Rays pitcher James Shields opens a club for foster children

5:28 PM, Jul 6, 2010   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - The Tampa Bay Rays are proud of their work in the community and one pitcher is taking time to make sure some younger fans get a chance to see the Rays.

Rays pitcher James Shields and his wife Ryane cut the ribbon to an exclusive club for foster children.

"I think these kids are going to have a blast, to be able to come up here and watch a major league baseball game from a suite will be very special," Shields said.

Foster care and adoption are issues that are close to Shields and his wife's hearts, and they came up with the idea of the "Big Game James Club" after James' brother signed up to be a foster parent.

"My brother a couple of years back, fostered two kids for a couple of years before they found a home. And I thought that was pretty cool," Shields said.

The Big Game James Club is a suite located at Tropicana Field, where the kids will be able to enjoy a Rays game.

"I heard some of these kids are coming to the game in a limo and some these kids have never ridden in a limo, and I think that's special to come to a major league baseball game in a limo," Shields said.

The goal of the club is to give the kids a sense of normalcy and stability in their lives.

"This gives them a sense of belonging and stability and helps them forget about the situation there in," said April Putzulu, a spokesman for Eckerd Youth Alternatives.

As part of the club experience, the kids will participate in baseball-themed activities and each will receive ball caps and other Rays items.

The club consists of five teams of 10 kids who will attend a series of games this season.

Melvin Beal, 10 Connects

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