Six-Game Interleague homestand includes two concerts and Rays Broadcast Auction

The Tampa Bay Rays begin a six-game homestand against two National League East opponents on Tuesday, June 12, with a three-game series against the New York Mets (June 12-14) followed by a three-game set against their interleague rival Miami Marlins (June 15-17).  Entering today the Rays are 37-42 (.468) all-time in the Citrus Series and 21-17 (.553) at Tropicana Field against the Marlins.

The Mets return to Tropicana Field for the first time since 2001.  The Rays are 7-8 (.467) all-time against the Mets and 3-3 (.500) at home.  The Rays are 119-134 (.470) all-time against the NL, but are 15 games over .500 under manager Joe Maddon (63-48), eighth-best record in the majors since 2006.  

On Wednesday, June 13, the Rays will hold their annual Rays Broadcast Auction featuring one-of-a-kind experience packages during their game against the Mets beginning at 7:10 p.m.  Packages include hitting lessons with Carlos Peña, pitching lessons with David Price, a chance to become a Rays executive for a day, a trip for two to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in Kansas City, Mo., and a suite party at Tropicana Field during a Rays game.  The auction will be conducted during the Rays radio and television broadcasts and will benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation and the Tampa General Hospital Children’s Medical Center.  The game will air on Sun Sports, the Rays radio broadcast on The Sports Animal WDAE 620 AM and the team’s Spanish language radio affiliate Genesis 680 AM.  Fans will receive periodic updates on the auctions via these three outlets throughout the night.  Auction items and bidding information can be found by visiting raysbaseball.com/broadcastauction.  The auction will run from 7:10 p.m. until 10:15 p.m.

On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17, the Rays will feature a trifecta of chart-topping performers?Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top, 3 Doors Down and Gretchen Wilson?at the conclusion of the Rays-Miami Marlins game at 1:40 p.m.  Kicking off the concert is Gretchen Wilson, who burst onto the country scene in 2004 when she became the first solo female singer to top the Billboard Country singles chart in over two years with her debut single, “Redneck Woman,” which spent six weeks at No. 1.  Next to the stage will be 3 Doors Down, who returns to Tropicana Field for a second time as part of the Rays Summer Concert Series after previously performing in 2009.  The group is best known for their hit single, “Kryptonite.”  The final act, ZZ Top, best known for their chest-length beards, black leather outfits and trademark sunglasses, embrace the spirit of blues rock in America.  ZZ Top first played as part of the Rays Summer Concert Series in 2010.

Autism Speaks Night at Tropicana Field is Friday, June 15.  Autism Speaks has grown into the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.  Prior to the game, the Rays Wives will present a check to Autism Speaks.  Representatives from Autism Speaks are scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch.  The Rays will wear their light blue jerseys to raise awareness for autism.

Also on Friday, June 15, music producer and DJ Nick van de Wall, better known as Afrojack, will perform a postgame concert at the conclusion of the Rays-Marlins game scheduled for 7:10 p.m. as part of the Rays popular Summer Concert Series.  Afrojack first came on the music scene in 2006 in his native country, the Netherlands.  In addition to producing chart topping hits with musical phenomena such as David Guetta, Ne-Yo and Eva Simons, he has had hit singles on the Billboard Top 100 chart, “Take Over Control,” which peaked at No. 26 and “Give me Everything,” which went all the way to No. 2.  His most recent single, the remix “I Like,” features Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias.

On Saturday, June 16, prior to the Rays-Marlins game, the top 12 boy and top 12 girl qualifiers in the Pitch, Hit & Run competition from Central and Northern Florida will compete at Tropicana Field in hopes of advancing to the National Finals at the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Kansas City, Mo.  The 2012 National Finalists will be announced live on MLB Network on June 24.  Over 650,000 children participated this year nationwide in Major League Baseball’s free Pitch, Hit & Run program.

The homestand will feature three unique giveaways.  On Friday, June 15, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Joe Maddon bobblehead presented by Tampa Bay Times as part of Friday Fest presented by Captain Morgan.  On Saturday, June 16, the first 25,000 fans will receive a MLB Network drawstring backpack presented by Bright House Networks.  On Sunday, June 17, the first 10,000 kids 14 and under will receive a David Price jersey wallet including an enter-to-win form for a Tropicana Field suite at a future Rays game presented by Grow Financial.

TAMPA BAY TIMES FAMILY FUN DAY (every Sunday home game)—Bring the whole family out to Tropicana Field and enjoy family-friendly activities and a chance to run the bases after the game presented by Find the Fun Now.  Family Fun Day tickets for this Sunday (June 17) vs. Miami start at $23 and include a hot dog, Pepsi and snack (subject to availability).  Visit raysbaseball.com for details.  Ticket prices increase $3 five hours prior to each game and are subject to change at the Rays discretion.  Special promotional giveaways are given to the first 10,000 kids 14 and under in attendance.

TICKETS—Tickets for Rays 2012 regular season home games are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Rays Tampa Store (400 N. Tampa St.) and the Gate 1 Tropicana Field Box Office, as well as over the phone at 888-FAN-RAYS and 1-800-745-3000, or online at raysbaseball.com.