In what has become one of my favorite press releases from the Rays every year, for the third consecutive year the Rays will be investing in local T-Ball leagues.
The Rays will provide uniforms to multiple T-ball leagues, nearly doubling their contribution to 10,000 shirts this year, and will have coaches Kevin Cash, Tom Foley and Jim Hickey on hand for a coaching clinic event on Saturday, February 13th, free to coaches and parents involved. Each team will receive Rays jerseys and caps, and coaches will receive a toolkit and a team banner.
Additionally, on Sunday, February 14th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Rays will host PLAY BALL Day. Kids will be able to interact with free baseball instruction, inflatable games, jugglers, face painters, and stilt walkers. The first 1,000 kids will receive a Rays Superhero Cape T-shirt, and former players Andy Sonnanstine and Mike DiFelice will be on hand for the event.
See the full press release below:
For the third straight year, the Rays, Majestic Athletic and Suncoast Credit Union will provide jerseys and caps to more than 10,000 T-ball players and coaches from more than 80 local leagues. The program reaches Little League, Cal Ripken, Dixie and Pony T-ball teams in Charlotte, Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.
The Rays will kick off the initiative at Tropicana Field the weekend of February 13-14. The team will host a clinic for T-ball parents and coaches on the morning of Saturday, February 13. Rays Manager Kevin Cash, who played on the Northside Little League team that represented Tampa in the 1989 Little League World Series, and Bench Coach Tom Foley and Pitching Coach Jim Hickey will address the coaches. Uniforms, caps, banners and baseball toolkits will be distributed thereafter. The uniforms include 18 variations of Rays colors and styles. The jerseys are created by Majestic Athletic, the official uniform supplier of Major League Baseball. The annual savings from the initiative, as reported by the participating leagues, is approximately $200,000.
The Rays invite all fans to attend Play Ball Day, a free event celebrating youth baseball and softball with games and instruction on Sunday, February 14. Former Rays pitcher Andy Sonnanstine and catcher Mike DiFelice will interact with youth players. The first 1,000 kids will receive a Rays Superhero Cape T-shirt courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times.