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2/7/2013 5:11 P.M. ET

Fan Fest features increased player interaction

Hall of Fame Writer Peter Gammons Joins This Year's Event

ST. PETERSBURG, FL—The 2013 Rays Fan Fest presented by MetroPCS, scheduled for Saturday, February 16 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Tropicana Field, will feature an unmatched amount of interaction with Rays players and coaches along with numerous activities for kids.  Proceeds from select events benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation and the ALS Association Florida Chapter. 

Youth stations include clinics by Rays coaches; "Reading with the Rays"; running the bases; Sweetbay Supermarket High Five Station; interactive activities for all ages; and photo opportunities with Rays mascot Raymond and DJ Kitty.  The event is also sponsored by Chevrolet, Sweetbay Supermarket and Tradewinds Island Resorts.  Admission and parking are free. 

Hitting and pitching clinics sponsored by Sagicor Life Insurance will be held throughout the day allowing kids to receive free instruction from the Rays major league coaching staff.

Tickets to Rays Manager Joe Maddon's traditional Thanksmas meal during Fan Fest are still available.  All proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation. Those attending this year's Thanksmas meal will also have a chance to partake in an exclusive question and answer session with Hall of Fame baseball writer and MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons.

In addition, Gammons will join fellow MLB Network personality Sam Ryan on the Pepsi Stage for a panel discussion.

To promote "Reading with the Rays," the club's summer reading program, Rays players will read select stories to kids.

Fan Fest will feature numerous interactive activities for children and families.  The MOR Kids Interactive Zone allows fans to interact with players while they swing away in a big league batting cage, try out their fastball in the speed pitch booth and swing for the fences in the Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby.  Other interactive activities include the MLB 2K station, the "Home to First" challenge, Pop-A-Shot booth, a horse race carnival game and Family Feud.

Sweetbay Supermarket High Five Station will once again allow kids to run the bases and receive high fives from players as they cross home plate.  In the afternoon, fans will be treated to the Rays Runway on the stage when Rays players and two lucky fans will show off the latest Rays fashions from the Team Store, including new items from Majestic.

Fans are encouraged to stop by the MetroPCS Call-A-Friend station to have the opportunity for Rays players Jeremy Hellickson, Desmond Jennings, Matt Moore or Sean Rodriguez to call a friend or family member.  Rays broadcasters and special guests will hold panel discussions and clubhouse tours will be offered throughout the day.

The Rays Charity Yard Sale returns for a second year giving fans the opportunity to purchase unique game-used and autographed memorabilia dating back to the inaugural season.  All proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation.  Between the Rays Charity Yard Sale, Thanksmas, and autograph sales at the 2012 Rays Fan Fest, over $100,000 was raised to benefit the Salvation Army, the ALS Association Florida Chapter and the Rays Baseball Foundation.  This year's Rays Charity Yard Sale will feature autographed jerseys from the 2008 World Series, Turn Back the Clock memorabilia from past seasons, along with several other unique Rays items.

Fans have the option to purchase a $50 wristband which grants the opportunity to get autographs from Rays players.  All proceeds benefit the ALS Association Florida Chapter.  Rays TV and radio broadcasters and more than 25 former major league players will also sign autographs for free throughout the day.

Once again, this year's Fan Fest will include the Exclusive Signing Opportunity that will guarantee an autograph from a specific Rays player.  With the purchase of this exclusive offer, fans also receive a wristband for the general autograph line.  For more information or to purchase an Exclusive Signing Opportunity, please visit raysbaseball.com.  Proceeds benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation.

Rays ticket sales personnel will be available to assist fans throughout the day in the purchase of season tickets, group tickets and a special Fan Fest pack offer.

Fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS or log on to raysbaseball.com for more information about 2013 Rays Fan Fest.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.