Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Astro, Price receive keys to City of Tampa
Posted Dec 11, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Dec 11, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, David Price and Astro at share a laugh Tuesday when Price and Astro received keys to the City of Tampa
TAMPA Astro was given the key to the City of Tampa on Tuesday afternoon during a downtown ceremony attended by a few hundred Tampa Bay Rays fans.
Oh yeah, Astro’s owner, David Price, received a key, too.
“Every time I get some recognition, Astro’s name is in there as well,” Price said.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn proclaimed Tuesday as David Price Day in Tampa and awarded him a key to the city to help celebrate Price’s Cy Young Award-winning season with the Rays.
The Rays left-hander was 20-5 with an American League-low 2.56 ERA and helped keep the team in the playoff hunt until the final week of the season. A runner-up for the award in 2010, Price became the first Ray to win a Cy Young.
“I know David. I know what a standup guy he is. I know what he represents. I know what he embodies. It’s indicative of the entire organization,” Mayor Buckhorn said. “And to know that a Tampa resident and a member of our team was named, basically, the most valuable player, really is an honor. And for me to be able to do this is the least I can do for him.”
No one in the mayor’s office could recall how many athletes have received a key to the city, and Mayor Buckhorn couldn’t put a figure on the amount of keys he presents each year. Safe to say it is a rare honor.
“The keys to the city, we tend to be far more selective about that,” he said. “Somebody has to do something of significance, and it could vary from cultural, visiting dignitary, someone like David. It depends. It’s totally at the discretion of the mayor.”
Price and Astro, his French bulldog, received the keys during a short ceremony.
“I’m a small piece to a big puzzle, and that’s the rest of my teammates,” Price said when accepting the key.
Astro didn’t give a speech but did breathe heavy into the mic when Price placed him on top of the podium.
“He’s not shy at all,” Price said. “He thinks all these people out there today was for him, and probably half of them were. Whenever I’m out with him or without him the first thing people ask me about is him. He puts a smile on people’s faces, and he has no idea what he’s doing.”
Buckhorn said it was the first time he’s ever presented a key to a dog.
“Never given one to a dog. That’s a first,” he said. “Especially to a talking dog. Even my own dog hasn’t been in my office, but Astro came in there and took control. We have a picture of Astro sitting in the mayor’s chair.”