Results tagged ‘ Modern West ’

Baseball Fans in Tampa for the Superbowl

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Kevin Costner is a popular guy around Tampa Bay. He’s a regular at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am in Lutz, and last fall, his band, Modern West, composed a rah-rah jingle for the Tampa Bay Rays.


Now he’s plotting his own Super Bowl party in Tampa.


Costner and Michael Strahan will host this year’s Saturday Night Spectacular at 8 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Pepin Hospitality Centre. The event will feature a performance by the avant-garde circus Circue USA; Starship Supergroup, a classic-rock supergroup composed of members of Jefferson Starship, Toto, Survivor and the Dazz Band; and, yes, Costner and Modern West ( in case you just can’t get enough of It’s All Up To You ).

The charity listed as a beneficiary of the event is named for Matthew Tryson Bryant, Bucs kicker Matt Bryant’s 3-month-old son who died suddenly in September. (The charity is still in the works.)

For Individual tickets to the party, visit http://saturdaynightspectacular.com.

A Hodge Podge of Number 2 Ray’s Moments in 2008

 

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I was sitting at the computer this morning trying to pick out a second possible winning moment in 2008 for the Rays when it dawned on me that there are too many to even count. So I have decided to instead list all the important events, as per my opinion, that have made 2008 so great for Rays fans. I mean I truly sat there after deciding on number 3 yesterday, and decided that one was the easiest pick of the bunch.

 

If you get to go to the big show, it has to be a top 3 moment in your team’s flight that season.  There are a huge bunch of moments that helped define 2008 for the Rays. Be it a event in 2007 at shaped the look and feel of the franchise again, or the elimination of a curse in another stadium that served as a mental block to the team. 2008 was the Year of the Ray, and it is one I am glad I got a front row seat for all year long.

 

 


I decided to run this in chronological order from the first event in 2007, up until the final out in Game 5.5 of the 2008 World Series.


So let’s begin with the first order of business way back in November 2007, when the Rays held a rally in Straub Park near the waterfront in St. Petersburg, Florida. The event was the unveiling of the teams new logo and colors. The Uniforms were fashioned to represent the old style of baseball with a new Rays logo on both the home and away jerseys. The “R” on the uniform front posed a new sweeping motion for the bottom of the letter, plus the sunburst between the lettering also brought about a new look and feel to the organization.

 

 

The ray of light was a new focal point of the team, which abandoned the former Ray on the cap and also on the team’s official logo. But the Rays did get to stay for 2008 on the sleeve of the jersey, but might be retired in 2009. The event was to showcase the new look and feel of the team. And with it came a new spirit of winning and posting new attitudes for the team. And one of baseball’s biggest supporters came out and celebrated with us. Kevin Costner and his band, Modern West came out and entertained the masses after the unveiling and rocked the house all the way up to the fireworks display.

 


Then came the last Spring Training reporting for the pitchers’ and catchers’ to the Ray Namoli Complex in Northwest St Petersburg. The team came out onto the field and Rays Manager Joe Maddon had a small speech in which he wanted to stress fundamentals and team work and chemistry in 2008. That was the day he unveiled his famous “9 =8 ” formula for the world to decipher for the rest of the season.

 

 


Then came the first event that molded and formed this band of players into friends and bonded them for the rest of the year. In the day prior to this event, the Rays Elliott Johnson had made a hard charge into Yankees’ minor league catcher, Francisco Cervelli a few days earlier. The event did not sit well with the Yankees’ staff and during the March 12th rematch at Progress Energy Field, Yankees enforcer Shelly Duncan decided to take matters into his own hands.



Duncan was hustling on a hit into the outfield when he turned and made a move towards second base. It was apparent to almost everyone but Duncan that he would not be able to make it to the base in time to beat the throw. During his slide, Duncan brought his cleats up towards Akinora Iwamura and struck him mid-thigh with his metal cleats.  Duncan came up immediately and contested the action before right fielder Jonny Gomes came into the action and leveled Duncan to the ground. It was an event that brought the team together for the first time in 2008.

