ST. PETERSBURG – The first thing you need to know about Saturday’s Rays Fan Fest at Tropicana Field is that even though it’s still free to get in anyone 18 or older will need a ticket, available at raysbaseball.com/fanfest (mobile or printed).
Second is that cash will not be accepted for merchandise, concessions or other items, the first such event under the new Trop policy.
Besides that, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., it will be much of the usual, with Rays players and coaches making appearances and engaging in interactive events, plenty of activities for kids and adults, tickets and merchandise for sale, and baseball in the air.
Among the more interesting: a panel discussion on the opener pitching strategy with MLB Network host Brian Kenny, manager Kevin Cash, and GM Erik Neander; a “game show” segment featuring pitchers Tyler Glasnow and Ryne Stanek; players competing with fans in games such as foosball, billiards, pop-a-shot, air hockey, giant Jenga and table tennis; the opportunity for photos with "a larger-than-life” Blake Snell bobblehead and oversized player emojis; Willy Adames and Ryan Yarbrough reading to kids, and, of course, goat yoga sessions.
Also worth checking out, clubhouse tours, clinics for kids and a sale of game-used equipment, jerseys, autographed memorabilia and odd “yard sale” type items. Plus, some 30 former big-leaguers, including some ex-Rays, will sign autographs for free.