Grant Balfour returns to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday morning following the loss of his father to pancreatic cancer, and when he enters the clubhouse he will be greeted by a pleasant surprise.
To honor the passing of David Balfour, Grant's father and a baseball pioneer in the Australian Baseball League, the Rays will wear light blue knee high socks in solidarity with the Balfour family and the club David Balfour managed.
Under the original League, which folded in 2002, David Balfour was the owner and general manager of the Sydney Blues. After the rebirth of the ABL, David Balfour was once again named General Manager of the Sydney baseball club, leading operations for the Sydney Blue Sox.
Photo Credit: @SydneyBlueSox
It is by the inspiration of the club's name that the Rays will wear Carolina blue socks in this afternoon's game, a fitting and visually moving tribute.
David Balfour was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010, which he overcame twice during his tenure as GM. Unfortunately a third remission caused him to step down in 2013, and he fought that illness until Tuesday, March 10, with son Grant Balfour and family by his side.
Affectionately known as 'Balf' in the Sydney baseball community, David Balfour was laid to rest on Friday. Grant flew back to the States on Saturday and rejoins the Rays ahead of this afternoon's match up with the Mets in Port Charlotte.
As we remember his example, we thank David Balfour for his contributions to the game and applaud the Rays for their efforts in honoring him.