 

 


Then two weeks later, the Rays said farewell to their present Spring Training home when the team played it’s last game at Progress Energy Field ( Al Lang Field, Waterfront Park). The game was met with sadness and joy because of the memories of teams playing on these grounds since the 1940’s in this present stadium. The event also was a visual point for the team to showcase the new proposed stadium that might some day rise on the same grounds.

 

Eric Hinske hits a one-out double during the Rays' two-run second inning. He tripled in the fourth and homered in the sixth.

 


Or could moments like Eric Hinske missing a cycle by a single. It is amazing to me that he went 3-4 on the night and got his triple and homer early in the contest at the Walt Disney complex, but could not get that elusive single.  Hinske ended up being one of the true bright spots for the Rays in the Free Agent market. He signed for a low number, but produced high energy and some pretty impressive offensive displays during the 2008 season.

 


Then we have the first sweep of the Boston Red Sox at home this season. That would only be the icing on the cake as the Rays would send the Red Sox faithful home as losers in 8 of the 9 games at the Trop this year. The  first series at the Trop. would end with a hard fought 3-0 shutout by James Shields.

 

Then comes the moment where Rays Manager Joe Maddon thinks the Rays season began to turn into its championship run. It was during a road trip up to Toronto when the Rays battled back from a possible loss. Edwin Jackson left the 8th inning with a Ray lead before Troy Percival gave up 4 straight singles to let the Jays tie the game at 3-all. The teams battled back and forth before Dioner Navarro, who went 3-6 on the day hit a screamer into the stands for a Grand Slam homer and sealed the victory for the Rays.

 

 


On May 13th the Rays got to celebrate for the first time in club history as the team officially took over first place in the American League East. It was the latest point in any Rays season that the team had enjoyed the top spot.  The game produced one of the first moments in the Rays 2008 history for celebrations when  pinch runner Jonny Gomes came on for Cliff Floyd after he singled in the bottom of the 11th inning. Gomes stole second, then sprinted  home to seal the victory for the Rays 2-1.

 

 


Then came the L A Angels first visit to Tropicana Field, and the Rays shut them down to also sweep that series. Then came in the mighty Chicago Cubs for a three game Inter-League series that was deemed by many to be a possible World Series matchup. During this series, the Rays finally began to get some national exposure for maybe being a true team that could win it all in 2008.


But not until after the June 19th game, in which Carl Crawford hit a grand slam to propel the Rays. The team had officially beat the best team in baseball all three games did the national media begin to get on the Rays bandwagon. Cub’s Manager Lou Pinella commended the Rays on their young squad, and you could see a small twinkle in his eye that he approved of the young team getting the best of his team that series.


 

 


On June 27th, Rays starter Matt Garza was on the mound in a game against the Florida Marlins and gave up a blast to Hanley Ramirez in the 7th inning to produce the only hit and run in the contest. Garza went on to shut down the Marlins’ offense the rest of the game.

 


According to the Elias Baseball Bureau, It was the first complete-game no-hitter or one-hitter with a double-digit strikeout total in the majors this season. There was only one such pitching performance in each of the last three seasons: by Chris Carpenter in 2005, John Lackey in 2006 and Justin Verlander in 2007.

 


On July 19th, the Rays won their first game back after the All Star break to break the team’s longest losing streak of the season. With the Blue Jays in town for a weekend series, the Rays went on to break up a perfectly good pitchers’ duel on a Ben Zobrist homer on the first pitch he saw tonight. Toronto starter A J Burnett was on tonight, but the Rays caught a huge break on a hanging breaking pitch to Zobrist for the victory.

 

Rocco Baldelli gets the shaving cream pie treatment after driving in the winning run in the ninth.  (AP)

 


While the Rays were at home on August 30th they got to celebrate a first in Rays history. With the 14-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles, the Rays posted their 82nd win of the season. Marking the first time in franchise history they were guaranteed a winning season.  It also marked the night of Scott Kazmir’s 10th victory of the year.

