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Rays' advisor Zimmer to throw Opening Day first pitch

Rays' advisor Zimmer to throw Opening Day first pitch

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Rays senior advisor Don Zimmer will be joined by his family to deliver the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Rays season-opening game against the Orioles at Tropicana Field on April 2 at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Zimmer, 82, 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.

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Zimmer has been a Major League coach, manager or advisor every year since 1971. During his career, he has worn the uniforms 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.

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.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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