Episode 155 — Gio Fraraccio: Completing the Quest at Coors, An Infamous Tweet, & Why You Should Never Leave a Game Early

Gio Fraraccio is a Rays fan from the Tampa Bay area. He got started with baseball as a kid, thanks to the 1980s Cardinal broadcast team of Jack Buck and Mike Shannon. After moving to Florida in the early 2000s, Gio became a Rays fan thanks to his kids falling in love with the local team.

Gio recently completed his journey to 30 ballparks, wrapping things up at Coors Field earlier this year. We chat about his ballpark journey, an infamous 2016 World Series prediction he made, and how some advice he received as a kid from his Uncle Bob served him well one night in 2011.

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Read the full transcript

[00:00:00] Gio: you think it’s the greatest home run in Rays history, but you know, all you got to do is wait a couple of innings. Well, Upton’s up and all of a sudden there’s this wave through the crowd.

[00:00:12] Gio: And people were going nuts. And I’m like, what is going on? The Baltimore Orioles just walked off the Red Sox. Carl Crawford should have caught the ball on the left field and he didn’t. so, so at worst, we’re going to have a game tomorrow because we’ve got to play a tiebreaker. Well, BJ Upton gets out.

[00:00:31] Gio: Here comes Evan Longoria. I’m like, oh, come on, man. Just one time. Wouldn’t you know it? He hits a home run over the left field wall, 

[00:00:42] Anna: What’s up Bucketheads? Thanks for tuning in and welcome to episode number 155 of the baseball bucket list podcast. I’m your host Anna DiTommaso. And each week on the show, I speak with a different baseball fan about their favorite memories. What’s left on their baseball bucket list. And what the game of baseball means to them. This week, I sat down with Gio Fraraccio Braccio from the Tampa Bay area in Florida. Gio fell in love with the game of baseball as a kid. Thanks to the 1980s Cardinal broadcast team of Jack Buck and Mike Shannon. After moving to Florida and the early 2000s, he became a Rays fan, thanks to his kids falling in love with the local team. Gio also recently completed his journey to 30 ballparks wrapping things up at Coors Field earlier this year. We chat about his ballpark journey, an infamous 2016 world series prediction he made and how some advice he received as a kid from his uncle Bob served him well, one night in 2011. Gio is super energetic and a ton of fun. I think you guys will really getting a kick out of his stories. Now without further ado, sit back, relax and enjoy some baseball banter with Gio for Fraraccio . . 

[00:01:46] Anna: Gio, thank you so much for joining us today on the baseball bucket list. How are things in sunshiny Florida?

[00:01:53] Gio: Oh, it’s hot today. Hey, I’m driving around. I’ve been a seven school so far. I sell printers. Uh, so, uh, busy, busy day, but I’m getting ready for some baseball this weekend. I got a Rays game on Friday and then a Rays game the next Tuesday. So, I’m pumped.

[00:02:11] Anna: always a good day when you’re at the ballpark, that’s for sure.

[00:02:14] Gio: Oh, yeah.

[00:02:16] Anna: So to get started, I’d love to hear the story of how you came to be a fan of baseball, kind of, how did you fall in love with this game?

[00:02:25] Gio: Um, you know, my dad, uh, was a pretty good pitcher when he was younger. And he was always throwing the ball with me, um, growing up, but you know, going to, I used to go to Indians games, but my first true game that I just fell in love with baseball was in St. Louis, Missouri. My dad is, uh, uh, you know, his, his, uh, brother.

[00:02:51] Gio: So my uncle, invited me to a game and uh, about the eighth inning, this is 1982, about the eighth inning, uh, my, my, uh, aunt started, started wanting to leave and my uncle’s like, we’re not leaving. And I said, uncle, uncle, uncle Bob, why are we not leaving? He goes, because that guy, number one, playing shortstop, Ozzie Smith is going to do something spectacular in the top of the ninth and I’m not going to miss it.

[00:03:20] Gio: And it was like, I think it was nine one. Um, the Cardinals at the time, so wouldn’t, you know, top of the ninth happens, there’s a ball deep in the, in the, uh, in, in the, uh, shortstop position. He makes an Ozzy Smith play and flips it over and just a spectacular play. And my uncle just laughs and goes, that’s why you never leave a baseball game early.

