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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Brignac invites special guest to Rays games this weekend
Posted Mar 31, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Mar 31, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Toka Andrews (left) and her son T.J. visit with Reid Brignac before today’s game.
PORT CHARLOTTE Sunday is the first anniversary of when T.J. Andrews lost four fingers on his left hand during an explosion. He will spend the day at Ed Smith Stadium watching the Rays play the Orioles, a guest of Rays SS Reid Brignac.
The two became fast friends last April when Brignac visited T.J. at Tampa General Hospital the day before T.J. turned 11. The next day Evan Longoria visited T.J.
“Reid slid in the day before on the down-low,” said T.J.’s mom, Toka.
A friend of Toka’s knows Reid’s father and contacted him shortly after the accident, which took place near T.J.’s home in Climax, Ga., which is north of Tallahassee.
T.J., his mom and some family members drove to Sarasota on Friday evening, where they are spending the weekend with Toka’s aunt. They are Brignac’s guests today at the Rays game against the visiting Red Sox. They watched the Rays take batting practice this morning. They met some of the Rays.
“It’s just a pleasure for him letting me come over here,” T.J. said.
T.J., a natural left-hander, had to learn how to do everything with his right-hand. He returned to his Little League team last summer and pitched, played first base and the outfield.