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Rays to host 10-year celebration of 2008 American League championship club

More than 20 alumni of 2008 Rays to take part in weekend festivities

During this weekend's series against the Chicago White Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays will hold a 10-year celebration of the 2008 American League Championship club, which gained notoriety as one of the most thrilling worst-to-first stories in the history of sports. More than 20 alumni are confirmed to attend. 

At 2:00 p.m. on Friday, the Rays will hold a press conference at the 20th Anniversary Exhibit, adjacent to the Ted Williams Museum. (Media should enter through Gate 4, which will open at 1:00 p.m.) The press conference will include alumni players Jason Bartlett (voted team MVP), Aki Iwamura (traveling from Japan), Scott Kazmir (2008 All-Star), James Shields (visiting as a member of the White Sox) and B.J. Upton (hit seven home runs in the 2008 Postseason). Media seeking one-on-one interviews with any 2008 Rays alumni on Friday or Saturday should make their request via email at media@raysbaseball.com. Meanwhile, other Rays alumni will visit patients Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and Tampa General Hospital.

During this weekend's series against the Chicago White Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays will hold a 10-year celebration of the 2008 American League Championship club, which gained notoriety as one of the most thrilling worst-to-first stories in the history of sports. More than 20 alumni are confirmed to attend. 

At 2:00 p.m. on Friday, the Rays will hold a press conference at the 20th Anniversary Exhibit, adjacent to the Ted Williams Museum. (Media should enter through Gate 4, which will open at 1:00 p.m.) The press conference will include alumni players Jason Bartlett (voted team MVP), Aki Iwamura (traveling from Japan), Scott Kazmir (2008 All-Star), James Shields (visiting as a member of the White Sox) and B.J. Upton (hit seven home runs in the 2008 Postseason). Media seeking one-on-one interviews with any 2008 Rays alumni on Friday or Saturday should make their request via email at media@raysbaseball.com. Meanwhile, other Rays alumni will visit patients Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and Tampa General Hospital.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early. When Gate 1 opens on Friday (5:10 p.m.) and Saturday (4:10 p.m.), fans will be greeted by 2008 Rays alumni. Also both nights, 2008 Rays alumni will sign autographs in the 20th Anniversary Exhibit. Season Ticket Holders can take photos and listen to a Q&A with alumni, moderated by former in-game host Rusty Kath. Upon entering Saturday, fans will receive an Akinori Iwamura Bobblehead, presented by Fanatics (while supplies last), depicting the final out of the 2008 ALCS with Rays Radio audio of the call.

Pregame ceremonies honoring the 2008 Rays will begin at 5:45 p.m. and will be emceed by radio broadcasters Andy Freed and Dave Wills. Iwamura will deliver a ceremonial first pitch, to be caught by Bartlett. Les Sabler and Marshall Gillam will perform the national anthem, as they did several times during the 2008 season.

Tickets are available online at raysbaseball.com, at the BayCare Box Office at Tropicana Field or by calling 888-FAN-RAYS.

Confirmed alumni players attending (20): Rocco Baldelli, Grant Balfour, Jason Bartlett, Kurt Birkins, Chad Bradford, Reid Brignac, Mike DiFelice, Scott Dohmann, Gary Glover, Gabe Gross, Aki Iwamura, Elliot Johnson, Scott Kazmir, Trever Miller, Fernando Perez, Shawn Riggans, Justin Ruggiano, James Shields, B.J. Upton, Dan Wheeler.

Confirmed alumni coaches attending (3): Brian Anderson, Tom Foley, Steve Henderson.

Tampa Bay Rays