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Monday, October 20, 2008
I wore my Phillies jersey down here in Tampa today. I expected to talk baseball with people and my expectations weren't disappointed. The desk clerk was first as when we started talking baseball he told me the Rays barely attracted 20,000 people a night up to the All Star break and now everyone is a Rays fan. That is so true, both Florida teams seem to be that way. The whole season the hometown fans don't seem to support them, look at the Florida Marlins for instance, but if they make the playoffs and World Series the fans come crawling out of the wood work.
Everywhere I went down here, I encountered people who were finally happy to see a guy with a Phillies shirt on! I heard that many times during the day, and most people were very polite when they didn't think much of my Phillies shirt or choice of team. I even went down to St.Petersburg to the stadium in a vain attempt to get tickets to Game 1 at the ticket window at the stadium. I was told there will be a sale of seats, and any remaining seats would go onsale at the Rays site if there were any left. The actual sale of the tickets will be on Tuesday with the game on Wednesday. I encountered some real die hard Rays fans waiting for the players to arrive, they treated myself and my Mrs. like one of their own, they knew we had come to get a glimpse of our heros from Philadelphia, just as they were waiting for their local Tampa heros.
I also went to the Clearwater Bright House Network Phillies stadium where they have a gift shop that is open all year round, I looked at some nice branded hats with the World Series logo on them, and some nice shirts among other things. If you're coming down to the games, go there for your merchandise. It's all in a nice gift shop right at the stadium.
Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies blog