So opening weekend has come and gone. I am still in a daze! Before opening day even started, I went on a mission to make sure it was a sell out. The Rays Street team and I hopped on our custom designed Rays boat and went out to the bay. We parked right along side the Howard Franklin bridge during rush hour traffic. All of those grumpy commuters were suddenly laughing and cheering when they saw my big blue self shaking my belly, dancing, and waving on a boat in the bay. We went out twice a day starting Tuesday and made our last appearance Friday morning, the day of OPENING NIGHT!
I guess our little stunt worked, because opening day was a SELL OUT! Over 38,000 Rays fans came out to see us take on the Jays. I was running around non stop trying to greet as many Tampa Bay faithful as I could. And boy were these fans in for a treat. Down in the 9th, the Rays scored 3 to get the win! It was unbelievable! Young, Upton, Crawford, Dukes…and thats not even mentioning Aki going 4-4. And people were worried about his "slow" spring.
We were back in action the very next night taking on those same Jays. Unfortunately, we didn’t win. But fortunately for the fans the first 12,000 got a minature replica of Tropicana Field and there was a fantastic laser show following the game.
And if as if that all wasn’t enough, this Sunday was my 2nd anual "Mascot Mania!" The first 7,500 kids in attendance got a minature stuffed version of me. I liked the fact that the doll was very accurate, even down to my bulbous belly. I invited out my buddies from the Florida State league like Phinley (Clearwater Threshers), DJ (Dunnedin Blue Jays), Missy (Ft. Myers Miracle), Ralligator (Sarasota Reds) and Squeeze the grapefruit from our newest affliliate, The Vero Beach Devil Rays. In addition to having 12 local mascots attend, we invited out the world famous Zooperstars (www.zooperstars.com) to come perform. Nolan Rhino, Derek Chetah, **** Flytell, Ken Giraffee, and Harry Canary all came out. But Roger Clamens stole the show when he swallowed one of our security guards whole. It even made the Sportscenter intro, the most hallowed feat of mascot-dom. If you’re upset that you missed my super cool Mascot Mania, don’t fear. On August 26th we’re celebrating my 10th birthday! I’m inviting out the Pirate Parrot, Stomper (from Oakland), Wally the Green Monster (Red Sox), and the Friar (Padres), Moose (Mariners), And Billy (Marlins) may make an appearance. We’ll also have my local buddies ThunderBug (Lightning) and Stuff (Orlando Magic) in the house. And if we mascots weren’t cool enough, we’re giving away a super sweet bank in the likeness of yours truly! What more could you ask for???