are proud to continue this investment and assist other worthwhile organizations. It is one of the many ways Duke Energy supports the men and women who have served our country."

The 13 recipient organizations will be recognized on Sunday, September 16 with an on-field check presentation by Duke Energy and Tampa Bay Rays representatives.

"The military community is a significant and vital piece of the Tampa Bay region," said Rays President Brian Auld. "We are grateful that this unique partnership with Duke Energy allows us to award grants to so many worthy organizations supporting veterans. It is with great pride that we recognize the Victories for Veterans recipients at Tropicana Field."

Recipient organizations and their veteran-focused programs include:

Tampa Bay area:
• Homeless Emergency Project, Inc. (Pinellas County): to provide affordable housing that was designed specifically for the brave men and women returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, enabling them the opportunity to heal in a safe and secure setting while allowing access to on-site services designed to help guide the way to self-sufficiency.

• Imagine Museum (Pinellas County): to support the Veterans Reality pilot program that shares Florida veterans' inspiring stories and art through short films, which are exhibited for community enrichment.

• K9 Partners for Patriots (Hernando County): to certify 100 veterans along with their fully-trained service dogs through its program that supports canine experiences for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries.

• Operation Healing Forces (Pinellas County): to conduct retreats that assist more than 200 special operators and their spouses with reintegration, rehabilitation and resiliency.

• SPCA Tampa Bay (Pinellas County): to subsidize veterinary care for approximately 60 veterans through the Caldwell Keeping Families Together Fund.

• Wheels of Success, Inc. (Pinellas County): to repair and restore vehicles donated through the Vehicles for Veterans program, which provides veterans with safe, reliable transportation to transition into the civilian workforce.

Greater Orlando area:
• Central Florida Commission on Homelessness (Orange County): to promote the importance of permanent housing for chronically homeless veterans through its Welcome Home Veterans Program that collaborates with four regional organizations.

• Matthew's Hope Ministries, Inc. (Orange County): to assist with job opportunities and transitional housing for homeless veterans in west Orange County who are aiming to become self-sufficient. • The Travis Hunt, Inc. (Volusia County): to help sponsor and provide a service animal for a veteran who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; these animals provide therapeutic benefits and contribute to quality of life.

• United Way of Lake County (Lake County): to connect veterans and their families with the needed services, such as rental, utility and workforce development assistance through the Mission United program.

• Wekiva Wilderness Trust (Orange County): to construct the Serenity Garden at Wekiwa State Park, including specially-designed wheelchair accessible boardwalks, which will enable access and therapeutic opportunities for people with disabilities and special needs who would not be able to enjoy the park experience otherwise.

North Central Florida area:
• Rebuilding Together North Central Florida, Inc. (Alachua County): to conduct critical home repairs for veterans that will eliminate health and safety hazards at no cost to the owner.

• Veterans Helping Veterans (Alachua, Marion and Levy counties): to assist with veterans' unmet household needs, such as utility payments, food, clothing and vehicle expenses, in addition to counseling services.

About Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of communities where its customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $5 million annually in charitable gifts throughout its Florida service territory.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays host Childhood Cancer Awareneses day tomorrow

Events include the sixth annual Cut for a Cure and a Tuesday's Champion Reunion

Tomorrow, September 8, the Rays will host Childhood Cancer Awareness Day at Tropicana Field, in recognition of September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, when the team takes on the Baltimore Orioles at 6:10 p.m. League-wide participation of the event took place during the team's road trip on September 1 in Cleveland, with major league players, coaches, umpires and grounds crew wearing gold ribbon decals and wristbands. This is the third consecutive season Major League Baseball has recognized Childhood Cancer Awareness Day.

From the time gates open at 4:10 p.m. until the end of the 7th inning, fans are invited to participate in the sixth annual Cut for a Cure event at the RumFish Grill Deck in center field inside Tropicana Field. For a donation of any amount, fans can have their hair cut or temporarily colored. If fans donate $20 or more, they will receive a ticket voucher for (2) two tickets to a future 2018 Rays home game. All proceeds benefit the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF), which aims to end pediatric cancer through research, with over $60,000 raised from the event in the last five years. Fans interested in participating in Cut for a Cure must have a ticket to that day's game in order to enter Tropicana Field. 