[00:03:41] Gio: And I became a huge Cardinal fan. And then 1982, win the World Series. And the only way I could listen to Cardinal Games on KMOX, Jack Buck and Mike Shannon, was to listen at night. Because living in Ohio, I lived in Alliance, Ohio, and um, you know, that’s the only way I could listen. And I learned the game from Jack Buck and Mike Shannon.

[00:04:06] Gio: Just a wonderful broadcast. I mean, both of them are Hall of Famers. And you probably know Joe Buck, um, you know, he’s really, really famous. But Jack Buck was his dad, and just, great guy and he, they love the game. So that’s how I became a huge, huge baseball fan.

[00:04:23] Anna: Yeah, I love that. And good on Uncle Bob for teaching you to never leave a game early. I know we’re going to touch on something else where that piece of advice served you very well. But, I mean, you were talking a lot about the cards there, but, uh, that’s not who I know you to root for now. Do you want to give listeners some insight as to who your team is today?


[00:04:44] Gio: sure. Uh, well, you know, uh, in 2004, I moved to the Tampa Bay area and I started to follow the Rays and my son, Nicholas, who is now a, uh, uh, sports journalism, uh, writer, he writes for the Christian Chronicle in, um, Oklahoma City is an intern there this summer. you know, my kids started like the Rays. So I gotta be a Rays fan, man, because I gotta convert from like loving the Cardinals because, you know, I want to like the team they like. And when you know it, the first summer we started going to ballgames, there was an autograph session. In Orlando, Florida, because the Rays were playing these special games against the Toronto Blue Jays, and we got Dlemon Young’s autograph before the game, and Nick said to Delmon Young, hit a home run, and Delmon goes, I’m gonna hit a home run for you, brother.

[00:05:47] Gio: And wouldn’t you know it, he hit two home runs. And so, uh, my son was hooked. And we, we go to about 40 games a year. Now, of course, you know, when he’s in college. But I try to go to about 40 games a year. Um, you know, out of the 81 home schedule. So, you know, I just love, I love the Rays. Uh, I love everything about it.

[00:06:08] Gio: And we were fans before they became good. and in 08, man, what a special season. Um, uh, both my son and I got to go to one of the World Series games. So pretty, pretty fun. And, and I’ve been diehard Rays ever since. I mean, Rays Fangio is my Twitter. But my point is, is that we’ve been diehard Rays ever since. So,

[00:06:31] Anna: Yeah,

[00:06:33] Anna: they’re a lovable team and it seems like you know I’m kind of in the same boat in terms of when we started following them. We moved also to the Tampa Bay area in 2004 and Had some season ticket packages in the from 2008 through the next couple of years before we all kind of relocated across the country.

[00:06:54] Anna: But every year, regardless of who’s on that team, they seem to turn out just a lovable batch of guys who are, you know, fun loving and make everyday interesting. So I definitely get that. You mentioned your Twitter handle. Ray’s fan Gio, but your real name is Lenny. I gotta assume there is a story there.

[00:07:16] Gio: okay, well, first of all, I’m named after Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson, who was born in my hometown on the same month, day, and year as my dad. They grew up together in the year that Len Dawson won Super Bowl three for the Kansas City Chief Chiefs is the year that I was born and therefore my name is Lenny and I he has since passed.

[00:07:39] Gio: But I saw him and he was taking me around the Cheif’s Stadium and he goes, This guy is from Alliance Ohio and his dad screwed the name up. His name is Len L E N N and my name is L E N. His dad screws everything up and just absolutely fantastic guy. But the Gio comes from, I was on a trip in Europe, London, Rome, and Paris with my wife and my wife was pregnant.

[00:08:07] Gio: And we asked the tour guide, we’re going to have a son. What do we need to name my son? And our last name’s, Fraraccio , and she didn’t even hesitate. She didn’t even hesitate. Nicholas Giovanni Fraraccio . And we stuck with it and that’s his real name. And so the Rays Fangio, I started um, blogging and uh, writing stuff on ESPN.

[00:08:33] Gio: com and um, and I used to give Red Sox a hard time. The entire 2008 season, I came up with RaysFangio and that would be my handle. I didn’t want to use my real name. And then I would, 2008. At the beginning of the season, I would, uh, uh, bug Red Sox fans. I would put the Ray’s Magic number to clench the AL East.

[00:08:57] Gio: And of course, I’m a laughing stock in the beginning of the 2008 season. And then of course, we clenched it and went to the World Series. So it was, oh man, the Red Sox, Red Sox Nation hated me. They, they came after me so many times. It was great. But, uh, so that’s how the Gio name, it’s my son’s middle name.