 

The mystic of Fenway Park was beginning to get the better of the Rays in 2008 before Scott Kazmir took the mound on September 10th in a series the team needed to keep their lead on the Boston Red Sox.  It also began one of the most storied moments in Rays history. During the contest the Rays batters went a combined 1-15 with men in scoring position and almost gave the game to the Red Sox several times. As the team fought back and forth before the Rays sent up a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 9th inning.  

 

 

Dan Johnson had been summed from the Durham Bulls earlier in the day and would have started in left field if he had gotten to the ball park a little earlier in the night. But because of flight problems and transportation to Fenway Park, he arrived just moments before the game. In the 9th inning, Rays Manager Joe Maddon inserted Johnson into the game to pinch hit against Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. Johnson worked the count to 3-2 before he hit a monster shot that cleared the right center field wall to give the Rays a 5-4 lead in the game. Jason Hammel ended up coming out in the bottom of the 9th and secured the win for the Rays. It was Hammel’s first save of his career.

 

 


With the team away for their last series, it was actually the next day when most Rays fans learned that we had secured the American League East title the previous night in Detroit. With the Rays in Motown for the last series, many players came back to the clubhouse to celebrate into the wee hours of the morning. It was a wild fact, but players and staff went to area hotels sports bars to do a bit of  scoreboard watching as the New York Yankees needed to lose for the Rays to be awarded their first title in team history.

 

 


After the hard fought season, the Rays staged a airport greeting for the team at St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport on September 29th. The event was attended by almost 5,000 people who flocked into the baggage area and loading zones to greet and cheer the team as they got off their chartered flight from Detroit. People filled the airport and also the outer traffic lanes of the airport to see their new champions come in from their road trip.


 

 


On October 6th, the Rays were in Chicago facing the White Sox when they secured their first series win in the American League Divisional series. The Rays won the series 3-1, and established that they were the team to beat to get to the World Series in the American League. In that series, the Rays battled back time and time again against the tough White Sox pitching staff before finally breaking through and getting right breaks.

 

 

When the Rays faced the Philadelphia Phillies on October 23rd, they sent James “Big Game” Shields to the mound. The game  showed the waking up of B J Upton and Carlos Pena at the plate as both help produce much needed offense for the Rays. In a play featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Rocco Baldelli came across the plate for an apparent Rays run, but Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz held onto the ball.

 

 


The game came down to great situational hitting by the Rays. B J Upton scored Akinora Iwamura from third to plate the first run for the Rays.  In the 4th inning, the Rays took a hold of the game after Cliff Floyd hit a single and Dioner Navarro hit a nice liner up the middle to put two men on base for the Rays. Baldelli then hit a nice shot down the third baseline, but it was gloved by Feliz and the Rays had men on the corners. Jason Bartlett then came up and executed a safety squeeze perfectly  in front of Phillies starter Brett Myers to put the Rays up 4-0. It would be the Rays first victory in the Fall classic.


 

 


Last, but not least is the Game 5.5 as I call it of the 2008 World Series. No matter what happened in this game, the historical significance was more pressing at the moment. The contest was a hard fought contest and each team traded runs and hits before the Phillies finally walked away with their second World Series Championship.

 


The game was a true test of everything that got the Rays here in 2008. The Bullpen, which was the team’s focal point in 2008 had finally given up a run at the most critical moment in the contest. And the Rays offense could not close the gap when needed during their last at bats. with Eric Hinske striking out for the last out of the game.

 

 


All of these events made a different focal point for the Rays in 2008. I hope a few of your fond memories have graced the blog. If I forgot a moment that you found remarkable in 2008, please feel free to comment on the blog and I will check into it and might even make it my number 1 choice tomorrow.  Again thank you to all the readers of Rays Renegade for their insights, comments ans readership in 2008.

 

Hopefully in 2009, I will have more outstanding Rays moments to record for you.