Tomorrow, September 8, the Rays will host Childhood Cancer Awareness Day at Tropicana Field, in recognition of September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, when the team takes on the Baltimore Orioles at 6:10 p.m. League-wide participation of the event took place during the team's road trip on September 1 in Cleveland, with major league players, coaches, umpires and grounds crew wearing gold ribbon decals and wristbands. This is the third consecutive season Major League Baseball has recognized Childhood Cancer Awareness Day.

From the time gates open at 4:10 p.m. until the end of the 7th inning, fans are invited to participate in the sixth annual Cut for a Cure event at the RumFish Grill Deck in center field inside Tropicana Field. For a donation of any amount, fans can have their hair cut or temporarily colored. If fans donate $20 or more, they will receive a ticket voucher for (2) two tickets to a future 2018 Rays home game. All proceeds benefit the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF), which aims to end pediatric cancer through research, with over $60,000 raised from the event in the last five years. Fans interested in participating in Cut for a Cure must have a ticket to that day's game in order to enter Tropicana Field. 

In addition, the Rays will welcome back and honor 35 children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Children's Dream Fund as part of a Tuesday's Champion reunion on the field prior to the game. Each child has suffered from a life-threatening illness and has been the Rays "Tuesday's Champion" for one Tuesday home game, which includes attending batting practice, meeting Rays players and coaches and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Each child will receive a customized Rays jersey with the number on the back indicating what year they were a Tuesday's Champion. Prior to the game, they will each be introduced on the field and will line up with Rays players and coaches during a moment of silence and the national anthem, which will be performed by former Tuesday's Champion, 8-year-old Olivia Minutolo. 

During the game, Rays and Orioles players and coaches will once again wear gold wristbands to raise awareness for the fight against childhood cancer. Every season, Rays players and coaches make a total of seven visits to the Children's Medical Center at Tampa General Hospital and Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, spending time with pediatric patients and their families. 

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays open three-team, nine-game homestand tomorrow

Highlights include 20th anniversary photo viewer and Snack N' Drink Cup

The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field tomorrow for a three-team, nine-game homestand against the Baltimore Orioles (September 7-9), Cleveland Indians (September 10-12) and the Oakland Athletics (September 14-16). The 2018 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital. 

The homestand begins tomorrow, September 7 with a 7:10 p.m. first pitch and continues on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. When gates open prior to Saturday's game, all fans will receive a 20th Anniversary Photo Viewer, presented by Sagicor Life Insurance. The Rays-Orioles series concludes on Sunday afternoon with a 1:10 p.m. start. Prior to Sunday's game, all kids 14 years and under will receive a Snack N' Drink Cup, presented by Match-Up Promotions. All promotional items are available while supplies last.

The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field tomorrow for a three-team, nine-game homestand against the Baltimore Orioles (September 7-9), Cleveland Indians (September 10-12) and the Oakland Athletics (September 14-16). The 2018 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital. 

The homestand begins tomorrow, September 7 with a 7:10 p.m. first pitch and continues on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. When gates open prior to Saturday's game, all fans will receive a 20th Anniversary Photo Viewer, presented by Sagicor Life Insurance. The Rays-Orioles series concludes on Sunday afternoon with a 1:10 p.m. start. Prior to Sunday's game, all kids 14 years and under will receive a Snack N' Drink Cup, presented by Match-Up Promotions. All promotional items are available while supplies last.

The Rays take on the Indians beginning on Monday, September 10, with the first of two consecutive 7:10 p.m. starts. The series concludes on Wednesday, September 12 at 1:10 p.m. 

Following an off-day on Thursday, September 13, the Rays host the Athletics starting on Friday, September 14, with a 7:10 p.m. start. When gates open prior to Saturday's 6:10 p.m. game, all fans will receive a Tote Bag, presented by MLB Network, while supplies last. Upon entry to the homestand finale on Sunday at 1:10 p.m., kids 14 years and under will receive a Toy Truck, presented by W.B. Mason, while supplies last.

