(St. Petersburg, FL) The Tampa Bay Rays today announced the process for purchasing single-game tickets to 2015 spring training games and introduced the new Spring Three-Game Pack. The Rays open their seventh spring training season on Thursday, March 5 against the Baltimore Orioles at 1:05 p.m. at Charlotte Sports Park in Charlotte County, Fla.
Single-game tickets will go on sale next week, based upon availability, according to the following schedule:
Friday, January 16: Spring training tickets will go on sale online to the general public exclusively at raysbaseball.com at 10 a.m.
Saturday, January 17: Spring training tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. via phone at 888-FAN-RAYS or 1-800-745-3000, online at raysbaseball.com, or at the following locations:
Charlotte Sports Park box office
All Ticketmaster outlets
Rays Tampa Store at 400 N. Tampa St.
Tropicana Field box office
Rays Insider subscribers will have the opportunity to participate in a special online presale on Thursday, January 15. The deadline for registration is Wednesday, January 14 at noon. To become a Rays Insider, visit raysbaseball.com. Current subscribers need not re-apply.
New for the 2015 season, the Spring Three-Game Pack will also go on sale to the general public exclusively through raysbaseball.com on Friday, January 16. This plan offers a ticket to three games at the special introductory price of $39 and includes a limited edition Charlotte Sports Park photo ball with purchase. This special item commemorates the USA Today 2014 Readers’ Choice Award for Best Spring Training Facility.
Single-game tickets will once again range in price from $10 to $29. Spring Training season ticket packages are available by calling 888-FAN-RAYS or visiting raysbaseball.com, and start at only $270 for the Rays 14-game home schedule at Charlotte Sports Park.
The first workout day for pitchers is Monday, February 23. The first full-squad workout is Saturday, February 28.
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(St. Petersburg, FL) The Tampa Bay Rays have named Kevin Cash the fifth manager in franchise history.
“We are proud to introduce Kevin as our manager,” said Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg. “His energy and dynamic personality will fit seamlessly with our clubhouse. We are fortunate to have such a talented individual, and Tampa Bay native, to lead our club as we strive to achieve new heights as a team and organization.”
“Kevin is passionate, genuine and dedicated, and those attributes will resonate throughout our clubhouse,” said President, Baseball Operations Matt Silverman. “As a catcher, a scout and a coach, he has always been a student of the game, and his communication and tireless work will put our club in a position to win, night in and night out.”
Cash, who turns 37 tomorrow, becomes the youngest active manager in the majors, and the youngest manager hired since A.J. Hinch (Arizona Diamondbacks) in 2009, according to Stats LLC. He spent the past two seasons (2013-14) as the bullpen coach for the Cleveland Indians, working with a pitching staff that set the major league strikeout record (1,450) in 2014. Prior to joining the Indians, he spent the 2012 season as a major league advance scout for the Toronto Blue Jays.
A veteran catcher of eight major league seasons, Cash becomes the first former Rays player to be named Rays manager and joins former Chicago White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen as the only former Rays to manage at the major league level. He appeared in 13 games with the Devil Rays in 2005, and all but 20 games in his career were spent in the American League East. In addition to the Rays, he played for the Toronto Blue Jays (2002-04), Boston Red Sox (2007-08, 2010), New York Yankees (2009) and Houston Astros (2010). Cash was part of two World Champion teams (2007 Red Sox, 2009 Yankees) and appeared in the 2008 ALCS against the Rays.
Cash becomes the sixth Tampa-born manager in major league history, and the second for the Rays, joining Lou Piniella (who Cash played for in 2005), Hall of Famers Al Lopez and Tony La Russa, Dave Miley and John Hart. A Tampa native, Kevin played in the 1989 Little League World Series for Tampa Northside, graduated from Gaither High School in 1997 and played three seasons as an infielder for Florida State University including a trip to the 1999 College World Series.
After going undrafted in 1999, he played for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League. When both the team’s primary catchers suffered injuries that summer, he volunteered to convert to catcher and went on to earn team MVP honors. In August, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays as an undrafted free agent.
Kevin and his wife, Emily, have three children: daughters Camden (8) and Ella (6) and son J.D. (1).
Rays Managerial History
Larry Rothschild 1998-2001 205-294 (.411)
Hal McRae 2001-02 113-196 (.369)
Lou Piniella 2003-05 200-285 (.412)
Joe Maddon 2006-14 754-705 (.517)
Kevin Cash 2015- x
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(St. Petersburg, FL) Joe Maddon may have left, but the Tampa Bay Rays will continue to host Thanksmas for the ninth consecutive year, December 15-19, at the Salvation Army Shelters in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Bradenton, the Sallie House in St. Petersburg, the Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater and the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida in Orlando.
Over the past eight years, Thankmas has served approximately 7,000 individuals in need and provided many with clothing and shoes. The Rays will provide and serve either lunch or dinner to each of the shelters. In 2013, as a result of donations from generous Rays fans and fundraising efforts, Thanksmas also presented more than $20,000 to the Salvation Army centers in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Bradenton, the Sallie House and the Homeless Emergency Project.
