Rays honor Orlando shooting victims during pride night

Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:08am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - The Tampa Bay Rays honored victims of Orlando's mass shooting with a dedicated Pride Night on Friday, which drew their largest regular season crowd in more than 10 years.

Forty-nine people were killed at an Orlando night club on Sunday in what was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The Rays chose to make their contest against San Francisco a night of observance as Tropicana hosted 40,135 fans, the most at the ballpark since Opening Day in 2006.

The team wore "We are Orlando" T-Shirts for batting practice and hats of their former minor league team, the Orlando Rays during the contest. A tribute video from both teams played on the scoreboard.

Tampa Bay also made tickets for the game available for just $5 beginning on Tuesday and donated the proceeds to a victim's fund. The Rays announced that they raised more than $300,000.

"Orlando is a huge part of baseball's heart," said Major League Baseball's vice president of social responsibility Billy Bean. "What happened in Orlando happened to everybody, and I've been very proud of the way baseball has responded with wanting to be supportive."

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

 
Tampa Bay Rays catcher Hank Conger (24) wears a "We Are Orlando" shirt in wake of the Orlando attack prior to the game against the San Francisco Giants  at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports - RTX2GV1U