The Royals played four with the red-hot Rays in St. Petersburg, and salvaged the final game in 11 innings.

It was my first vist to Tropicana Field and I saw an excited fan base, with the Rays owning the best record in baseball when the Royals rolled into town. 

Tropicana Field.jpg


The Rays have a talented team and didn’t have a crowd of less than 16,000 for any game in the series.  It’s nice to see a team that has lost so much the last ten years create excitement (except for the fact that some of that excitement was generated by beating the Royals).Left Crowd.jpg 



The Rays have gone 13-1 with crowds of 30,000-plus.  Loverboy was in concert after the Saturday game.  The Devil Rays are no more.  A new color scheme, new nickname, a “new attitude” in Tampa Bay.Right Crowd.jpg


Just nice to see the seats filled.  It used to be 8000 or 9000 was the norm.  Of course when your team has only reached the 70 win mark one time since its inception, it makes it much more difficult to generate excitement.  Hard not to cheer for these guys (except when playing the Royals, of course).



These are the “famous” Tropicana Field catwalks.  No cats spotted during the four-game series.  Many pop flies have deflected off of them over the years.  Of course, if the ball hits the catwalk over fair territory, it’s in play…Fireworks in Tampa.jpg



On the Fourth of July, the Royals played an early-evening game at the Trop…then we were able to catch the fireworks display over the St. Pete waterfront form the balcony of our hotel.Progress Energy Park.jpg


This is Progress Energy Park aka Al Lang Field, which has been the spring training of several teams, most notably the Cardinals from 1937 until 1997.  Now it’s losing the Rays, who are bolting for Port Charlotte next spring.  There was talk of building a new ballpark for the Rays on this site, but that has apparently been tabled for now.Waterfront.jpg



Downtown St. Pete has a very nice waterfront.  The marina by Progress Energy Park and the Royals hotel is home to the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.   St. Pete Beach, a few miles away, is also very nice.Rainbow.jpg






Finally, a win on the final day in St. Pete!  As the plane is about to take off, a rainbow is visible.  The pot of gold is not.

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Let me tell you I am better acquainted with you for a long absence, as men are with themselves for a long affliction: absence does but hold off a friend, to make one see him the truer. Do you agree?
– MLB Air Jordan

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