[00:09:16] Anna: Good. A good strong Italian name. I like it. Sounds good. you recently completed your journey to see all 30 ballparks. I’m curious to know, kind of, what got you started on that journey and how long it took you to get through them all. I

[00:09:35] Gio: Okay, uh, first game I ever went to was a Cleveland Indians game when I was four years old. I grew up an Indians fan, so it was pretty brutal at the beginning. And by the way, I want to, I want to, I want to, I want to bad mouth my eighth grade girlfriend, Amy Simons. Amy Simons in Alliance, Ohio. Went to an Indians game and didn’t invite me and I was her boyfriend.

[00:10:02] Gio: Okay. And that was the day that Len Barker threw a perfect game for the Cleveland Indians. So I just want to, and I, and I broke up with Amy Simons the day after because she didn’t invite me to that, but I was very upset about that, but the way I got most of my stadiums out of the way is me and my son and my daughter would take trips every summer when they were, you know, growing up.

[00:10:24] Gio: We had a trip to Boston, New York, and Cooperstown. We had a trip to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Chicago Cubs. We had a trip to Atlanta, uh, then Miami. We had a trip to Montgomery, Alabama. And then, um, uh, Houston, Texas. So a lot of those trips were planned during the summer. The rate, the way I got to the West coast was I sell printers and I’m the number one salesman all time, uh, for Veritronics out of Minnesota.

[00:10:59] Gio: And we. Uh, had a, uh, trip where I would, I would incorporate some of those trips, like one time me and my son went on a trip to Vancouver, but we flew into LA first, got the Dodgers out of the way and then went to the Giants in Seattle and then took a train up to Vancouver. So it’s, it’s been, you know, 28 was, uh, the, the Angels, by the way, I went to the combined no hitter.

[00:11:24] Gio: For Tyler Skaggs Memorial Night where his mom was there, he had passed away. somebody threw two innings and the last guy threw seven innings and they threw no hitter. That was pretty spectacular. Also, Mike Trout hit a home run. The first pitch he saw when I was in Angel Stadium and then San Diego. I went to that game was number 29.

[00:11:46] Gio: Now I just, I hate to ruin the broadcast, but I’m going to tell you the saddest story in the world. My friend Ken, the best man in my wedding, we had tickets all ready to go in 2020, plane tickets, the tickets for the Colorado Rockies, and then COVID hit. And then 2021, he passed away from COVID. So, I mean, it was just brutal, you know, his poor wife Tracy and their three kids, uh, Evan, Brock, and Taylor.

[00:12:18] Gio: I just, you know, pray for them. So, the way that this summer’s, uh, visit to Colorado happened, you know, My son got an internship in Oklahoma City to write for the Christian Chronicle. So, I fly up to where he goes to school, Harding University. Then we drive in his car to Kansas City. So that’s his 19th stadium. I’ve already been there before. And then we drive over to Denver. That’s my 30th stadium. Uh, I’m sure you’ve seen the photo that I took. I got it. I got a Jersey that says stadium on the back number 30 for the Rockies. Um, they put me on the jumbotron, which was pretty cool.

[00:12:58] Gio: And I had tons of people coming up to me during the game. Congratulating me. It was, I, I kind of shed a tear a little bit thinking about my buddy Ken. So, I mean, it was, it was, uh, it was, uh, just one of those b You know, 

[00:13:12] Anna: yeah. That’s awesome. So it’s something that you started when you were four at your first game and then just kind of worked your way through them as time allowed, as life allowed, you know?

[00:13:22] Gio: Yep.

[00:13:23] Anna: Do you have a favorite? I know that’s a hard question. Mm

[00:13:27] Gio: No, it’s, it’s not that hard for me. Uh, one, two is easily San Francisco and Pittsburgh. they are just, it, it, the backdrop, uh, the fan bases, the brick, those two stadiums are just absolutely gorGious. Tied for three. Is Fenway and the Chicago Cubs the aura of the how that stadiums I know a lot of people don’t like those stadiums because they smell kind of funny But you know Ted Williams swung the bat Babe Ruth swung the bat.

