The Tampa Bay Rays are throwing it back to their youth days this weekend for their series against the New York Yankees.
Manager Joe Maddon has proclaimed this weekend “American Legion Weekend,” meaning there will be no batting practice before any of the three games and players can show up as close to game time as they like.
“Most of us played Legion ball, when we showed up 10 minutes before game time,” Maddon said, via Bill Chastain of MLB.com. We didn’t need BP, just stretch and go. I want to give the guys a rest and get them off the feet.”
In addition, the Rays will fly the flag of the St. Petersburg American Legion Post 14 in their clubhouse, and on Friday, the team will pick up the beer and sausages check for members at the legion hall.
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This marks the third year in a row the Rays have done this, as Tampa Bay honored Safety Harbor Post 238 in 2012 and Tampa Post 182 in 2013. Although they usually reserve a whole week for the unorthodox practice, this year a weekend of the fun fit better with their schedule — or maybe it’s just a dig at the Yankees.
“Coming off this trip was the perfect time to incorporate it,” Maddon said. “… We’ve got three days at the right time, with a day off (Monday), so it’s like American Legion half a week.”