Sundays are Family Fun Days, courtesy of Tampa General Hospital. Every Sunday home game will feature free parking for cars with four or more passengers and a variety of postgame activities for kids, including Kids Run the Bases and a DJ Kitty Dance Party. For the fifth consecutive season, concourse activities will be complimentary for kids 14 years and under. In addition, every Sunday home game, two Rays players will sign autographs for kids 14 years and under along the right field line from 12:00-12:30 p.m.

The Rays are also offering weekday specials throughout the season including: 

• Monday -- Salute to Service Monday presented by Suncoast Credit Union: Military, Teachers and First Responders can receive two (2) complimentary tickets to select Monday home games, additional bonus dates and special ticket offers throughout the season. Some exclusions apply. Military, Teachers and First Responders are encouraged to visit raysbaseball.com/specials to sign up. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB-approved verification service. Tickets will be made available one week prior to each scheduled game date.

• Tuesday -- $2 Kids Tuesdays presented by Morgan Auto Group: For all Tuesday home games, tickets for kids 14 years and under are $2 with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket. $2 Hot Dogs, presented by Kayem Franks, will be available for all fans for all Tuesday home dates.

• Wednesday -- Senior Special Wednesdays presented by Duke Energy: For all Wednesday home games, Press Level tickets for fans 60 years and older are only $15.

• Thursday -- $19.98 Ticket Combo presented by Coca-Cola: For all Thursday home games, fans can purchase Press Level tickets that include chips and a 20-ounce bottled Coca-Cola beverage for $19.98.

• Friday -- $7.11 Tickets presented by 7-Eleven: For all Friday home games, fans may purchase Upper Level tickets for only $7.11. To take advantage of this special price, fans should visit a participating local 7-Eleven store and pick up the Rays Friday night discount coupon. The coupon code will be redeemable online at raysbaseball.com/specials or at the BayCare Box Office at Tropicana Field. Each coupon will be good for up to four (4) tickets. Fans will be able to upgrade to the lower level for an additional $7. Budweiser and Bud Light will be available to purchase for fans 21 years and older for $5 at the Budweiser Porch in Center Field. Please drink responsibly.

• 7Rewards members can show their app at Gate 3 Guest Services on Friday home games and receive one benefit, one time during the season, in addition to a free small slurpee coupon. Items available include one (1) voucher for a 20-ounce bottled soft drink or bottled water at Tropicana Field concession stands, free parking for a future Rays home game, 'Buy One, Get One' ticket offer or a Rays promotional item. All items are subject to availability. • Rays Season Ticket Holders can receive a one-time bonus of 711 Free Rays Rewards points by showing the 7Rewards app at Membership Services at Tropicana Field. All Season Ticket Holders who receive points also will receive a free small slurpee coupon.

2019 SEASON TICKETS ON SALE NOW -- 2019 Season Tickets benefits include great savings, the best seat locations, concession and merchandise discounts and access to exclusive events. Through the Double Play Season Ticket opportunity, fans can select from their choice of a premium gift or experience including a complimentary catered suite to a 2019 Rays home game, an experience at the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa and an all-expense paid spring training experience. Fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS or visit raysbaseball.com/seasontickets for more information.

BATS N' BREWS -- The Rays and iHeartMedia Tampa Bay's "Bats N' Brews" radio show, presented by Budweiser, airs live on Friday, September 7 from the Budweiser Porch in center field. This week's show features DJ Shizm from 95.7 The Beat.

SALUTE TO SERVICE $10 TICKETS -- The Rays have extended their Salute to Service promotion, presented by Suncoast Credit Union, to include $10 tickets for the game on Saturday, September 8. This special offer is available online only through raysbaseball.com/specials and expires the night before the game at midnight. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING PLAYERS TO PARTICIPATE IN BATTING PRACTICE -- Tampa Bay Lightning players Braydon Coburn, Louis Domingue, Dan Girardi and J.T. Miller will attend and take part in Rays batting practice on Monday, September 10 at approximately 4 p.m.

ROBERTO CLEMENTE DAY -- The Rays will hold their Roberto Clemente Day celebration to honor the life and career of the Hall of Famer as part of Hispanic Heritage Month on Saturday, September 15. Rays outfielder Mallex Smith will be honored in a pregame ceremony as the club's Roberto Clemente Award nominee. As a special offer for this game, fans can purchase Press Level tickets for $21 online at raysbaseball.com/Clemente.

