Ready To Make Some Philly Memories

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We were very confident that we were going to come up with a win tonight. We have a lot of confidence, and the good thing about it is we don’t try to force things. It’s not easy to do, because we are in the World Series and there’s all this stuff going on around us, and sometimes it’s like “Ah,” and the first human reaction is to do that. But I’m very glad for us as a team to stay calm.

We aren’t flying tonight after the game; we are leaving tomorrow, so that’s nice. I went to Philadelphia once, a long time ago, but I don’t remember anything about it. It’s just cool to go over there with the series tied. Tonight, winning our first game in World Series history, it is a big moment for us.

I am going to see my mom, my sister — they are all going to be there — so it will be like a little family reunion. So it’s great. The day off tomorrow will be nice — we will get some rest. It’s going to be colder, that’s for sure. Tomorrow we get a little breather when we get there. We’ll just try to use it to our advantage, try to rest a little bit, enjoy today’s win and go back at it.

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16 Comments

Another excellent win from this Rays team, and won we really needed. Shields was excellent during the time he was out there, that run manufacturing was great and once again it was a team effort. Now it’s time to head up north and battle those elements to scratch closer to that grand prize. Best of luck to all of the Rays in Philadelphia.Brentonhttp://braverays.mlblogs.com

It was a great game, Carlos and the Rays! I was thrilled to be there tonight and feel the heat! Rocco’s single person double play was amazing and rarely happens. That was great to witness and quick thinking on his part. The four runs were all valuable. The pitching was awesome. It was a great atmosphere. I was shocked by the Phillies fans in the Trop-they were trying to provoke fights all over the Trop and more obnoxious than Red Sox fans which I didn’t even imagine to be possible. I am so proud of the good manners of our fans and how they have been all along. I hope that even after these amazing victories that our good manners and positive spirits always permeate and dominate the atmosphere at the Trop and on the road. Amen.

Great Job! Great Pitching and Excellent defense again! Keep up the great job! It looks like you will be rained out tonight in Philly. I hope not! I look so forward to seeing the game and the Rays kick butt! I love watching the excited Rays play! They are a complete different team when they are pumped. Hey Carlos, when you play tonight and the crowd is making thunder like noise…. just think of it as Tampa Bay fans cheering you and the guys on. Go Rays!!!! Remember Carlos, This is …..

YOUR FIELD OF DREAMS!!!

Good luck and have fun!

Hey Carlos,
Rays looked great tonight. Congrats on your first World Series game win. Happy to hear that you’re enjoying time with your family. Have fun in game three. Stay focused and go Rays!

Way to go Carlos and the RAYS! History has been made and you guys are on your way. Keep it the same, keep it calm, keep it confident and you WILL win it all. One down, three (only three) to go! Go Rays, Tampa Bay loves you!
Thanks Carlos for sharing your heart with us, I love to hear the stories about your family and when you were a boy. Your parents must be so proud of you all.

Congrats on your first World Series win! Well deserved. Great pitching again and great offense. The little things count. Keep having fun, we’ll be rooting for you while you’re in Philly. Can’t wait til Saturday! GO RAYS! We all know you can pull this off.

Carlitos felicidades! Cuanto me alegro por ti que esten tan lejos. Llegaron al la serie mundial! Eso tiene que ser una experiencia bien bonita. Suerte en los juegos que sigen, y tu veras que van a ganar!
Ailyn De Pena

Great Carlos and Team!
We will be cheering for you guys Saturday. Enjoy your family and get ready to rock!
Go Rays!

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! You guys are awsome A worst to first season is great. All of you can hit run field and most importantly pitch. My whole family wants you guys to win the series. Enjoy the moment! Good luck

Carlos,

Great game but can someone in the Rays organization find you guy some decent bats with power. Maybe made of a stronger wood or is it a league rule for everyone to use the same brands.
Rember to remind all of our pitchers to keep the ball inside and if the umpires are not calling it on the inside corner have Maddon go out and argue the calls once in a while during the World Series. It can’t hurt. They won’t throw Maddon out of the game for asking!!!!!!!!

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!
TAKE 2 IN PHILLY SO YOU CAN COME BACK AND WIN HERE!!!

Carlos, I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am for you, and your family! I had the pleasure of watching the winning game 7 with your family! Your Dad, Mom, and Sister were crying. The phone was ringing off the hook! We were all screaming with joy! You have been an inspiration to so many people, including my son, Michael. No matter what, you have had such a positive attitude. I have been rooting for you, even though I’m from Red Sox nation! You deserve it, Carlos! Go Rays! Good luck!!!!!

Good evening TB Ray Fans. I’m a Dodger fan, but I wanted to tell the entire Tampa Bay Rays organization and their fans – annihilate the Phillies! You’ve got a good team (yes, a few of them are former Dodgers-Navarro, Jackson and Aybar), but I am impressed with the poise the team has shown in the postseason, and especially during the first two games of the WS. Just keep up the great work!