[00:14:01] Gio: I mean Chicago Cubs. I went to a game Uh for Chicago, I went to a doubleheader in 1993 Uh first time I ever went to wrigley. I got the honor to see Harry Caray sing The uh, seventh inning stretch song three times and the reason is the first game went 18 innings So he’s saying it the 7th the 14th and then he came back in game two And uh saying that song so I mean, um Wrigley and Fewnway are definitely and by the way I’m, not trying to throw us under the bus Tampa Bay Rays are 29

[00:14:38] Anna: Yeah.

[00:14:39] Gio: are number 29 and the oakland a’s are 30 when I went and saw the oakland a’s I saw a rat in one of the bathrooms.

[00:14:46] Gio: I mean, it’s, you know, they need a new stadium. And by the way, uh, I got, I got something pretty cool. Uh, the Oakland A’s fans are doing something where every game this year, they’re sending a banner around the United States and that says sell, and it’s in green and yellow Oakland A’s. And they’re trying to, they want the owner to sell.

[00:15:06] Gio: So, uh, they picked me to go to the Rays games. I’m going to the Rays games, May 28th, 29th, and 30th to hold that banner up. 

[00:15:13] Anna: A little message to John Fisher there, from, from Rays Fan Gio here.

[00:15:17] Gio: Oh, yeah, I feel bad for A’s. 

[00:15:20] Anna: Well, it’s cool to hear that you’ve made it to all 30, and thanks for the insight on, you know, what you liked and disliked about, you know, Most of those parks. Um, I want to touch on a little tweet that you sent, uh, a couple of years ago that, uh, some folks may have seen, some folks might not have, but basically, you predicted the 2016 World Series ending I gotta hear that story and also, like, how the heck did you come up with the idea that that’s how the World Series was gonna end?

[00:15:54] Gio: Yep. So it was, um, not sure the exact date, but, uh, it was the day that Joe Maddon decided to leave the Rays and he went to the Chicago Cubs in November of 2000. And, uh, 14 and I was upset and my whole life I’ve predicted stuff and it’s pretty amazing. I mean, I don’t want to give you my whole resume, but I, I can predict stuff.

[00:16:20] Gio: And when I’m watching a game, I call home runs and just stupid stuff, but I was bummed that Joe Maddon was leaving. And I knew the Cubs were going to have a very good team because they got the GM from Boston. And so I wrote a tweet. It says, uh, 2016 world series. Uh, the Cubs, uh, and the Indians play and then game seven ends in extra innings and I wrote apocalypse And I gotta be honest with you.

[00:16:49] Gio: I forgot about the tweet. Okay, and then in September of 2016 the Cubs and the Indians are really good and some guy Sends it to me on twitter and goes bro How did you think of this and I go? Wow, it’s just amazing. I forgot about the tweet. So then I started pushing it out to people and Really the day that it really exploded was game seven There’s two writers who have twitter in LA They found it and they tweeted out to their hundred thousand followers And then the entire day of game seven is really picking up steam and then oh my gosh Rajay Davis hits the home run in the eighth inning, just a dramatic home run.

[00:17:34] Gio: And I, my phone exploded. I’m getting 10, 000 retweets every minute, every time I refresh it. And then a, uh, Australian sports guy wanted to interview me. So he interviewed me a minute after the world series ended. And that’s where all the interviews started. And I’m going to count your interview as an interview for the tweet. This is my 50th interview. I’ve done all over the world. it’s just fun. I mean, you know, I had my 15 minutes of fame and it’s just so fun to be associated with a great game. Now, of course, I wish the Indians had won, but my tweet doesn’t say anything about it.

[00:18:12] Anna: Do you get, like, a sense, like, what is it that makes you make one of these predictions, right? Like, I get it. Joma leaves Tampa Bay, he’s headed to Chicago, you’re gonna pick the Indians cause that’s the team you grew up with. Was there something that, like, like a little vibe in you that made you say that, or were you just kind of like, eh?

[00:18:35] Gio: The Indians had a great young pitching staff. I knew that. they had Terry Francona, uh, outstanding manager. So I knew that the Indians were going to be good. The Cubs, I knew were going to be good because they had Theo Epstein building that squad. Now, for the game 7 You know, the goofy part is game seven went into a rain delay.

[00:18:59] Anna: Right.

[00:18:59] Gio: So there’s your apocalypse. And also a lot of, there’s a lot of copy, copycat people. Um, like, uh, there’s this guy for CNN.