DOG DAY AT THE RAYS -- The series finale with the Athletics on Sunday, September 16 is Dog Day at the Rays, presented by Tito's Handmade Vodka-Vodka for Dog People. For just $30 ($40 value), the specially-priced ticket package includes a seat for a fan and their dog in the tbt* Party Deck. Dog Day tickets can be purchased at raysbaseball.com/dogday. In con¬junction with Dog Day, the Rays Wives will host their sixth annual pet food and supply drive, benefiting Pet Pal Animal Shelter. Pet food and supply donations will be collected inside Gate 1 and outside Gate 6. Fans who donate pet food or supplies will receive a ticket voucher for a 2019 Rays game. In addition, the Rays Wives will have a charity raffle on the tbt* Party Deck, featuring exclusive Rays experiences, autographed items and Rays Wives dogs' favorite things baskets. All raffle proceeds will benefit Pet Pal Animal Shelter and SPCA Tampa Bay.

GATES OPEN -- Sunday-Thursday, 1½ hours prior to first pitch; Friday-Saturday, 2 hours prior to first pitch.

Tampa Bay Rays

Mallex Smith selected as Rays nominee for the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-Major League Baseball today announced that Mallex Smith was selected as the Tampa Bay Rays 2018 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB.

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-Major League Baseball today announced that Mallex Smith was selected as the Tampa Bay Rays 2018 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB.

 

The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each MLB club who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

 

Each club nominates one current player to be considered for the Roberto Clemente Award in tribute to Clemente's achievements and character. Wednesday, September 5 marks the 17th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente's legacy and to officially acknowledge local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks.

 

In his second season with the Rays, Mallex has distinguished himself as a leader in the community. He has committed countless hours in the greater Tampa Bay area by utilizing his platform as a major league player to impact local youth through his positive and engaging personality.

 

Mallex participated in the first Reading with the Rays event, presented by Suncoast Credit Union, this season by reading children's books to more than 40 kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Charlotte County in March at Charlotte Sports Park, the Rays spring training home.

 

On Jackie Robinson Day, Mallex met and talked with 30 students from the Poynter Institute's Write Field program during a pregame event at Tropicana Field. Write Field is a dynamic program designed to improve the academic performance and life of African-American and Hispanic boys by teaching them writing, public speaking and critical thinking skills. The students participated in a Q&A session with Mallex, interviewing him on his childhood, family and friends and experience playing professional baseball. The students then turned their research notes into full stories on their experience meeting Mallex and watching the Rays game.

 

In June, Mallex took part in the local Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraiser that raises over $200,000 annually for children in need across Tampa Bay. The money raised through the event allow more "Bigs" and "Littles" to be paired up, leading to improved outlooks on life for the children. Mallex met with each team competing, taking pictures and signing autographs with the top fundraisers.

 

For the second straight year, Mallex participated in the Rays on the Runway fashion show, a charity event hosted by the Children's Dream Fund and Rays Wives, by walking down the runway with 10-year-old dream child Jhorden. The event raised more than $115,000 for the Children's Dream Fund, which aims to make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.

 

In addition, Mallex not only aims to impact local youth, but takes his inspiration to the offseason when he works with high school and college players in Gainesville, Florida to develop baseball skills and self-confidence.

 

The Rays will have an on-field, pregame ceremony to present Mallex with the award on Saturday, September 15 during the club's annual Roberto Clemente Day.

 

The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, who will be announced during the 2018 World Series, will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game. The blue ribbon panel includes Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS) and MLB.com, as well as Vera Clemente (the late Roberto's wife & MLB Goodwill Ambassador). Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans can vote for the overall winner of the Roberto Clemente Award via a dedicated website from Wednesday, September 5 through Tuesday, September 18. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel. Fans are encouraged to vote by visiting mlb.com/clemente21.

 

The concept of honoring Major League players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the "Commissioner's Award." The recognition was renamed to the "Roberto Clemente Award" in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day each September since 2002.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays announce 2019 Spring Training schedule

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays today released their spring training schedule for 2019, the team's 11th Grapefruit League season at Charlotte Sports Park. The schedule features 33 official Grapefruit League games, including 16 home games at Charlotte Sports Park and one home game at Tropicana Field. The Rays open the Grapefruit League schedule at Charlotte Sports Park on Friday, February 22 against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Rays schedule is subject to change, and game times will be announced at a later date.

