Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd ♪♫♪
Once I noticed baseball season started up again, I knew it was time to find some tickets and head to Tropicana Field. I’ve never been much of a sports fan so I wasn’t looking for the most expensive tickets in the stadium. We bought the cheapest tickets available and on a weeknight no less.
It turned out to be a good idea though because we had amazing seats. The woman directing people at the map even said so. She told us a lot of action happens in the section we were seated. This already set us up for a good time.
This game was the Tampa Bay Rays against the Baltimore Orioles.
We had plenty of time to kill before the game started so we meandered around the large stadium exploring all there was to offer. Little did I know there was a Rays touch tank. I’ve pet stingrays before at the zoo and at the Aquarium but I was excited none the less. We received the whole “only pet the wing” and “only with two fingers” safety spiel then we were on our way.
The part I liked most was that they were offering to feed the stingrays for a small fee of five dollars. I didn’t think anything of it until I learned it was fish, instead of pellets. That means they would be eating directly from your hands. I was so excited!
The fund went to the Rays fund and to the Aquarium as well. I also found this fact exciting because the Aquarium partnered up with the Rays to have this tank. I love the aquarium and all sea life!
Well I sure as heck got my tray of fish and held them in an upright position for the rays to grace over my hand. Some splashed, some went the wrong way on my arm and freaked me out, and some crowded around when they learned I had food. There was a stingray party in my corner. It was delightful. I felt the brush of bristles lightly suction cup my hand for tiny, silver fish.
We then headed to our section. We were on the third row to the bottom directly under the jumbotron. We had to turn around to see the big screen but I don’t think I ended up on the bright screen this time. I did see one of my friends from middle school though.
My husband and I were getting more entertainment and a snicker than those around us because of another small-world instance in which I will not get into details right now.
We sat there and watched the game for about three hours with all kinds of nice things in between. Between the jokes we made together, the Pepsi and water bottle races in which the Aquafina bottle face planted, and the $11.00 craft beer my love enjoyed, we had a great time.
He was actually teaching me a few things about how the game was played; I started understanding more in the seventh inning, even though I already knew the basics of baseball.
The mascots were hilarious. First of all, DJ kitty was adorable, and secondly Raymond, the mascot for the TB Rays, was hilarious. It took me forever to figure out what he actually is and apparently I’m not the only one. Here’s a tidbit of background on the mascot.
In early 1998, Rays scouts on a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico spotted a strange looking animal. The creature, apparently drawn to the boat by the smell of hotdogs on the hibachi, climbed aboard and soon won the scouts over with his silly antics. During the excitement, a scout had a brilliant idea: make this fun loving fuzz ball the mascot for the new baseball team. “Raymond” as the scouts dubbed him, immediately accepted their contract offer of all the hotdogs he could eat, all the high fives he could handle, and the ability to shake his groove thing to countless Tampa Bay fans.
Raymond’s animal-like appearance causes confusion among fans of all ages. His fuzzy face is similar to a walrus and his bulbous blue belly likens him to a mutant manatee. So what exactly is he?
In 2005 marine biologists and zoologists made a startling discovery; Raymond is actually a previously undiscovered species of dog known as “Canus Manta Whatthefluffalus” or in layman’s terms, a Seadog. Seadogs have all the traits of normal dogs. They enjoy going for walks, playing with kids, and fetching. Unlike other dogs they are five to six feet tall, walk upright, are blue in color, and chase catfish. While other dogs live on land, Seadogs usually live in or around the water. Seadogs are well known for their fun-loving nature, passion for baseball, and general good looks. — Source: Official Bio, Rays Official Mascot Bio
The woman was right. We did see some action and I swear we almost got a ball. He slid into the wall under us to get it so no ball for us. It was still a great experience. Oh and one more thing! We won! 2 to 0. The crowds went wild and it was awesome.