[00:19:07] Gio: He interviewed a guy that called the Milwaukee Phoenix finals from a couple of years ago, and the guy says, yeah, uh, race, RaysFanGio’s tweet in 2016 really, um, inspired me to write that tweet so many years ago. And, and I still do it. I still do it. Um, I’ve got, uh, the Browns winning their first Superbowl next, February.

[00:19:30] Anna: Well, the important question, when are the Rays gonna win a World Series?

[00:19:34] Gio: well, I had them 2021, uh, my best interview for the tweet, which was on the TV the next day, I said the Raysd 2021 in that same interview, I said the Patriots going to win the World Series in that, I mean the Super Bowl and they were down 28 to three against Atlanta and came back and won. So in that video, I have 2021 and we just couldn’t get it done.

[00:19:58] Gio: I don’t have a year that the Rays are going to win the World Series. I, I think it just, it’s got to come to me and the, the year that happens will be the greatest year ever because I’m from Ohio. We never win anything. My teams just don’t win very often. Now, I am a Ohio State Buckeye fan. We won in 2015, so that was awesome. But I just haven’t had a lot of success with the teams that I root for. So, when the Rays win it, it’s going to be, I’m kind of saying that I want to get a tattoo, but I don’t know.

[00:20:29] Gio: But it’ll be, it’ll be a great day. It will be a great day when they do.

[00:20:34] Anna: Definitely. Definitely so. What comes to mind if I ask you what your favorite baseball memory is?

[00:20:40] Gio: Oh my gosh. It’s not even close and I just got goosebumps. Just you bringing it up. Uh, September 28th, 2011 game one 62 for the Tampa Bay Rays. There is a book about it. Paul Kosak wrote. called Baseball Starry Night. Now I’m going to ruin a little bit of the chapter. There’s an entire chapter about three Rays fans, I got to set this up the Thursday before that Wednesday game. Cause the game was on Wednesday, me and my buddy, Dennis Allen were at his house and we’re watching Matt Moore make his like first or second start for the Rays. It’s a rookie in New York. Yankee Stadium and we won the game and I’m sitting there going, man, they’re, they’re flying home.

[00:21:26] Gio: We got to do something. Dennis is like, man, what if we make a poster banner? Well, I sell a thing called the poster maker that makes posters and I’ve showed off. I had a G man Choi banner. That’s a G man, Choi fan club got in the 2020, uh, 2020 world series. Anyway, so we’re talking about it. And then I have a contact who knows.

[00:21:48] Gio: about the flight information and it’s told me that their rays were going to get into Tampa at 315. You got to remember the 2008 season at the beginning of the season, we were nine and a half back at the beginning of September. The St. Louis Cardinals who win the World Series were also like nine or ten games

[00:22:06] Anna: Well, you’re talking

[00:22:06] Gio: So at that, I’m talking 2011. Yeah, 2011. I may have said the wrong date, but my point is, is 2011 on that Thursday. We decide what the heck I make a banner that says very simply. I kind of ripped off the Mets in the 60s All it says is we believe that’s it. We go to this airport St. . Pete airport We’re sitting down there on the side of the road The jet comes down we can hear all the players drive by us They’re beeping their horn.

[00:22:36] Gio: They’re going nuts because they’re they’re only like we’re only like two and a half three back And and they’re going they’re going crazy. Evan Longoria Open his door and says, man, it’s 3 30. Would you guys go home? You guys are awesome. We love you, but get home and get some sleep. And there, but every, every car was going nuts.

[00:22:55] Gio: Well, when, you know, you know, we creep up a little bit more, we come to game, uh, 162 on that September 20th, 2011 Rays got to win. The Rays have got to win. Well, the game didn’t start out well. Uh, Mark Teixeira hits a grand slam off of David Price. We’re down like 6 1 or something stupid. And all of a sudden, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s getting late.

[00:23:23] Gio: And, and, and my son is with his best friend, Hunter. Nick is with Hunter. Excellent. Great kid. And, you know, the, the moms are texting me, Uh, maybe you should come home at 6 1. And I’m like, Um, I don’t know. And so we moved down near the bullpens, if you know The Trop very well, the bullpen for the race. And we’re just sitting there and I’m like, I don’t want to leave.

