ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays announced Monday they will again provide jerseys and caps to local T-ball teams.
For the third straight year, the Rays, Majestic Athletic and Suncoast Credit Union will provide jerseys and caps to more than 10,000 T-ball players and coaches from more than 80 local leagues. The program reaches Little League, Cal Ripken, Dixie and Pony T-ball teams in Charlotte, Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.
The Rays will kick off the initiative at Tropicana Field the weekend of Feb. 13-14. The team will host a clinic for T-ball parents and coaches on the morning of Feb. 13.
Rays manager Kevin Cash, who played on the Northside Little League team that represented Tampa in the 1989 Little League World Series, and coaches Tom Foley and Jim Hickey will address the coaches.
Uniforms, caps, banners and baseball toolkits will be distributed thereafter. The uniforms include 18 variations of Rays colors and styles. The jerseys are created by Majestic Athletic, the official uniform supplier of Major League Baseball. The annual savings from the initiative, as reported by the participating leagues, is approximately $200,000.
The Rays invite all fans to attend Play Ball Day, a free event celebrating youth baseball and softball with games and instruction on Feb. 14. Former Rays pitcher Andy Sonnanstine and catcher Mike DiFelice will interact with youth players.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.