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays today released their spring training schedule for 2019, the team's 11th Grapefruit League season at Charlotte Sports Park. The schedule features 33 official Grapefruit League games, including 16 home games at Charlotte Sports Park and one home game at Tropicana Field. The Rays open the Grapefruit League schedule at Charlotte Sports Park on Friday, February 22 against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Rays schedule is subject to change, and game times will be announced at a later date.

 

The first workout for pitchers and catchers is scheduled for Wednesday, February 13. The first full-squad workout is scheduled for Monday, February 18.

 

In addition to the official Grapefruit League slate, the Rays will host the University of South Florida baseball team on Tuesday, March 5, for the only the second time, following March 1, 2000. On Sunday, March 24, the Rays will travel to North Port to help the Atlanta Braves open their new spring training facility, which will be Atlanta's full-time spring home beginning in 2020. For the second straight year, the Rays complete the spring training schedule against the Detroit Tigers in an exhibition game at Tropicana Field on Tuesday, March 26.

 

Fans can place a deposit to become a 2019 Rays Spring Training Season Ticket Holder or renew their Spring Training Season Tickets and receive complimentary tickets to a 2018 Rays regular season home game as well as a Rays promotional item. For more information, call 888-FAN-RAYS or visit raysbaseball.com/spring.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays announce 2019 regular-season schedule

Rays to Host Astros in 10th Straight Opening Day at Tropicana Field on March 28

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays have released their 2019 regular-season schedule, and for the 10th consecutive season will play at home on Opening Day as the Houston Astros visit for a four-game series beginning on Thursday, March 28. All 30 major league clubs released their 2019 schedules today. The Rays schedule is subject to change, and game times will be announced at a later date. The 2019 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays have released their 2019 regular-season schedule, and for the 10th consecutive season will play at home on Opening Day as the Houston Astros visit for a four-game series beginning on Thursday, March 28. All 30 major league clubs released their 2019 schedules today. The Rays schedule is subject to change, and game times will be announced at a later date. The 2019 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

 

This will be the first time the Rays have faced an AL West opponent on Opening Day, and only the fourth time they have faced a club outside of the AL East, following March 31, 1998 vs. DET (a 11-6 loss), April 3, 2000 at MIN (a 7-0 win) and April 2, 2002 vs. DET (a 9-5 win). March 28 will mark the earliest Opening Day in Rays history, topping March 29, 2018 when they hosted the Boston Red Sox (a 6-4 win). They will open the season on a Thursday for a second consecutive year, after never having done so prior to 2017.

 

For the seventh straight season, Tampa Bay will play 20 interleague games, and they will oppose all five teams from the NL West and continue their annual home-and-home series with the Miami Marlins. The Rays play in the San Francisco Giants home opener on Friday, April 5, only the club's second trip to San Francisco, following June 18-20, 2002. The Rays are scheduled to host the Colorado Rockies (April 1-3), Arizona Diamondbacks (May 6-8), Los Angeles Dodgers (May 21-22) and Marlins (August 3-4). The Rockies will be making only their second appearance at Tropicana Field, first since the Rays swept them in a three-game series from June 11-13, 2004. They will play interleague road series at San Francisco (April 5-7), Miami (May 14-15), San Diego (August 12-14) and Los Angeles (September 17-18).

 

The Rays will play 19 games against each of their AL East rivals, the Baltimore Orioles (9 home, 10 away), Red Sox (10 home, 9 away), New York Yankees (9 home, 10 away) and Toronto Blue Jays (10 home, 9 away). The schedule features two weekend series against both the Red Sox (April 19-21, September 20-23) and Yankees (May 10-12, July 4-7) at Tropicana Field.

 

The Rays will play seven games against the Cleveland Indians, Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics. The Rays will have six games apiece vs. the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.

 

For information on season tickets and group tickets for 2019, fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS to speak with a Rays representative.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays host Royals and Red Sox during seven-game homestand

Highlights include Wade Boggs bobblehead and ceremonial first pitch on Saturday

The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field on Monday for a seven-game homestand against the Kansas City Royals (Aug 20-23) and Boston Red Sox (Aug 24-26). The 2018 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

The homestand begins Monday, with the first of four consecutive 7:10 p.m. starts against the Royals.

The Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field on Monday for a seven-game homestand against the Kansas City Royals (Aug 20-23) and Boston Red Sox (Aug 24-26). The 2018 Rays season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

The homestand begins Monday, with the first of four consecutive 7:10 p.m. starts against the Royals.

For the second consecutive year, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association will hold Players' Weekend from August 24-26 when the Rays host the Red Sox. Players' Weekend will showcase the personalities and interests of Major League players by allowing them to select a nickname for the back of their jersey as well as wear and use uniquely colored and designed equipment including bats, spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves and catcher's equipment. Each player will have the opportunity to recognize someone who was instrumental in his personal development, or a baseball player who inspired him to achieve, on a jersey patch on his right sleeve. In addition, each player will have the option to wear a T-shirt highlighting a cause or charity of his choice during pregame workouts and postgame interviews.

The Rays take on the Red Sox beginning on Friday, August 24, with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. When gates open prior to Saturday's 6:10 p.m. game, all fans in attendance will receive a Wade Boggs Bobblehead, presented by Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, while supplies last. The Tampa native and Hall of Famer will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Saturday's game. The homestand concludes on Sunday afternoon with a 1:10 p.m. start. Prior to Sunday's game, all kids 14 years and under will receive DJ Kitty Slippers, presented by Crown Automotive Group, while supplies last.

Sundays are Family Fun Days, courtesy of Tampa General Hospital. Every Sunday home game will feature free parking for cars with four or more passengers and a variety of postgame activities for kids, including Kids Run the Bases and a DJ Kitty Dance Party. For the fifth consecutive season, concourse activities will be complimentary for kids 14 years and under. Activities include Power Alley Batting Cage, Speed Pitch, Virtual Reality Home Run Derby, Raymond's Treehouse, Topps Make Your Own Baseball Card and the Grand Slam Alley, courtesy of GameTime. In addition, every Sunday home game, two Rays players will sign autographs for kids 14 years and under along the right field line from 12:00-12:30 p.m.

The Rays are also offering weekday specials throughout the season including:

• Monday -- Salute to Service Monday presented by Suncoast Credit Union: Military, Teachers and First Responders can receive two (2) complimentary tickets to select Monday home games, additional bonus dates and special ticket offers throughout the season. Some exclusions apply. Military, Teachers and First Responders are encouraged to visit raysbaseball.com/specials to sign up. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB-approved verification service. Tickets will be made available one week prior to each scheduled game date.

• Tuesday -- $2 Kids Tuesdays presented by Morgan Auto Group: For all Tuesday home games, tickets for kids 14 years and under are $2 with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket. $2 Hot Dogs, presented by Kayem Franks, will be available for all fans for all Tuesday home dates.

• Wednesday -- Senior Special Wednesdays presented by Duke Energy: For all Wednesday home games, Press Level tickets for fans 60 years and older are only $15.

• Thursday -- $19.98 Ticket Combo presented by Coca-Cola: For all Thursday home games, fans can purchase Press Level tickets that include chips and a 20-ounce bottled Coca-Cola beverage for $19.98.

• Friday -- $7.11 Tickets presented by 7-Eleven: For all Friday home games, fans may purchase Upper Level tickets for only $7.11. To take advantage of this special price, fans should visit a participating local 7-Eleven store and pick up the Rays Friday night discount coupon. The coupon code will be redeemable online at raysbaseball.com/specials or at the BayCare Box Office at Tropicana Field. Each coupon will be good for up to four (4) tickets. Fans will be able to upgrade to the lower level for an additional $7. Budweiser and Bud Lights will be available to purchase for fans 21 years and older for $5 at the Budweiser Porch in Center Field. Please drink responsibly.

     • 7Rewards members can show their app at Gate 3 Guest Services on Friday home games and receive one benefit, one time during the season, in addition to a free small slurpee coupon. Items available include one (1) voucher for a 20-ounce bottled soft drink or bottled water at Tropicana Field concession stands, free parking for a future Rays home game, 'Buy One, Get One' ticket offer or a Rays promotional item. All items are subject to availability.

