Rays Announce Ceremonial First Pitches, Anthems for Season Opener

ST. PETERSBURG, FL—Jim Dundee, son of the late boxing legend Angelo Dundee, will deliver the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Tampa Bay Rays season-opening game against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field on Friday, April 6. Game time is 3:10 p.m.  Local saxophonist BK Jackson will perform the national anthem.

Prior to the Rays-Yankees game on Saturday, April 7, “American Idol” finalist Shannon Magrane will sing the national anthem.  The 16-year-old Magrane is the daughter of former Major League pitcher and Rays broadcaster Joe Magrane.  Currently a sophomore at Tampa’s Howard W. Blake High School, Shannon finished in 11th place in this year’s “American Idol” competition.

Brad Snyder, a 2002 graduate of Northeast High School and the U.S. Naval Academy, will throw out the first pitch on Saturday, April 7.  In 2011, the 28-year-old Navy lieutenant was working with an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Afghanistan when he stepped on a homemade land mine that left him blind.

An avid Rays fan and Clearwater resident, Angelo Dundee passed away on February 1 at the age of 90.  He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992 after a career that spanned six decades training 15 world champions, including Muhammad Ali, “Sugar” Ray Leonard, George Foreman and his first, Carmen Basilio who was crowned in 1955.  His son, Jim, is an optician with a practice in Clearwater.

A third-year Jazz/Music Industry major at Florida A&M University, 20-year-old BK Jackson has performed the anthem at the Rays home openers in 2009 and 2011, Game 1 of the 2008 American League Division Series, all four games of the 2008 American League Championship Series and Game 3 of the 2011 American League Division Series.


Previous first pitches at Rays home openers:

1998     Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Monte Irvin and Al Lopez

1999     Larry Doby

2000     Wade Boggs

2001     St. Petersburg Mayor David J. Fischer

2002     United States Army General Tommy Franks

2003     Jon Gruden and Rich McKay, Tampa Bay Bucs

2004     Winky Wright, World Junior Middleweight Champion

2005     Racing legend Michael Andretti

2006     Al Lopez, Jr., Al Lopez III and Al Lopez IV

2007     Florida Governor Charlie Crist

2008     Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Buccaneers’ great Mike Alstott

2009     Florida Governor Charlie Crist

2010     Admiral Eric Thor Olson, Commander, US Special Ops

2011     Governor Rick Scott


Except for scattered singles and obstructed view seats, Opening Day is sold out.  Tickets are available in all categories for the remaining two games of that season-opening series against the Yankees, April 7-8.