[00:23:46] Gio: And then all of a sudden, Evan Longoria comes up in the eighth inning. First pitch hits a three run home run and we’re down by one and of course we’re not leaving now and then all of a sudden we just keep on creeping sooner and sooner, you know, closer and closer to the dugout. Then the Red Sox and the Orioles go into rain delay. So, we’re getting that information. Now, we’re down by a run. Now, we’re going to the top of the ninth. Yankees have got some stiff. They pulled all their starters because they’re getting ready for the playoffs. I can’t even remember the name of the guy. Some stiff comes out and all of a sudden, Dan Johnson.

[00:24:23] Gio: I have an absolutely perfect video of Dan Johnson’s at bat. He’s batting like a buck oh eight or something stupid. and the only reason Joe Maddon sent him into the batter’s box is because they wanted to, you know, tie the game. They’re down by a run. And like, I think it was a 2 2 count. Dan Johnson goes yard and I had a perfect video.

[00:24:45] Gio: I never videotape stuff at games. But once again, I’m lucky and I had the feeling that something big was gonna happen here. It’s a home run to tie it. You know, wouldn’t you know it? He hits a home run over the left field wall, which if you look at left field in Tampa, there’s a small cutout made. And the reason the owner made it is so Carl Crawford, of all people, who was our left fielder when he created it, could go over there and steal a couple home runs.

[00:25:13] Gio: If that home run fence is the way it should be in center field, it never goes over. But it does go over! We go nuts! We’re on the broadcast. We’re in the front row. We got this. We believe banner. Do you believe in miracles? Blah blah blah. My son is all over the game ended like 1208 or something And and it’s uh all over espn mlb network and the guys in the studio at mlb network are going absolutely nuts. What’s funny is my son didn’t go to school the next day. We, we kept him home. Um, Hunter Hesselink went to school the next day. Got, we got home at 3. 30 because of traffic and all the other stuff, but what a magical night. I mean, you know, we didn’t, we didn’t end up winning the World Series, but we knocked the Red Sox out, which is just as good.

[00:26:01] Gio: And the Cardinals, uh, won it. But anyway, uh, during the off season about March, I don’t know, March 2nd or 3rd or something like that, I get a call from my buddy. And one of my buddies who I was in the game with He’s like, Gio, uh, an author, Paul Kosak contacted me and I helped him write a chapter for the book and he sent me the chapter.

[00:26:22] Gio: The chapter tells you the story I just said. It also tells a story about this, uh, uh, lady, awesome lady, Annette Basil. She followed the game. She was in Italy on vacation and she, her part of the chapter is getting text and game notifications while she’s in Italy. It is unreal. It’s like six or seven in the morning in Italy.

[00:26:47] Gio: All of these kind of, and it just tells a story, but the entire book tells you about the entire day because you got to remember September 28th, uh, 2011, no teams had clinched a playoff berth,

[00:27:01] Anna: Right, 

[00:27:01] Gio: um, against a certain, against a certain team. There were teams that were going to go to the playoffs for sure, but no one knew where they were going to play.

[00:27:09] Gio: And Paul Kosak wrote that book. So just fun stuff, fun stuff.


[00:27:15] Anna: 2011 was one of those crazy years, I mean, perhaps the craziest, like, final day of the season and you’re right about left field over there and the drop. 162 Landing, I don’t know if that’s what it’s still called, but I know that for, for a long, long time, that that’s what that little hospitality area was named.

[00:27:34] Anna: And if you go down that tunnel into the concourse, they actually have an entire wall kind of laying out the timeline of the events of that entire evening as it unfolded, and it’s one of the coolest things at the Trop to just, uh, you know, kind of sit back and, and look at that history as it, it just, trickled out over several hours, and, um, you know, the book you’re talking about sounds really cool.

[00:28:01] Anna: Unfortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to some people who actually did leave that game early. They didn’t pay attention. Yeah, they didn’t pay attention to your Uncle Bob’s advice. And, uh,

[00:28:11] Gio: Yeah. By the way, 162 landing still there. Exactly how you described it.

[00:28:16] Anna: perfect. That’s good news. That’s good news. what’s left to check off on the baseball bucket list? Like, what’s the top one thing that’s uh, still something you want to do? You know, a place you want to visit, a person you want to meet, or something you want to see? 

[00:28:29] Gio: the Rays witnthe world series. By the way, I forgot to mention something about the, uh, the, uh, a 162 David Price comes over and pours champagne on my head because I told him that I was at the airport the week before and he, I, there’s a video of that. Of David Price, born in the shape of, uh, born in, I don’t know, my son’s throwing the first pitch.

