The Tampa Bay Rays raised $300,000 to help victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando as they drew their largest regular season crowd in a decade Friday night against the San Francisco Giants.
All tickets were $5 and 100% of the proceeds went to the Pulse Victims Fund. The attendance was more than 40,000 for a team that draws 16,000 fans on average.
Billy Bean, a gay former Major League Baseball player now a vice president in the league office, threw out the first pitch.
"I think today will be just a great moment if baseball can make everybody smile, enjoy a great baseball game, feel a little closer to one another," Bean said. "It's not specific to one person or another, or race or gender or color or sexual orientation or gender identity. It's about people feeling connected and supportive."
Here is Bean's pitch, along with players wearing "We Are Orlando" shirts.
Billy Bean (Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Tim Beckham (Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Mikie Mahtook (Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images).