Don Zimmer to throw out ceremonial first pitch at season opener vs. Orioles

Tampa Bay Rays Senior Advisor Don Zimmer will be joined by his family to deliver the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Tampa Bay Rays season-opening game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field on Tuesday, April 2. Game time is 3:10 p.m.  Twenty-one-year-old saxophonist BK Jackson will perform the national anthem.

The 82-year-old Zimmer is entering his 65th season in professional baseball.  This will be his 54th major league opening day.  This is also his 10th season with the Rays, equaling his most years with one major league club.  Don has been a major league coach, manager or advisor every year since 1971. During his career, he has worn the uniform of 14 major league teams.  He signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949 and broke into the major leagues as an infielder in 1954.  His major league playing career spanned 12 seasons with the Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Reds and Senators.

A Tampa native, Jackson is currently taking time off from his studies at Florida A&M University to perform with Prince.  Jackson has performed the anthem at the Rays home openers in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and at Game 1 of the 2008 American League Division Series, all four games of the 2008 American League Championship Series and before Game 3 of the 2011 American League Division Series.

Previous first pitches at Rays home openers:

1998     Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Monte Irvin and Al Lopez        

1999     Larry Doby       

2000     Wade Boggs    

2001     St. Petersburg Mayor David J. Fischer  

2002     United States Army General Tommy Franks       

2003     Jon Gruden and Rich McKay, Tampa Bay Bucs 

2004     Winky Wright, World Junior Middleweight Champ           

2005     Racing legend Michael Andretti

2006     Al Lopez, Jr., Al Lopez III and Al Lopez IV

2007     Governor Charlie Crist

2008     Governor Charlie Crist and Buccaneers' great Mike Alstott

2009     Governor Charlie Crist

2010     Admiral Eric Thor Olson, Commander, US Special Ops

2011     Florida Governor Rick Scott

2012     Jim Dundee, son of the late boxing legend Angelo Dundee

Tickets to the opener are available in a handful of sections at Tropicana Field.  The team expects its eighth consecutive Opening Day sellout.  Tickets are available at all regular Rays outlets including raysbaseball.com and raysbeisbol.com, the Tropicana Field Box Office, the Rays Tampa Office located at 400 N. Tampa Street, all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster phone, or by calling 1-888-FAN-RAYS.