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Rays to celebrate 20th anniversary of Inaugural Game on Saturday

Twenty alumni of 1998 Devil Rays to take part in weekend festivities

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- This Saturday, March 31, the Tampa Bay Rays will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the first game in franchise history. Twenty alumni of the 1998 Devil Rays are confirmed to attend.

At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Rays will hold a press conference at the new 20th Anniversary Exhibit, adjacent to the Ted Williams Museum. (Media should enter through Gate 4.) The press conference will include Rays President Matt Silverman and alumni players Wilson Alvarez, Mike DiFelice, Roberto Hernandez and Quinton McCracken (subject to change). Following the press conference, these alumni and many others will be available to media for one-on-one interviews. The 20th Anniversary Exhibit will feature lockers displaying the various uniform schemes worn by the Rays throughout their history, the 2008 American League Championship trophy, a Game 162 display with Evan Longoria and Dan Johnson memorabilia, and an all-time statistical leaderboard.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- This Saturday, March 31, the Tampa Bay Rays will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the first game in franchise history. Twenty alumni of the 1998 Devil Rays are confirmed to attend.

At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Rays will hold a press conference at the new 20th Anniversary Exhibit, adjacent to the Ted Williams Museum. (Media should enter through Gate 4.) The press conference will include Rays President Matt Silverman and alumni players Wilson Alvarez, Mike DiFelice, Roberto Hernandez and Quinton McCracken (subject to change). Following the press conference, these alumni and many others will be available to media for one-on-one interviews. The 20th Anniversary Exhibit will feature lockers displaying the various uniform schemes worn by the Rays throughout their history, the 2008 American League Championship trophy, a Game 162 display with Evan Longoria and Dan Johnson memorabilia, and an all-time statistical leaderboard.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early for Saturday's 6:10 p.m. game. Upon entering, fans will receive a 1998 Replica Seat Cushion presented by GTE Financial (while supplies last)-similar to the one given away at the inaugural game in 1998. At 4:10, fans entering Gate 1 will be greeted by 1998 alumni players, who will then sign autographs at the 20th Anniversary Exhibit at 4:30 p.m. In the Republic Bank Draft Room from 4:30-5:10 p.m., Season Ticket Holders can get autographs and listen to a Q&A with alumni, led by Tampa Bay Times beat writer Marc Topkin.

Pregame ceremonies honoring the 1998 Devil Rays Opening Day roster will begin at 5:45 p.m. and will be emceed by Dewayne Staats, the club's TV broadcaster since the 1998 season. Wilson Alvarez, who threw the very first pitch in that inaugural game, will throw the ceremonial first pitch. Mike DiFelice will catch the pitch, standing in for John Flaherty who is unable to attend, and original home plate umpire Richie Garcia will participate as well.

In Saturday night's game, the current team will debut their Majestic Athletic white alternate throwback Devil Rays jerseys, using the original gradient Devil Rays design, worn from 1998 through 2000, and the 20th Anniversary patch on the left sleeve. They will also debut their new alternate caps, a newly designed navy blue New Era retro cap that blends the original and current designs, featuring a large fish emblem on a gradient background and a modified 20th Anniversary patch on the right side.

Tickets are available online at raysbaseball.com, at the Tropicana Field box office or by calling 888-FAN-RAYS.

Alumni attending (18): Wilson Alvarez, Rolando Arrojo, Wade Boggs, Rich Butler, Miguel Cairo, Mike DiFelice, Rick Gorecki, Roberto Hernandez, Aaron Ledesma, Albie Lopez, Quinton McCracken, Jim Mecir, Bryan Rekar, Tony Saunders, Bobby Smith, Dennis Springer, Randy Winn, Esteban Yan Coaches attending (2): Orlando Gomez, Greg Riddoch

Tampa Bay Rays