Rays pay tribute to 9/11 while trying to land spot in wild card race

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The Tampa Bay Rays will have to rally if they want to win all three games at home against Boston this weekend and secure a spot in the division’s wild card race.  The Rays kick off a three-game home stand against the Red Sox tonight at 7:10 p.m. at the Trop, followed by games Saturday and Sunday at 7:10 and 1:40 p.m.   Sunday’s game features a tribute to the ten year anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks and will honor first responders during pre-game ceremonies.

A giant American flag suspended from two St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue trucks will grace the Rotunda entrance to Gate 1, where fans will be able to view a piece of a steel beam rescued from the rubble of Ground Zero. Attendees can leave personal notes to first responders and victims of September 11, 2001 on a message wall, and they will also be able to see the USF robotics machine that was used in search and recovery efforts following the attacks. There will also be a commemorative 9-11-01 inscription on the back of the pitcher’s mound and a remembrance logo visible throughout Tropicana Field.

Fans attending the next three home games will find more than enough parking available at the Trop. If on-site lots fill, fans may select from one of the many private, approved lots surrounding the stadium.  The lots are clearly indicated by city signage featuring a blue “P” and lot number. For additional game day parking information, visit www.stpete.org/BaseballParking.

Free baseball shuttles that run continuously between Tropicana Field and the downtown waterfront will help those wishing to avoid congestion around the ball park.  Fans are encouraged to give themselves plenty of time to sample the wide variety of dining options in downtown St. Petersburg before hopping aboard one of the free shuttles.

Baseball fans will find plenty of parking in the South Core garage, accessible from First Ave. S., between First and Second Sts., for $5. If the garage fills, fans should try the BayWalk garage, located one block to the north and accessible from Second St. N., between First and Second Aves. N.  Then catch the free baseball shuttle — stops are located next to the South Core garage from Second St. between Central Ave. and First Ave. S., just under the pedestrian bridge.  At the Trop, the shuttle stop is located on 16th St., just south of Third Ave. S.  Free baseball shuttles begin running 90 minutes prior to each game and end service one hour after the final inning or post-game concert.  For more shuttle information and a downloadable route map, visit www.stpetetrolley.com/Events.html.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.