[00:28:50] Gio: I don’t really want to throw first pitches. I want to see the Rays win the World Series. Um, but going all 30 stadiums, I mean, that was my major achievement. I, I don’t really have anything else just, and I don’t have to be at the game for the Rays to the win in the World Series. Um, like 2020, remember the famous Brett Phillips airplane moment where he walked off the Dodgers.

[00:29:14] Anna: Yes.

[00:29:15] Gio: Do you know what Ferg’s, Bar is across the street from the trial.

[00:29:18] Anna: I know Ferg’s well.

[00:29:19] Gio: Yeah, me and Dennis were there, and I was screaming to the entire bar, the game is over. People didn’t realize the game was over. And I’m like, guys, we won! We won! And by the way, I want to take credit for something. I called Brandon Lowe’s three run home run earlier in the game.

[00:29:38] Gio: So, um, I get full credit for 

[00:29:40] Gio: that. Kevin Kiermaier, who’s my player I hate the most. He has been blocked on Twitter. I’m not going to give him any credit for the home runs he had in that game, although he’s fabulous. Probably the best gold glove center fielder of all time. Other than Jim Edmonds, who’s not in the Hall of Fame, by the way, and he should be.

[00:29:58] Gio: Um, but, uh, you know, being at first, I don’t have to be at the Trop when we win it. I don’t have to be in the stadium when we win it. I just want to witness that we win it. That would be awesome.

[00:30:10] Anna: Totally. I can definitely relate to that. I was at game three of the 2020 World Series. I could have picked any game to go to, but I picked game three. I thought Charlie Morton would be our best chance to see a win and, uh, it just imploded in my face. But yeah, I remember watching Brett Phillips the very next day on TV and just, uh, you windmilling guys around third base like, uh, a coach would.

[00:30:38] Anna: And, uh, that was an

[00:30:39] Anna: incredible. 

[00:30:40] Gio: yeah, is that your only World Series game?

[00:30:43] Anna: Uh, no, I went to game one of last year’s World Series to see the Rangers walk off the D backs on a home run. So,

[00:30:53] Gio: Nice. do you root for the Rangers at all, or?

[00:30:56] Anna: I will if the Rays are not involved or if it’s, you know, the middle of the season and, um, doesn’t really matter that much.

[00:31:04] Gio: They own us, by the way.

[00:31:06] Anna: Oh, I know. 

[00:31:07] Gio: oh, it’s just horrible. Yeah, Yeah, exactly. But Gio, this has been so much fun. Where do we send people if they want to keep up with you online?

[00:31:17] Gio: RaysFanGio on Twitter, and I’m not gonna say X, it’s Twitter, okay? Uh, just give me a follow, uh, fun stuff. I’m goofy. I’m really goofy on Twitter. I mean, um, People are trolling me all the time and usually I fire back at them. My son is lecturing me all this stuff about appropriate behavior. And I’ve, I’ve been trying my best Um, , and also, um, if you’re ever at Tropicana Field, hit me up. I want to come and see fans and, and, and show them around a little bit. Maybe buy them a beer or two. And, um, Yeah, the Trop’s, you know, it’s 72 degrees. It’s great weather every time.

[00:31:59] Gio: Is it a great stadium? No, we’re trying to get one. So, you know, we love, uh, anybody coming to our stadium anytime a year. It’s, it’s, and plus, I don’t need to tell you, Tampa is a great place to visit. The problem is there’s too many fun things to do outside. The 

[00:32:15] Anna: Well, Gio, thanks so much for making time. I really appreciate it and can’t wait to keep following along with you on Twitter and see what you get into next.

[00:32:22] Gio: Okay, you’re awesome. Thank you so

[00:32:23] Gio: much. 

[00:32:24] Anna: And that will wrap up this episode of the baseball bucket list podcast. Special thanks to Gio Fraraccio for joining us today and sharing those stories and memories. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, if you think you might like to be a guest on the show, head to baseball bucket list.com/podcast and fill out an application. I’d absolutely love to hear from you. 

[00:32:42] Anna: While you’re there make sure to spend some time on the site. Sign up for a free membership, build your own baseball bucket list, track your ballpark visits, and connect with other fans. If you find yourself enjoying the show each week, please take a moment to rate and review it in the podcast app of your choice. It goes such a long way in helping new listeners find the show. And I would really, really appreciate it. 

[00:33:00] Anna: That’s it for this week. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see you. Next episode.

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