Tampa Bay Rays’ Randy Arozarena Makes Young Fan’s Day by Gifting Him Signed Bat, Note

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Randy Arozarena was originally signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an international free agent in 2016. He ended up being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2020, but still has love for the Cardinals fans, and they have love for him, too.

When St. Louis visited beautiful Tropicana Field for a series this week, Arozarena spotted a young fan named Alex in the stands who wanted to give him something. Even though he was wearing a Cardinals jersey, Alex had a custom baseball with a picture of Arozarena printed on the seams, along with his No. 56 and name.

In the next inning, Arozarena went out to the left-field stands and gave Alex a gift in return. It was an authentic, autographed Marucci bat. He also included a handwritten note in Spanish, which read:

“I loved the baseball so much that I wanted to bring you out something additional: A signed, personalized bat.”

After the game, Arozarena said he quickly wrote the note in the clubhouse between innings when he was not up in the batting order.

Arozarena shocked the world during the 2020 playoffs. He set an MLB postseason record with 10 home runs during the Rays’ run to the World Series. Not only is Arozarena a superstar player, but it turns out he is also a great guy and a fantastic ambassador for the game.

Arozarena Faces Former Club

This week marked the first time Randy Arozarena played his former team since St. Louis traded him two years ago. When asked what he wanted to accomplish, Arozarena said “muchos jonrones” – a.k.a. a lot of home runs.

“I’ve been anxious to be able to play against them since I got traded,” Arozarena said on Sunday through interpreter Manny Navarro. “I’m looking forward to facing them and seeing some of my ex-teammates from over there. I’m going to do everything to just try to beat them.”

Arozarena batted 3-for-11 in the three-game series with four runs batted in. Although there were not “muchos jonrones” like he wanted, Tampa Bay ultimately got the last laugh and swept the Cardinals.

“I think people know me a little bit more now,” Arozarena said. “But I’m glad I’ve been able to show the kind of talent I have and [for] the opportunity I’ve had that the Rays have given me here.”