Rays Reminiscing…………..A Year Later

 

 

 

 

A little over 13 months ago we took on a new persona here in Tampa Bay. Everyone remembers the limp, win-challenged Tampa Bay Devilrays. Well, we were told to expect changes and get used to winning and maybe keeping a roll of antacids in our pockets for the 2008 season. But little did we know what was about to happen to effect our lives, stomachs and attitude towards our home team.

 

First there was the events st Straub Park that put the entire thing into motion for 2008. Kevin Costner and Modern West came to put on a free concert for the Tampa Bay Masses as we dropped the Devil from our moniker and became to Rays………free and clear. Along with those changes were vibrant logo with a highly accented “R” and the burst of light, which could of been a sunburst, a flashlight, or maybe even a quasar from the futre telling us about 2008.

 

 

 

 

The event brought alot of mixed emotions into the Tampa Bay area, but also brought about a sense of removing the past and being reborn to become what we should always have been…winners.  Not only did the team have a new energy about it, but the player showed the emotion and the anticipation on stage that night to bring about total acceptance of the new look. I only had one problem with all of this change. I still thank that the road jersey should have the “Tampa Bay” naming on the chest instead of the Rays.

 

It might be something simple to most people, but I also have been on teams that accented the away jersey would have a regional flair, and the Rays became only one of a handful of teams that now held the same uniform both home and away. One small patch on the sleeve kept the flying “ray” alive, but for how long. I have a feeling we might see it gone in 2009, replaced by some sort of symbolic gesture of winning, or maybe a “burst” like in the center of the current logo.

 

 

 

 

After the effectiver launching of the new logo and advertising, the team went on a media blitz that saturated the Tampa Bay area with the new attitude and logo. Gone were the green and white shirts off the shelves, and on them now was the burst and the typically blue hats with the white “TB” on them. Also gone were the 5 or 6 variations of the caps during the initial launch. Tampa Bay wanted the entire area to re-unite under one cap scheme before re-launching variations and knock-offs.

 

The Champs Sporting Good store player appearance were extremely popular and some store even ran out of certain team apparel that night. The buzz was all over the Tampa Bay area about the recharged Rays and their plans for the future.  So we got to relax for a short while before the team announced two huge trades of disgruntled or negatively-aligned players. One was a superstar in waiting, while the other may someday be a great powerhitter, but not with the Rays.

 

 

 

 

Delmon Young, who had been in the doghouse of Maddons’ since the last game of the season was jettisoned to the great white dome in Minnesota along with utility guy Brendan Harris and minor league outfielder Jason Pridie. The deal at first looked like the Twins had fleeced the Rays for a potential All-Star and slick-hitter in Young.  But the deal did not take a Tampa Bay turn into late in Spring Training when it looked like two of the players dealt to the Rays might be starters on the team.

 

 

 

 

Jason Bartlett came to the Rays as a much under used appreciated and mis used member of the Twin’s infield. He had good skills at the plate, but his strong point was his defense. The second member of the trade might have come with the most baggage to Tampa Bay. Matt Garza was a great pitcher, but he got into himself too much and might have done himself more damage than good in his time with the Twins. In the end, both guys became valuable members of the team and did not even look back as they moved forward with the Rays. The minute Spring Training started at the Namoli Complex, you could see both guys were relishing in their change of scenery.  Bartlett quickly got into the team’s rhythm and poised to become a valuable member of the squad.

 

 

 

 

Garza tried to become a dominating pitcher early, but his mind got in the way of his pitching and sulking and frustration came to the top alot in the beginning. The truning point for this trade came on that faithful day in Texas where Garza could not longer hide the frustrations and outwardly exploded in the dugout. That day, Garza let it all out and began a transformation that made him into a stellar pitcher.

 

 

 

 

The second trade might not have made much sense at the time, but it was done more out of helping a player who did not think he needed the help at the moment. Elijah Dukes will someday be a trememdous hitter and outfielder, but the local enviorment for him was toxic and he needed to leave before it destroyed him. Duke was traded to the Washington Nationals and did not see a huge amount of action in 2008, but the positive did rear their heads for him during the year.

