ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa Bay Rays super fan got to watch her favorite team make history Thursday night.
106-year-old Agnes Ingles has been a fan of the team for decades, but could never make it out to Tropicana Field to see a game. She cheered along as the team tied the league record for most consecutive wins to kick off a season.
“It’s beautiful. Everything is so big here,” Ingles said, recalling the moment she first stepped out onto the field. “I feel like a peanut on a watermelon.”
Ingles’ trip to the Trop had been in the works for months. It all started when the assisted living facility she calls home was evacuated before Hurricane Ian.
“Somebody said, “Oh, you ought to hear her talk about baseball,'” Ingles said. “So then our coordinator, he said, ‘I’m gonna take you to a baseball game next spring.'”
Months later, the Rays mascot, Raymond, paid Ingles a visit at Westminster Palms in downtown St. Pete. That’s when she learned she would be going to the game to meet Rays players and experience a game in person.
“It’s been very fun. Everyone at [Westminster Palms] is very excited,” Ingles said.
At “106-years-young,” Ingles was announced as the ‘Play Ball Kid’ of the night on Thursday. With her custom jersey worn proudly, she kicked off the game with a resounding, “Play ball!”
The team secured a 9-3 win over the Red Sox as Ingles looked on, with her nephew and Rays mascots Raymond and D.J. Kitty by her side. She also had the opportunity to meet some players and manager Kevin Cash.
“You look different in person,” Ingles told Cash.
“I do?” Cash asked. “Younger or older?”
“Younger!” the 106-year-old laughed.
Ingles hadn’t always been a Rays fan. She grew up in Michigan as a Detroit Tigers fan, but she started following the Rays when she moved to St. Pete after retiring in 1984.
When asked if she thinks the team will make it to the World Series, she simply said, “Why not?”