106-year-old Rays super fan enjoys historic game at Tropicana Field

More than 21,000 fans filled Tropicana Field Thursday for the Tampa Bay Rays’ historic win. One of those fans was 106-year-old Agnes Ingles. 

She has been a fan since the start, but Thursday was the first game she’d ever attended in person.

"It's wonderful entertainment," she said. "I'll tell you that."

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Staff at Westminster Palms assisted living in St. Petersburg where Agnes lives said they know she's a huge Rays fan. They posted her story on a community Facebook page and reached out to the Rays a couple months ago.

"When I made that post, I was not expecting the amount of attention it got," Jackie Sahhar, the head services administrator at Westminster Palms, said. "By that night, I received communication from the Rays that they wanted to make this day extra special for her."

"Our goal is to bring the life in their lives. Just because they are 106-years-old doesn't mean that they can't come out to a baseball game, and to see all of our residents here, they are so excited," Sahhar said.

Before the game, Agnes got to go onto the field.

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"It’s beautiful. Everything’s so big here. I think I feel like a peanut on a watermelon," Agnes said.

Agnes wore a custom-made Rays jersey with her name and number – 106. She said she also wore a blue beaded necklace that she made, so people wouldn’t get confused and think she was a player.

"I just didn't want anybody to think that I'm going to be out there playing with beads on. I'm not a member of the team. I’m a fan of the team," Agnes said. "We have a beading class where I live, and I make these. We design our own beads, and so I have about maybe 50 strings of beads in my drawer."

She also got to meet Rays Manager Kevin Cash and got a visit from the Rays’ mascot.

"They’re taking all of the pictures of you," Cash said walking up to Agnes. "My name is Kevin Cash."

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"Oh, you look different in person," Agnes said. 

"I do? Younger or older," Cash asked.

"Younger," Agnes said.

"That’s good. You look great," Cash said.

Cash signed Agnes’ jersey too. 

"How do you think we’re doing so far," Cash asked her.

"Wonderful," she said.

"I agree," Cash said.

Agnes told Cash she doesn’t have a favorite player.

"In fact, they’re all good this year. In your lineup, they don’t have all the good ones in the front and all the bad ones in the back. Everyone who comes up hits a homerun," she said.

"Several people said, ‘well maybe you ought to tell them how to do it,’" Agnes told Cash.

"I hear it from the front office enough. Why not hear it from you," he told her.

"You have certain expectations as they come up, you know? Oh, he can hit a home run he can do this, but I've come to learn that it's more important to get on the base than it is to hit a home run," Agnes said.

Agnes also kicked off the game for fans from her suite as the honorary Rays Playball Kid.

"Play ball! Go Rays," she told the stadium.

Staff from Westminster Palms, some of the residents and Agnes’ friends joined her to cheer on the Rays from a suite on the first baseline for the game. She sang along to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," had a hotdog and some other stadium favorites.

Agnes said she watches every game and rewatches most the next day.

"It doesn't matter what time the game goes off at night, I stay with it until the end," she said.

As for the secret to living a long life, Agnes said there isn’t really one.

"There’s no key to it. You just got to live every day," she said. "I keep telling God I like it here, so that's why He keeps me here, I guess," Agnes said.

And a historic win from the Rays doesn’t hurt either, she said.

"It’s really wonderful isn’t it? I can’t believe they’ve beaten four different clubs all the way," Agnes said.

She also weighed in on where the Rays play baseball.

"They’re talking about moving to another location. There’s nothing wrong with this location," Agnes said.

The Rays told Agnes if the team goes to the World Series, she’ll have to come back, and it looks like she just might be their good luck charm.