ST. PETERSBURG -- Just one day after the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup to officially close the NHL season, four Tampa Bay Lightning players tried their hand at another sport.
The Rays welcomed Steven Stamkos, Nate Thompson, Teddy Purcell and Mike Smith for batting practice before Thursday's game against the Red Sox.
"This is something that I have dreamed about, getting a chance to hit [batting practice]," Stamkos said. "These guys have been great in letting us out here."
Stamkos and Smith were the best hitters of the four, hitting multiple balls to the warning track in left field. The highlight of the session came from Smith, who used the last pitch of batting practice to hit the only home run.
Smith followed it up by trotting around the bases to celebrate his accomplishment, tossing his cap toward the mound before being met by his three teammates at home plate. They finished it up by putting a shaving cream pie in the face of Smith to close out the experience.
"[Stamkos and Smith] really swung the bat well," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "But the thing that really stands out is the competitive side of them and just how athletic they are."