ST. PETERSUBRG, Fla. - Fans are forced to sit-out their favorite team's games but thanks to a clever marketing tool, first employed by the South Korean Baseball League, fans are able to put their likeness in the seat of their choice at the stadium.
The Tampa Bay Rays have hundreds of fan cutouts placed around Tropicana Field. Before the season started, fans had the opportunity to pay $60 per cutout, which are secured with zip-ties to the seat.
Sharon Greene of Ellenton and her extended family can be seen during Rays television broadcasts when the camera shows the area behind the third-base dugout.
There are nine extended family members -- enough to fill the entire row between aisles -- seated three rows up from the visitors' dugout in section 117.
Sharon says she didn't have to think long about having the family facsimiles on display.
"Our group is actually bigger than the ones who joined in," says Sharon, "It's a lot of fun and it's funny to watch the games now and to hear all the cheering and the crowd noise knowing that nobody's there. But we're there, we're there! "
The Greene family group includes Sharon's husband Jeff, son Trevor and his wife Kristen, plus Kristen’s folks and Sharon’s grandsons Jake and Carter.
The group is anchored on the aisle by Sharon's late husband, John Greene, who died in 2006.
Sharon says her daughter-in-law, Kristen recently told her that she now gets to watch games with her father-in-law, John.
And John, seated right alongside the grandchildren he never had the chance to meet, now gets to enjoy the game with the next generation.
The next time you watch the Rays broadcast, look for the nine folks (enough to fill a team!) seated right behind the opposing dugout. That's Sharon Greene's family.