Rays return to Tropicana Field for final homestand

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Following a six-game road trip, the Tampa Bay Rays return to Tropicana Field on Monday to begin their final homestand of the season during which they will host the New York Yankees (September 15-17) and Chicago White Sox (September 19-21).

For each remaining home game, the Rays are celebrating broadcasters Dave Wills and Andy Freed's 10 years in the radio booth together with a special ticket offer. When purchasing tickets online at raysbaseball.com, fans can use a special passcode to receive a talking bobblehead that includes some of the Rays most historic moments captured by the radio duo at no additional cost. For more information and to access the special passcode, visit raysbaseball.com/wdae.

The Rays and Yankees open their three-game set on Monday at 7:10 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early for Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. game as the Rays will hold a special pregame ceremony to honor retiring Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter in his final appearance at Tropicana Field.

The two teams will close out the season series on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday night's ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop.

After an off-day on Thursday, the Rays return to action on Friday, September 19 against the White Sox at 7:10 p.m. The Tampa Bay Times Ticket Tandem scheduled for Friday has sold out. Fans who have already purchased the Ticket Tandem will receive a Rays Oktoberfest Stein in addition to their game ticket.

Prior to Friday night's contest, the Rays will hold a ceremony to recognize the 2014 Rays Minor League Award winners. The winners will be made up of the Rays Minor League Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Baserunner of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Reliever of the Year and the Most Valuable Player for each of the Rays nine organizational affiliates. The Rays will also recognize the recipient of the Erik Walker Community Champion Award. Named after former Rays minor league pitcher Erik Walker who died tragically in 2006 following his first season in professional baseball, the award annually recognizes a Rays minor leaguer who exemplifies teamwork, sportsmanship and community involvement. Before the ceremony, the award winners are scheduled to sign autographs at Tropicana Field beginning at approximately 5:45 p.m. along the first base line.

Also before Friday's game, the 2014 Rays Major League Award winners, as voted on by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), will also be honored. Those winners will be made up of the Most Valuable Ray, Outstanding Rookie and the Paul C. Smith Champion Award winner, which is given to the player that best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field.

When gates open for Saturday's 7:10 p.m. game, the first 20,000 fans will receive the second edition of the Joe Maddon Mr. Potato Head, presented by All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The final Rays regular season home game is Sunday, September 21 at 1:40 p.m. Sunday is also Tampa Bay Times Family Fun Day. When gates open at 11:40 a.m., kids 14 and under will receive a Raymond Toy Train, presented by Bright House Networks, while supplies last.

During the final series against the White Sox (September 19-21), the Rays Baseball Foundation will host the annual "Shirts Off Our Backs" fundraiser. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation's efforts to support youth and education programs in the Tampa Bay region. Volunteers will be on hand at Tropicana Field offering scratch-off cards in return for donations throughout the three-day fundraiser. All fans who donate will receive the opportunity to win a wide variety of prizes donated by corporate partners. Those prizes include 2015 Rays single-game tickets, Rays game-worn jerseys, offers from Days Inn Port Charlotte, offers from Locker Room by Lids courtesy of Majestic and discounts on Centerplate merchandise and concessions. For more information, visit raysbaseball.com/shirts.

TAMPA BAY TIMES FAMILY FUN DAY-Every Rays Sunday home game features free parking for cars with four or more passengers and a variety of free activities for kids on the concourse, courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times. Postgame on Sunday also features Kids Run the Bases and the DJ Kitty Kids Party.

TICKETS-Tickets for Rays 2014 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.

GATES OPEN-Tuesday through Thursday, 1½ hours prior to game time; Friday through Sunday, two hours prior to game time.