Thought processes and conversations started under the tilted cap of Tropicana Field. Someday everyone will know the Rays play in St. Petersburg, Florida, not TAMPA, or the fictitious city of TAMPA BAY.
New Tampa Bay Tradition Forming
I am someone who believes a lot in solid and confidence building game day traditions. It must have materialized in my mindset during my sports days. But all through my adult life, I have also had my own little traditions or superstitious Rays game day moments.
I still twill my Rays cap after the daily singing of the “National Anthem” ( even at home), and throw a post-game salute to Rays Bullpen Catcher Scott Cursi as he leaves the bench area. Been doing both of these Rays game day actions for years, and for some reason I do not want to test patience of the Baseball Gods.
It was really great to see that the Rays Bullpen members also began to establish another great Rays tradition or superstition during this recent home stand. I am not talking about the daily landscaping of David Price’s bobblehead on the Rightfield wall by Rays reliever Andy Sonnanstine. I am talking about the new inclusion of a Rays “T B ” logo symbol in the back of the Rays Bullpen mound.
For the past few days, different members of the Rays crew in the Bullpen have been experimenting with the shape of the Rays ” T B ” symbol and finally last night, Rays reliever Lance Cormier brought out an actual instrument to help bring perfect uniformity and consistency to the daily design. By having someone simply manufacture an outline of the “T B ” symbol in plywood, the Rays Bullpen can now reproduce the “T B” with a constant flair and consistent design daily.
The new wooden frame will provide a accurate sense of uniformity to the symbol every game, plus I would not be surprised if we see the same symbol materialize soon on the Rays actual pitching mound. Rays Ground Guru Dan Moeller was over at the Rays Bullpen mound following Thursday night’s contest taking a few digital shots of the Rays Bullpen’s artistic endeavors. Other Major League Baseball teams imprint their team’s logos into soft clay surrounding the back ends of the pitching mound, and soon maybe the Rays be the next team to also use this great visual symbol to their advantage.
It is just another great example of the Rays establishing another Rays tradition by possibly using the symbol for all home games in their pitching mound preparation, both on the field, and in the Bullpen. But I suspect that the “T B ” symbol is far from being perfected yet. Last night, Cormier added a little water to the clay surface to bring out a darker tone to the clay and emphasize the “T B ” symbol in a darker tone to off set the reddish-brown color of the clay.
It did tend to pop out a bit more, but I suspect they might do a bit of experimentation. There could be a small dab of rosin or maybe even chalk added to the design to bring out a more robust and instantly recognizable symbol on the pitching mounds. Symbolism on our sports fields have been around for a long time. And with other MLB teams also expanding the envelope of including their own team’s logo impressions on their field surfaces, it is reasonable to think the Rays might be the next to tackle this manner on their own pitching surfaces.
Symbolism has long been used in the past to denote pride, courage and ownership. Soon, with the inclusion of this same ” T B “symbol on the Rays mounds, the Rays can take another step in showing their dominance and intensity on their home grounds too.
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