ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- It's a good thing Tropicana Field uses turf instead of grass. Today's Rays' Fan Fest saw nearly 30,000 people stomping around the field seeking autographs and taking part in games and activities.
Fans of all ages participated in events like running the bases, throwing the fastest pitch, and hitting in a cage. It was as if they were trying to live out their own Field of Dreams moments like their heroes. Lines as long as the run from home plate to first base weaved through the outfield as fans waited to share just a moment with their favorite Rays players, and for all-star third baseman Evan Longoria, he was enthusiastic about the turnout.
"It's good to see, because we've been really good for a long time, ya know, I think the team is really deserving of a some good fan turnout and this is a good start to the season," said Longoria.
Team owner Stuart Sternberg was one of the many members of the Rays brass meeting with fans and taking time to interact and answer questions. Sternberg went as far as to call today's Fan Fest as the jewel event the Rays host besides the playoffs.
"Great turnout, we are well over 20,000 people here today, who knows we might be pushing thirty for the first time and it's wonderful and everyone is happy," said Sternberg.
Rookie prospect outfielder Wil Myers was also struck by the reception Rays fans gave him. "They seem to know a lot about me and what this team's about. I am really enjoying myself," said Myers.