 

He played inspired ball and did not focus or dwell on the off the field problem he had in Tampa Bay. He showed the Nationals the raw ability and power he had, and made some amazing plays in the field before finally going down in a game against the New York Mets. In that game, Dukes sprinted for a ball near the base of the wall and hit it with such force it should have broken his leg.

 

He did come outy with a knee problem, but came back  quickly and even made more heads turn before the end of the year. He stayed out of trouble and learned that the change of scenery made the trade a blessing in disguise. Tampa Bay might not have gotten alot in return for Dukes, but they did give him his life back, and he repaid them by doing it the right way.

 

 

 

 

After these two trades, the team went about signing two members of the 2008 team that made contributions in different ways. Troy Percival was chasing a top 10 spot in the All-Time save list when he signed a 2-year contract with the Rays. Because of his knowledge of Maddon’s gameplan, he was the perfect candidate for closing out Rays games. He came with veteran experience and postseason muscle, which could come in handy for the young Bullpen.

 

His work ethic and chats with the young guys could serve a dual purpose as having another pitching coach out there in the Bullpen to educate and relate to the other players. Percival came into the year  wanting to secuire the back end of the Rays Bullpen and give them some stability in the position.  Little did we know at the time what would happen, but in 2007, it was heralded as a major upgrade and a certain intimidation factor.

 

 

                              

 

 

The second signing was for a former outfielder who had won a World Series ring just like Percival. Cliff Floyd came to the team with a dual mission. He came to the team to provide ammunition and experience to help educate and emotionally charge the young bench. Floyd came here with great credentials, but his on-field mobility was in question from the start. Gone were the legs who could produce a run from a single, but the power and the stroke were still there in force.

 

He became an instant leader in the clubhouse and lead by example. Always the professional, Floyd took young players like B J Upton and Carl Crawford under his wing and taught both of them the art of the game. That half the battle in this psort was fought between their ears and in their words and comments to others. You could see the change in both players’ early in the year, and it set the tone for the team.

 

                                

 

 

 

So with these 4 episodes early in the off season for the Rays, the team set about  a series of changes like never before in their history. They had a change of uniforms, attitude and a veteran experience level they had not witnessed in their short history. The sky was the limit for the young team before the Feb. reporting day, and from there they just kept making history. 

 

Billy Chapel aka Crash Davis aka Kevin Costner aka 1 Cool Dude

 

There I was, just sitting in one of my accounts when it dawned on me, it is K-day. I had been looking forward to this day for a month and was past anxious with excitement. The _____Rays were going to unveil their new look in logo, jerseys and symbolic new beginning in an adventure in their brand of zen wisdom. They were having a free viewing and unveiling down by the water in Straub Park in St. Petersburg, Florida to show their fans the new looks and reclaimed attitude of our hometown team.

Funny, we were less than a mile from where they want their new stadium and did not even know the clock and dagger concerned with that endeavor. But that is for another blog.

Back to K-day. I had recently bought a copy of “Baseball America”  on Ebay. I have been a big fan of Costners’ for years. I have enjoyed most of his films, and even liked “Waterworld” for its eco-system message and sailing scenes. I have been a Costner guy since “Fandango” and “No Way Out.” I have owned and frequently watched  “Silverado” and “Open Range.”

But the two movies that I feel put him on the map were not “Tin Cup“, or “The Postman“, or even the chick flick “The Bodyguard.”

It was the two movies were he showed his athletic talents and lust for realism.

For the Love of the Game’, and “Bull Durham” are classic movies that everyone can enjoy and thrill to watch anytime. Most people have seen “Bull” and know the symbolism and special place it holds in  a true baseball fans’ eyes. Have you noticed that Susan Sarrandon’s character has a shrine to Yankee Thurman Munson, or that Costner actually takes all his own whacks at the plate in the movie.

