New effort started to make sure Rays stay - WFLA News Channel 8

New effort started to make sure Rays stay

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ST PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

A new, homegrown effort is underway to keep the Tampa Bay Rays in Tampa Bay. Hundreds of people turned out to show their support of the team on Thursday afternoon.

At"Ferg's" the unofficial hangout for Rays fans, radio station 98.7 "The Fan" launched a drive to make sure Major League Baseball doesn't pull the plug on the Rays. Their message: "I better make sure that I let my voice be heard, because if I don't I'm gonna wake up tomorrow and I'm gonna have to explain to my kid why we don't have baseball anymore," said The Fan's Rich Herrera.

Despite fielding a winning team, turnout is low, even on game days with teams with a large following, like Boston.

With dire talk from the Baseball Commissioner and others about the Rays long term prospects, "The Fan" hopes its fans step up to sign a petition demanding baseball in the Bay Area, stays put.

As you'd expect, fans at the kick off rally didn't want to hear anything about the Rays packing up. "We don't want them to leave the state of Florida," said fan Judy B. Goode.

"They can't leave. They cannot leave. No way in hell," said Curtis Jones.

The organizers of the effort to keep the Rays want to avoid talk about the stadium, or the mayor's race, or Tampa versus St. Pete.

The owner of "Ferg's" says the Rays are a vital part of the community, for jobs, volunteers and the economy. "We don't want to see em going anywhere. They're our baby and we're gonna keep em" said Mark Ferguson.

 Don't miss out on the day's top Facebook conversations http://bl.wfla.com/17r4jKK

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