Rays Letterman sweater are simply groovy

I still remember the day Coach Brown called me into his office. There stood the gruff-voiced man who put me through enough drills to tire the entire ROTC brigade. The authority figure who had me run enough laps to encircle the Earth, who pushed me miles beyond my previous peak performance to be a more solid and well-rounded athlete…and he was smiling.

In the palms of his hands laid the ultimate gift of gratitude a Coach can bestow an athlete in High School. A symbolic token of their appreciation for the gallons of sweat and game day magic that embodied that season’s defeats and triumphs. To some it was a simple piece of woven cloth fashioned into a capital letter “D”.

When I first heard about a week ago that Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Maddon was thinking of having his brood wear 1950’s style letterman sweaters, I was a bit concerned. Most of his squad had been presented these tokens of athletic performance before in their teen athletic endeavors, and I wondered if it might be a bit…sophomoric. But I am wrong thinking that, for the task this Rays squad performed over their last 4 games definitely embodies and shows the work and pride needed to be presented with a woven “TB”.

I was an honor this morning to click upon an web article and see the entire Rays team, including staffers wearing the blue Rays sweaters also with their uniform numbers set in Carolina Blue. Just like the Rays last 4 games, the letters and numbers pop off the jersey with confidence, commitment and a determination to conclude their drive to the post season.

Sometimes Maddon does remind me of Coach Brown. Always pushing always striving for a little bit more out of you to achieve more and more, and bringing that dose of confidence with you. Heading into another 4-game battle against the New York Yankees, such high levels of pride and confidence need to be maintained, but I have a feeling Maddon has that also under control. The wearing of a letter is the ultimate symbol of prestige and honor.  I can think of no better group than this 2011 squad to wear the “TB”.  You have made an old letter man proud to be a Rays fan.

2 Comments

Please tell me these are going to be sold somewhere in the near future!

Jonathan,
Honest answer is that I have heard two differetn angles of this possibly happening. One is that the Rays Baseball Foundation along with approval by MLB could put them up for auction like they do the “Throwback Jerseys”. Another source says they will stay private with each player deciding to use their for their own charities as silent auction items. Either way, this has been a very positive road trip idea that has sparked fans wanting them too. Personally, I find them a bit….well over the top for every day or game day wear, but having one would be a fantastic conversation piece just like 2010 “BRAYSer”, which is still be purchased in a local Tampa Bay retailer.

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