Besides that, ex-Red Sox manager, Grady Little was the technical consultants to the film.  I  have expressed my love for that film on too many occasions, so a friend in LA got me a signed copy of the script. I have it hidden  in a safe place.

In the film, “For the Love of the Game“, that is old Tigers Stadium made up to look like Yankee Stadium. And the realism of that breaking ball Costner throws is remarkable.  An added note, he pitched every scene of that movie. No CGI or special effects were used in the pitching motion or delivery.  Pure Costner energy and commitment to his craft. And the true baseball fanatic thank him for that.

Getting back to my point, which I turned left at “Go” and did not collect $200.

I got down to Straub Park at about 3 PM on that wild Thursday with my camera in hand and a backpack full of balls and my fragile copy of Baseball America. The reason I bought it was because it had Costner on the cover. Yes, it does have him as “Billy Chapel” in his Tigers number 14 jersey on the mound. On the inside it talks about the film and his wanting the most realistic baseball movie to date( Hint hint………you achieved that Kevin.)

I got there and the Rays  front office busy bees were buzzing around getting the food, refreshments and  new logo caps for the Season Ticket holder ready for the event.

 Just then a tall stranger got on stage and began to play one of Modern West’s song that I had heard on their Myspace page. But the guy singing wasn’t Kevin. It was one of his band mates, Park Chisolm. And he was crooning a song entitled “5 seconds from America”.  This is a great song and I wish you would go to his page and check it out sometime.

                                           

Costner was persuaded by his lovely wife to again make music and he is truly a singer of the ages. I am not saying he is the second coming of Elvis, just a really talented guy who can also carry a mean tune and play a guitar.  On stage were the members of Modern West, Park Chisolm, Teddy Morgan,Blair Forward and Larry Cobb.  Bobby Yang came by and played a mean fiddle up there.he is one talented guy.

I  proceeded to begin taking a few pictures and get the focal  camera settings for the concert. I was interrupted by a British sounding stage manager that asked all the people to “vacate the area, this was a closed sound check.” Imagine the shock of the group I was in that they would say that in a city owned park, and in an area where there was no fencing or restrictions from us walking about the  grounds.

I decided to meander my way back by the backstage area and try and catch Kevin before he was going into the motor home. He came back from the stage area and I caught his eye, and he saw the Baseball America. He did a few things around the area, and then came up and signed the magazine and talked with me for a few minutes and we chatted about his music and his recent tour. 

I asked him how his European adventure/tour went, and how the show that last Friday at Atlantis in the Bahamas came out with a Tropical Storm brewing to the south. He was shocked that some had done their homework on him, and asked how I knew about that. I  informed him that he was one of my Myspace friends and I regularly went to the page. He forgot that some fans do know that he started his band on a Florida tour some years ago………………..I remembered, and I was there Kevin.

I did not want to bore him or seem fake to the guy. I guess it was the fact that the Rays people knew me and let him chat with me for a second. I originally offered the Rays organization a donation to their baseball foundation for a chance to do exactly what I was doing at that very moment. I wanted to commend on  “For the Love of the Game.” and for making the only movie that can be put in the category of “baseball movie” and borderline “chick flick'”.

My ex-girlfriend loves that movie. I think more for Kelly Preston that Kevin, but that is a womans perogative. I then went out front and watched the Rays  uniform and logo presentations. 

As projected, the Devil fell off the uniforms and team name and we were the “Rays” again.  Hmmmmmmmmmmm, the newspapers and media have been calling us that for a long time. Maybe this is just a formality for goodness sakes.

 

                                          

 I then watched the parade of players come out modeling the Home, Away and BP jerseys to the crowd. Jonny Gomes, practicing for his WWE gig, was a bit theatrical and torn the old shirt off himself to reveal his new duds.

 

                                                                          

                   

With my treasured signature and a moment with a future legend in the past, I sat back and enjoyed the day and sat there and enjoyed the free concert with Modern West.  I did not stay for the entire concert, I had left my lady and the kids at home and felt a bit guilty for it.  So on my way out, I bought 5 gift bags with the new logo balls in them, with a few stickers and logos for the kids. I also went to the Season Ticket holders table and got my  free new logo cap and strolled out to the pier where my car was parked and headed home.

