Before the game, a tribute video played on the video board in right field. PFC Aaron Estes, who was injured in Afghanistan, threw out the first pitch and received a standing ovation from the crowd at Tropicana Field when he delivered the ball to catcher Stephen Vogt.
Some of the players paid tribute to servicemen and women in their own ways, including designated hitter Luke Scott, who was wearing a camouflage bandana in the clubhouse. He added that his pastor, Michael Modica, of First Assembly Deland was a veteran and that the church actively supports the military.
"I support the military greatly. I'm really appreciative of what they've done for us throughout the years and what they're continuing to do," Scott said. "I'm a big fan of Memorial Day, it's a day to pay our respects, to honor them."
Manager Joe Maddon also feels a strong connection to the military as his father, uncles and many friends all spent time in the military. He said that being in such close proximity to MacDill Air Force Base and passing by it regularly makes him appreciate it even more.
"I've always had so much respect for the people that serve, I never did," Maddon said.
The Rays haven't fared well on the holiday in the past, entering their contest against the White Sox just 3-8 on Memorial Day.