Rays-Jays-Vet Great Spring Day in Dunedin

By on March 13, 2014

EDDIE MICHELS PHOTO

DUNEDIN, FLA.–Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Wednesday’s Tampa Bay Rays/Toronto Blue Jays game was World War Two Veteran David Johnston.  The 97-year old native of Brooklyn threw a strike to get the Rays 5-4 win off to a good start.  Johnston served in the European Theater of Operations including the Battle of Bastogne, being awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medal for service to his country.

The Rays won 5-4 with Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Moore each collecting 2 hits and 1 RBI a piece.  Adam Lind was 2 for 3 and Brett Lawrie was 2 for 2 for the Jays with Edwin Encarncion driving in 2 runs.

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon takes time out to sign the ball that David Johnston (left) used to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to their game against the Blue Jays. (EDDIE MICHELS/PHOTO)

Toronto GM Alex Anthopolous spoke on Wednesday about the team not signing Ervin Santana who eventually signed with the Braves. “I was told he wanted to pitch in the NL (National League),” said Anthopolous, “It was nothing to do with money… we all figured we did everything we could.” (EDDIE MICHELS/PHOTO)

Brandon Morrow signs for the fans (EDDIE MICHELS/PHOTO)

-Manager John Gibbons met the media prior to the Blue Jays hosting the Rays on Wednesday. “I wish him well,” said Gibbons of the Jays not signing Ervin Santana, “We like our guys, they just need to step up.” As to J.A. Happ (back) Gibbons stated, “He threw on the side Tuesday and felt good,” said Gibbons, “Not sure yet when he will be back.”. (EDDIE MICHELS/PHOTO)

Jose Bautista has all the ears of the Canadian National Team including Robbie Alomar (far right) (Eddie Michels Photo)

The Rays Sean Rodriguez can’t catch up and strikes out (Eddie Michels Photo)

Marcus Stroman (Eddie Michels photo)

Eddie Michels Photo

(Above) The tarp was removed from the field around noon, as it was gloomy in the morning.

Eddie Michels Photo

Rays skipper Joe Maddon poses with WWII veteran and first pitch honoree David Johnston (Eddie Michels Photo)

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