"Rays Rookies" premieres on Sun Sports

An original series by Sunburst Productions in partnership with the University of South Florida

This Sunday, the Tampa Bay Rays premiere "Rays Rookies," an original series by Sunburst Productions in partnership with the University of South Florida. "Rays Rookies" is a television program designed to engage the Rays growing youth fan base that is hosted by kids, for kids ages 8 to 13 years-old.

In addition to baseball bloopers, trivia and top ten plays, the series will consist of each of the following segments per episode:

  • Okay, Listen Up! - baseball tips from Rays First Base Coach Rocco Baldelli.
  • Kids Ask-the-Rays - kids from Tampa Bay ask their favorite players everything from their favorite breakfast cereal to what they would do if they didn't play baseball.
  • Raymond's Academy - learning with Professor Peanuts and his assistant Raymond.

In conjunction with the production of the "Rays Rookies" series, the Rays and the USF Foundation have created a scholarship endowment to help fund the First Generation Scholarship students in the College of Arts and Sciences. This is a $160,000 gift over four years. Once the four-year gift cycle is completed, the endowment will continue to fund two First Generation Scholars in perpetuity.

"We are excited about this multifaceted partnership with the University of South Florida," said Rays Senior Vice President Melanie Lenz. "Growing our generational fan base while providing scholarships and hands-on learning experiences for students helps us continue to succeed in our mission, to energize our community through the magic of Rays baseball."

"We are so fortunate that the Tampa Bay Rays chose to partner with the USF Foundation to help fund our First Generation Scholarship students in the College of Arts and Sciences," said Senior Vice President for University Advancement and Alumni Affairs and CEO of the USF Foundation Joel Momberg. "These students are the first in their families to go to college and, without this support, might not have had that opportunity. This gift of $160,000 will make many dreams come true."

FOX's Sun Sports, the statewide television home of the Tampa Bay Rays, will debut the first two episodes of "Rays Rookies" on Sunday, September 20 beginning at 11:30 a.m.

The first episode of "Rays Rookies," will also be shown postgame in-stadium, as kids participate in Rays Family Fun Day activities this Sunday.

For more information about "Rays Rookies," visit raysbaseball.com/RaysRookies.