So welcome to the first MLBlog written by a mascot! Boy I feel special. I know you have a couple of questions; First you?re wondering ?What the heck are you?? I?m not a ray, I?m not a bird, and I am certainly not three pieces of cotton candy stuck together. You can read all about it in my biography. Secondly you want to know if the rumors are true about me and Angelina Jolie. Look, we?re just friends. I took her out for tacos one night. The press has totally blown it out of proportion. ?Raygelina? is not true.
A question people ask me all the time is: ?What do you do during the off season?? Contrary to popular belief, I do not go into hibernation. The first few months, I take it easy. I?m the only mascot that works not only 81 home games, but also all 15 spring training games, so I need a break.
After the start of the year, things really kick into gear. This January we introduced a new float to appear in Tampa Bay?s own Gasparilla Festivities. Gasparilla is a celebration unique to the bay area. It?s a tribute to our region?s historical ties to pirates. Jose Gaspar was the name of the pirate who cruised the area up until the late 19th century. Gasparilla has three days of parades to mark the occasion where most people dress up like pirates and toss out beads. For the children?s parade, me, Seth McClung, Doug Weachter, and other Devil Rays employees rode on the float. For the day parade, which attracts over 500,000 people, I was joined by Joey Gathright, Chad Orvella, Jason Hammel, and Seth McClung. The most entertaining part had to be Orvella running around, hopping on and off the float, personally delivering beads to Rays fans in the crowd. We all had a blast, but a 3 hour parade in the sun is tough on a fat fuzz ball like me.
In February we kicked off our annual Devil Rays Caravan. We hop on a bus and visit various locations around the bay. We visit chamber luncheons, YMCA?s, and my favorite, hospitals. Last Tuesday Roco Baldelli, Joey Gathright, Jason Hammel, Chad Orvella and I visited St. Joseph?s children?s hospital. At the hospital I came across a mother who was holding a very quite young girl. ?She?s really sad right now,? her mom explained. As soon as I heard that, I knew what I had to do; I jiggled my belly, did a little dance, and smothered her with kisses, and wouldn?t you know?she smiled! I spent more time with her, playing with her dolls, looking through her books, and always jiggling my belly. She even started to laugh! Her mom told me ?I?ve been trying to get her to smile for months. Thank you.?
And that folks, is exactly why I love being a mascot!
Stay tuned. I?ll be writing bi-monthly entries all about the wonderful world of me. If you have any questions, just leave a comment.