Thanksmas kicks off on Monday, December 15 with a return to the Sallie House, a safe haven for children who have been removed from their home because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. This will be the sixth consecutive year that Rays will visit the Sallie House as a part of Thanksmas. The Rays will also visit the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, the largest provider of homeless services in Orlando and Central Florida, for the first time.
Throughout this year’s Thanksmas, current and former Rays players, Rays coaches, broadcasters and front office staff will serve meals to those in need.
For more information, visit raysbaseball.com/thanksmas.
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(St. Petersburg, FL) Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Maddon and team employees will serve lunch at the Trinity Café in Tampa on Friday, July 11 as part of the Rays “Thanksmas” Day of Volunteering, a new initiative involving a number of Tampa Bay area shelters.
For the past eight Decembers, Maddon has hosted “Thanksmas”, a weeklong event in which he purchases, prepares and serves a traditional Italian/Polish holiday feast for hundreds of needy citizens at local shelters.
“Our goal is to expand “Thanksmas” in some fashion every year,” said Maddon. “There are an increasing number of people who ask how they can get involved. The “Thanksmas” Day of Volunteering allows for greater participation and also brings attention to the homeless issue at a time of the year when it is not top of mind.”
On July 11, anyone who volunteers for general duty at one of the local shelters participating in the “Thanksmas” Day of Volunteering will receive a ticket to the Rays- Red Sox home game on July 27, a “Thanksmas” Day of Volunteering T-shirt and the opportunity to be included in a group photo with the Rays manager.
The shelters participating are the Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater and The Salvation Army Chapters of St. Petersburg, Tampa and Bradenton. Volunteers must register with a shelter by July 8. For more information and to sign up, visit raysbaseball.com/thanksmas.
Maddon will participate by serving lunch at the Trinity Café, which serves more than 260 hot, nutritious meals each day to homeless, hungry, and working poor. The meals are prepared by a professional chef and served by volunteer servers. The guests sit at cloth-covered tables set with china dishes and silverware. They are asked for nothing in return.
On July 11, the Rays will purchase the food and Chef Alfred Astl will prepare Maddon’s “Thanksmas” feast. Trinity Café is located at 2801 N. Nebraska Avenue in Tampa.
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One of baseball’s great men, Don Zimmer, died Wednesday at 83 years old. He had been serving as a special adviser to the Tampa Bay Rays for the past several seasons after an outstanding career as a player, coach, manager and bench coach. The following is a release from the Tampa Bay Rays media relations department on Don Zimmer:
(St. Petersburg, FL) After 66 years in professional baseball, Rays Senior Baseball Advisor Don Zimmer passed away today BayCare Alliant Hospital in Dunedin, FL. He was 83. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jean (“Soot”), his son Thomas, daughter Donna, and four grandchildren: Beau, Whitney, Ron and Lane.
Over the course of his 56 seasons in the major leagues as a player, coach and manager he wore 14 different uniforms—but none longer than his 11 seasons with the Rays. Zimmer reached the postseason 19 times and owned six World Series rings: four as a coach with the New York Yankees and two as a player for the Brooklyn (1955) and Los Angeles (1959) Dodgers. He managed 13 seasons for the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs, and was named National League Manager of the Year in 1989 after guiding the Cubs to the NL East Division title. Prior to joining the Rays in 2004, he spent eight seasons as bench coach for Yankees Manager Joe Torre.
“Today we all lost a national treasure and a wonderful man,” said Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg. “Don dedicated his life to the game he loved, and his impact will be felt for generations to come. His contributions to this organization are immeasurable. I am proud that he wore a Rays uniform for the past 11 years. We will miss him dearly.”
The Rays will honor the baseball icon with a moment of silence at today’s Rays-Marlins game at Tropicana Field and will conduct a special pregame ceremony prior to the Rays-Mariners game on Saturday.
Zimmer signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949, beginning a 19-year playing career as an infielder. On July 7, 1953, while playing for St. Paul in the American Association, he was struck in the head by a pitch, spent two weeks in a semi-coma and missed the rest of the season with a fractured skull. The following year the Dodgers promoted him to the big leagues, where he was in the company of eight future Hall of Famers: Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Dick Williams, Don Newcombe, Tom LaSorda and Manager Walter Alston. In total, Zim was teammates with 14 Hall of Famers, played under three Hall of Fame managers, and coached or managed many more.
He went on to play 12 seasons in the majors for the Brooklyn (1954-57) and Los Angeles (1958-59, 1963) Dodgers, Cubs (1960-61), New York Mets (1962), Cincinnati Reds (1962) and Washington Senators (1963-65). Zimmer was named to the 1961 NL All-Star Team as a second baseman for the Cubs. In 1962, he was the first player to try on a Mets uniform, modeling it at Huggins-Stengel Field in St. Petersburg.
Zimmer was born in Cincinnati on January 17, 1931, and attended Western Hills High School, where he began dating Soot. He and Soot, his high school sweetheart, were married beside home plate at Dunn Field in Elmira, N.Y., on
August 16, 1951. Since the late 1950s, they have made the Tampa Bay area their home.
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