     • Rays Season Ticket Holders can receive a one-time bonus of 711 Free Rays Rewards points by showing the 7Rewards app at Membership Services at Tropicana Field. All Season Ticket Holders who receive points also will receive a free small slurpee coupon.

PLAYERS' WEEKEND MERCHANDISE -- Rays Players' Weekend merchandise will be available for purchase throughout the homestand from the Rays Republic Team Store. In addition, authentic blank Players' Weekend jerseys and an original Blake Snell "Snellzilla" T-shirt will be available for sale.

SALUTE TO SERVICE $20 TICKETS -- The Rays have extended their Salute to Service promotion, presented by Suncoast Credit Union, to include $20 tickets for the game on Saturday, August 25. This special offer is available online only through raysbaseball.com/specials and expires the night before the game at midnight. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB approved verification service.

USF DAY-- USF Day returns to Tropicana Field on Sunday, August 26 with a $38 ticket package that includes a seat in the lower level and an exclusive Rays/USF co-branded hat. USF head football coach Charlie Strong will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game. To purchase the USF ticket special, visit raysbaseball.com/specialevents. The deadline to purchase tickets is Thursday, August 23 at 11:59 p.m.

PLEDGE PACKS -- With a $150 donation to the Rays Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization and the official charity of the Rays, fans can receive a Pledge Pack, valued at $250. Pledge Packs contain the Rays 20th anniversary coffee table book, a mystery autographed baseball grab bag, one (1) ticket voucher valid for four (4) Lower Corner tickets, a Fred McGriff and Tino Martinez Double Bobblehead and a Kevin Kiermaier STAR WARS® Pop Vinyl. All proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation. For more information or to purchase a pledge pack, visit raysbaseball.com/pledgepacks.

GATES OPEN -- Sunday-Thursday, 1 1/2 hours prior to first pitch; Friday-Saturday, two hours prior to first pitch.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays acquire Shane Baz to complete trade with Pirates

The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Shane Baz (pronounced BOZ) as the player to be named to complete the July 31 trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Baz, 19, will join Rookie-level Princeton. He went 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA (45.1-IP, 20-ER) and 54 strikeouts in 10 starts this season with Rookie-level Bristol, and ranks among Appalachian League leaders in ERA (seventh), strikeouts (third), innings pitched (fifth) and opponents' batting avg. (.250, fourth). Over his last four starts, he was 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA (17.2-IP, 4-ER) and 25 strikeouts. He was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week for August 6-12, his first career weekly honor, making a pair of scoreless starts spanning 9.2 innings.

The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Shane Baz (pronounced BOZ) as the player to be named to complete the July 31 trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Baz, 19, will join Rookie-level Princeton. He went 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA (45.1-IP, 20-ER) and 54 strikeouts in 10 starts this season with Rookie-level Bristol, and ranks among Appalachian League leaders in ERA (seventh), strikeouts (third), innings pitched (fifth) and opponents' batting avg. (.250, fourth). Over his last four starts, he was 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA (17.2-IP, 4-ER) and 25 strikeouts. He was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week for August 6-12, his first career weekly honor, making a pair of scoreless starts spanning 9.2 innings.

Baz was selected by the Pirates in the first round (12th overall) of the 2017 June Draft out of Concordia Lutheran (Texas) High School and is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 95 overall prospect in the minor leagues. He was ranked by both Baseball America and MLB.com as the No. 4 prospect in the Pirates organization. In his first professional season, he went 0-3 with a 3.80 ERA (23.2-IP, 10-ER) in 10 starts for the GCL Pirates. Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 3 prospect in the Gulf Coast League. He committed to Texas Christian University before signing with the Pirates. 

On July 31, the Rays traded right-handed pitcher Chris Archer to the Pirates in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow, outfielder Austin Meadows and a player to be named. Glasnow has pitched to a 2.25 ERA (12-IP, 3-ER) in three starts with the Rays, and leads the majors with a 15.00 strikeouts per nine innings ratio in August (min. 10 IP). Meadows is batting .333/.372/.718 (13-for-39) with six doubles, three home runs and eight RBI in 11 games for Triple-A Durham.

Tampa Bay Rays