Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest scheduled for Feb. 16
ST. PETERSBURG - The Tampa Bay Rays will kick off the season with their annual Fan Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 16 at Tropicana Field. Admission and parking are free. There will be plenty for younger baseball fans to do: Fans making a donation to the ALS Association Florida Chapter will get a wristband that allows them get autographs from Rays players and coaches. Rays broadcasters and more than 25 former major leaguers will also sign autographs for free.Some fans will have the chance to eat some of Rays manager Joe Maddon's homemade spaghetti, meatballs, sausage and pierogies, a meal he has served at homeless shelters over the past seven winters as part of his Thanksmas initiative. Tickets will be available to season ticket holders Thursday and to public Friday. For the third year, fans can buy game-used and autographed memorabilia, with proceeds benefitting the Rays Baseball Foundation. The first workout day for pitchers is Feb. 13 at the spring training complex in Port Charlotte. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 17. The Rays open the Grapefruit League season Feb. 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Port Charlotte. Tropicana Field is located at 1 Tropicana Dr., St. Petersburg.
Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter thanks his former dance instructor from Tampa in touching tribute (w/ video)