Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Star Wars Day Shirts and the Power of Rays Fans

Ever since Star Wars Nights became a thing a long time ago in stadiums far, far away, I swore I would go to the first one in Florida. I am of course a huge baseball fan and have been a Star Wars fan since I was knee-high to a Jawa. So being at a Star Wars promotion at a ballpark near me was something I had to do. It was like Luke needing to go to Dagobah to visit Yoda before he died.

Alas, Star Wars Nights and Days have invaded Florida baseball stadiums quite often since late last season when the Marlins hosted the first Star Wars promotion in the state as part of the Stand Up to Cancer effort. Unfortunately, I was unable to make the game due to the fact that I had no money and nowhere to stay around Dolphins/Pro Player/Joe Robbie/Jimmy Buffet Stadium. So I missed out.

Going to Afghanistan this year I knew I was going to miss out on some great Rays baseball. I knew I was going to miss out on friends and fellow fans and some great times. But I never thought I would miss out on a Star Wars promotion at Tropicana Field. As Leia never considered that Luke might have been her brother when she kissed him, the thought of missing a Star Wars Day or Night never crossed my mind.

Needless to say, I was bummed out when I knew my odds of going to the game were lower than 3,720 to 1. As a matter of fact, I had a better chance of beating a Jedi in a mind reading contest than I had of making the game. So I did what any huge Star Wars and Rays fan would do, I started campaigning for some commemorative swag, specifically one of the Star Wars Day t-shirts featuring Darth Vader’s head and a Rays logo.

Once I realized these shirts were available, I took to twitter and began pestering @RaysBaseball. For a few days the week of the game I asked @RaysBaseball if they could send a shirt to me in Afghanistan. I was even more than willing to pay for it. Whatever it took, I wanted a shirt.

Yet there was no reply. Like C-3P0 wandering the sands of Tattooine, it appeared my cause was lost and missing out on Star Wars-themed baseball celebrations would be my lot in life. Then, out of the blue a rescue appeared. Fellow Rays fans and twitter friends @MandaGator, @Raynaadi, and @BayCrab3 asked me if I had heard from the team and if not, they would do what they had to so that a Star Wars Day shirt was shipped to me in Afghanistan. When I told them I hadn’t heard from anyone, @BayCrab3 said she would hook me up.

Fast-forward to early this week. A week after getting a box of Rays-related goodies from a few of my old co-workers, I received my box from @BayCrab3. Inside were bags of snacks, some Rays stickers, and my very own Rays Star Wars Day shirt!

(Note: I did eventually hear from Jonathan Gantt of the Rays a few days after I gave @BayCrab3 my mailing address. He told me he was on a hunt for a shirt for me. I politely told him that my fellow fans were already coming through.)

So thank you to @BayCrab3, @mandagator, @rayaandi, and all the other Rays fans who helped me in my epic quest to get a Star Wars Day shirt. May the Force Be With You Always!