Spinning forward,  I left as Kevin was hitting the high notes on “Long Hot Night,” and truly thanking the crowd for letting him enjoy this day with him.

                                     

 He is a class act.  I have met a lot of famous people in my long life, and he is in the top of the list in personality, pleasant demeanor, and total “one of us” feeling that you wish all celebs would show to the masses.

 

Post Script. 

 I went to Brandon Town Center that Friday night to catch a few buddies at the Champ’s sporting goods store, but Carl Crawford was not feeling well and Edwin “Action” Jackson had just left.  The Rays personnel there left a special present for me. a limited edition New Era “TB” cap. It was number 12 in a series of 30 to celebrate the new logo. I will work on get the entire team to sign it by the end of the year.

 

 

Kevin Costner and the Rays

 

On November 8th, the Tampa Bay  Rays will present the new look of the future to all in attendance in waterfront Straub Park in St. Petersburg, Florida. It has been billed as a event for all ages with special appearances by ex-players Fred McGriff and Mr Hall of Fame, Wade Boggs showing off the new duds.

 This date is only the first of two kick-off dates to showcase the new uni’s and logos. The following day, the crew hits the Tampa downtown Gaslight Park to again display the uniforms and give fans a venue to vent or shout their approval on the choices.

For years, the team has been working behind the scenes to update and translate the new look Rays to the public. They have done a massive retro fitting to the home stadium, the Trop., that has been converted from a average ballpark, to and interactive family friendly park with all the new bells and whistles.

 The next step was the on field look to complete the transition from the Vince Namoli era to the new Stu Sternberg baseball look.

 The uniforms are suppose to convey and old style that will accent the days of uniform lore. Gone will be the green lettering and the blue piping. Gone will be the green modern looking “Rays” logo on the outer gear and home uniforms. Also going the way of the dinosaur, will be the “Tampa Bay” lettering on the away jerseys.

 This is not the last stage of the transformation of the team. The on field product is taking leaps and bounds in confidence and skill. The record does not speak well of the developments, but we did play 17 games against Boston, and 7 against Cleveland this year. This is noted, since they are the two teams via to play the Rockies soon in the World Series.

 Oh, I forgot the main thing about that day.

 Kevin Costner, Mr Crash Davis and Billy Chapel of baseball cinema fame will be on hand to help in the unveiling of this new look. This is a guy who made our AAA franchise a hit with everyone from Cali to Maine. I think he personally made it cool to wear a Durham Bulls hat.

 I still wear mine daily to work.

 Kevin had a special place in my psyche. He has been in 2 of my favorite baseball related films, “Bull Durham“, and “For the Love of the Game.”

 Both are great films with a flair for the cocky and confident nature of the sport. I have the honor to have personal collectibles from both films and they are treasure possessions to me.  I am currently working on getting a “Meet and Greet”  with him for a photo op and a signing of the 1999 Baseball America magazine with him portraying “Bill Chapel” on the cover.

The event will conclude with a waterfront fireworks display, and a few hundreds hats and items throw to the masses.

The next evening, ____Rays players and coaches will be situated all over Tampa Bay to meet and greet fans at the Champs sporting good store locations to help the official public sales of the new look ___Rays merchandise.

I am looking forward to it like a kid at Christmas. I have been a fan even before our first pitch. I was a fan wanting and waiting since the first proposed “buying” of a team back in the days. For those who forgot, before we got our team, we tried to buy the Twins, A’s, Mariners,Giants, and White Sox.  All those efforts went by the wayside by either MLB rulings, or local ownership in the their respective areas finally bellying up to the bar and paying for their teams.

 I am excited to hear Costner’s band , “Modern West”.  If this band had half the talent that he has on the screen, they will rock the bay that night and send everyone home with a memory for the ages…….

 

 

 

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