Carlos and all our Rays, we could not be more proud of you! This has been an incredible season, honestly, we were excited back in April that y’all might play better than 500. Well exuse me for selling you short! Well, since you’ve made it this far, might as well take it the rest of the way. Play hard tonight and get us a win.

The Mocks of Seminole

Dear Carlos,

Congratulations!! It is so nice that you and your family get to celebrate this amazing time in your life together! We are so happy and so proud of you and all of our Rays! I think among us we may have at least one of your #1 fans if not “the” #1 fan. :) His name is David. He is an awesome young man who just graduated from high school and is now attending a local college. He also plays competitive soccer. Which are all wonderful accomplishments, but become amazing when you realize that he and 2 of his five brothers have muscular dystrophy. He and his oldest brother are in wheel chairs. But, through their faith in God, and the wonderful mother and family He has given them, they have accomplished amazing things and have touched so many lives! Take care and God bless!

This family’s story is so inspiring, I would like to share a letter I wrote to a local station:

***If you would like to reach the family you can email me at esther715@netzero.com and I can give you the information you need. Thank you.

Dear Mr. Leonard,

Please forgive me if you have already received this email from me. I know you must be terribly busy right now. But, when I hadn’t yet received a response yet, I thought that you may not have ever received it. Some of my emails haven’t gotten through to others in the past. Again, thank you so much for your time. Take care and God bless!

———- Forwarded Message ———-

Dear Mr. Leonard,

How are you? I’m writing to tell you about a very special young man. I am truly blessed to know him and his family! I believe this young man may also be the #1 Rays fan! He has loved the Rays even before they went from worst to first. He can tell you anything you want to know about the players or coaches, present or past. He is truly celebrating in their victories with them now! He gets to as many games as he can. It is a little more difficult for him, being he is in a wheelchair. He and 2 of his 5 brothers have muscular dystrophy. Two of the three are in wheelchairs. It would mean so much to him and his brothers to be able to go to a World Series game with their Tampa Bay Rays! I’m praying that God will get this letter into the hands of the person who can make this happen for them. They have no idea I am writing this letter, so it would be a total and wonderful surprise!! It would be a dream come true for David and his brothers!! I wanted you to get to know a little more about the family and the struggles they have been through, so I am including a letter I had written to a local christian radio station several years ago. Since this letter was originally written they have become not only friends but family to me through marriage and through hearts. I hope you are inspired by their amazing story! Thank you very much for your time. Take care and God bless!

P.S. This letter was written about 4 yrs. ago
~~~~~~l~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One of the families I know you mean a great deal to, is the family Ispoke to you about several mornings ago. It’s really hard to even put down in words what just an absolute blessing this family is to know and their indescribable strength and faith in Jesus through all of their trials. And in the midst of everything they’re going through, they still minister to others and lead people to Christ.

The family I want you to meet is the ****** family. Geroge (now withthe Lord), Kathy (the mother), Dan (22), Tim (21), Jeff (18), Dave (13),Aaron (7). Dan, Dave and Aaron have Dushens’ Muscular Dystrophy. Dan and Dave are both in wheelchairs and are completely unable to walk, but Aaron can still walk , run and be active. Tim and Jeff did not inherit the disease and both have been state runners in cross country and track. Jeff is listed as one of the state’s top distance runners at Flrunners.com.

I remember reading this article about Jeff in the local newspaper, The Suncoast News, a couple of years ago. He was asked what drove him? What made him run so hard? He pointed to his brothers watching from their wheelchairs and said that he runs so hard becuase they can’t run at all; he runs for them. Jeff is the one the newspapers usually try to get in touch with at meets, being one of the top runners in the state, and is still humble and focused on what is really important. He is also very open about his faith. In that same article, they asked him about his accomplishments and a recent win. He told them that what mattered more than every trophy or running in any race he has run, was being able to chase his little brother Aaron around the house, because he didn’t know how long he’d be able to do this. I watched Jeff run at states in Coral Springs about a year and a half ago. He didn’t win first place. When the race was over, we couldn’t find Jeff. when we finally found him he was crying. We thought he was upset about his race, but, still crying, he said that it wasn’t because of his race. He was so upset, because here he was running at states and his brothers can’t even walk.

The character he has, is found in all of the boys. It comes from knowing Christ and from the examples given them by their father and mother. I remember talking to the father, George, once, and telling him what an awesome job he and Kathy have done with their boys, for them to have such character and integrity at such young ages. I mentioned this particular article and spoke to him about how strong their faith is even in the midst of what they were going through with the boys. He told me that he thanked God for them and that if God chose to only let him share them for a little while, then he was going to love them and appreciate them while he has them. Mrs. Masterson felt the same way. He had no way of knowing that about 1 1/2 years later he would be the one going to be with the Lord. He found out about 3 – 4 months ago that he had cancer of the esophagus. He went to be with the Lord on Oct 1, 2003.

This man was always giving to others. He had 5 sons of his own, 3 with a dehabilitating illness, yet still had time for others. He was at every track meet that Jeff had; running alongside of him, cheering him on to the finish line. There were students on J.V. and varsity that knew him, kids and parents from other schools and counties that knew him, because of his involvement at Jeff’s meets. He was called “Coach” by many young people although he wasn’t actually the coach, but because he was just always on the sideline cheering, advising, “coaching” and hugging others.

One day while Jeff and his Mom were visiting his Dad at the hospital, they were talking with one of his nurses. When this nurse found out that Jeff ran cross-country, she went and got her friend who was a respiratory therapist. because her son had run cross-country in Hernando county. Her son’s name was Zak Lukas and he had died about 9 mos. before, in a personal watercraft accident. They were about to hold the inaugural Zak Lukas Invitational in Brooksville, which Jeff was running in. He promised he’d do everything to help win the 1st place trophy and bring it to her in memory of her son Zak. Four days before his father died, he won 1st place in the race. Then just one day after his father’s death, he brought the Mitchell boys’ trophy to the hospital along with a shirt signed by the entire team and gave it to Zak’s mom.

He ran in another race, pre-states, just 3 days after his father passed away. Zak’s mom came to watch. He took 6th place. Again he was interviewed by the newspapers, St. Pete Times and the Tampa Tribune. Both articles appeared on Sunday, Oct. 5th. It really breaks your heart, touches you, to see this family reaching out to others through all that is surrounding them. Even in one of the articles, Jeff says that their faith in their Saviour, Jesus Christ, is what will see them through and knowing they’ll see their dad again one day. He said that his Dad was a great man and he can understand why God would want him in Heaven with Him.

The father, George, was able to come home with hospice care on Oct. 1, in the morning. He went to be with the Lord at 8:00pm that night. He was surrounded by his wife, children, and family members. At some point in the evening, the mom asked the hospice nurse if she knew Jesus, and she said that she didn’t. Then the mom asked her to please not go; her husband wouldn’t have wanted her to leave without knowing Jesus. So the Mom (Kathy)prayed with this nurse and she accepted Jesus as her Saviour.

The strength, giving, and self-sacrifice is almost as if they’re on a ladder, with water rising beneath them, and they allow the person below them to climb on their shoulders and get to safety first.

Kathy and the boys were surrounded by family and friends. Many coming to console, to help, many bearing gifts and meals. There’s just been an outpouring of love. Some had just known how their lives had been touched by this man and his family. They may not have known that what they were witnessing, was Christ living through this family, but they still saw the reality of something different.

Their pastor came over to help plan the service. The family wanted this to be a celebration; because George isn’t dead, he’s alive and looking into the eyes of Jesus! They told their pastor that they wanted a salvation message given at the service, because all of George’s brothers and sisters that he’d been praying for were going to be there. Most of them didn’t know Christ. Even towards the end of his illness; this still weighed on Mr. Masterson’s heart. He’d prayed for years for his family to be saved. I know that whether he’d be healed or go to be with the Lord, his prayer was that his family would somehow see Jesus through all of this and be saved.

At the service, the oldest son, Dan, went up on stage in his wheelchair. With several friends and family, he led a praise and worship service, which included a song he’d written for his father. Jeff got up and spoke very beautifully, and Tim wrote a very touching poem that his pastor read. They showed such strength and courage and, yes, joy in the midst of tragedy. They opened the service for others to speak. Many told stories of what George had meant to them and the impact he had on their life. I believe people were so moved by the strength and faith that they saw in this family. They must have wondered why the family wasn’t down on their knees from the weight of things. How was there still joy? How could they still be reaching out to others? How could a son get up the strength to praise this God and Jesus in spite of losing his father? Their God and their Jesus must be real! God’s love for this family must be so real to each one of them, that when they shouldn’t be able to stand, they are standing tall and strong with their arms reaching out to their Saviour!

God was there that morning. Pastor Strayer gave a powerful message from God’s word. Not one person listening could leave that place and say they had not seen how to meet Jesus. And what satan may have thought would silence the witness of this man and his family, only magnified it. Twenty-four people met Jesus that day! Maybe even more that we don’t know about. And we may never know exactly how many seeds were planted in people’s hearts. But we do know that 24 people who came in that day lost; left there now saved!

Two of George’s brothers and his twin sister – all who he’d been praying for for years – Kathy’s brother, half of the boys’ cross-country team, and even Jeff’s coach met Jesus that day, along with many others. Each of those saved that day will reach countless others. The impact George Masterson and his family have had and will still have may not be fully known until we reach Heaven. This family is so precious and special to me, and to anyone who knows them.

P.S. – They have since lost their grandfather (Dad’s dad) to cancer as well. Their grandfather on their mother’s side is suffering from a form of Auzheimer’s.

**Proverbs 3:27&28 – Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbor, go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.**

Congrats you guys ! :D that was a great game. defense has been absolutely amazing.
we’re all so happy for you all and your families being able to be a part of October and all the fun and rush of post-season.

&thank you for keeping us all updated in this blog ! I know you’re busy with the games and traveling and everything so i’m sure everyone is grateful :]

enjoy your well earned rest and best of luck in game 3 tonight !

Good luck tonight, you guys need a win in Philly before you have to face Hamels again.
http://hardballblog.mlblogs.com/

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