Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 9/20/12
Getting a baseball player to autograph a baseball or T-shirt has always been among the most common sights at a game. Getting a baseball player to respond to a tweeted invitation to come out of the clubhouse and play a little game of pre-game catch in the parking lot? That's taking it a step further. But that's what Tampa Bay Rays utility infielder Elliot Johnson did on Wednesday afternoon outside Tropicana Field. Johnson, according to a report on thebiglead.com, was inside the Rays clubhouse prior to his teams critical third game against the Boston Red Sox. The stakes couldnt have been higher for Tampa Bay, which lost its first two contests against the Sox and watched its dwindling postseason hopes continue to shrink. But the Rays and manager Joe Maddon are renowned for keeping the atmosphere loose in times of trouble. In fact, Maddon instructed the players to come to the park on the later side, around 6 p.m., and forgo the usual pre-game routines. You could say that Johnson, known for his fun-loving, gregarious personality, did exactly that when he received a tweet from a Rays fan outside. On a complete whim, Twitter user @chrisbelltb sent the message while hanging out with a few buddies he wanted to know if Johnson could come out and play a game of catch in the parking lot. @elliotjohnson9 @davidprice14 We are in the lot, we have chairs waiting you want to come out, maybe play catch? Chris (@chrisbelltb) September 19, 2012 What lotsection? RT @chrisbelltb: @elliotjohnson9 We are in the lot, we have chairs waiting you want to come out, maybe play catch? Elliot Johnson (@ElliotJohnson9) September 19, 2012 Still out there? RT @chrisbelltb: @elliotjohnson9 U coming? Elliot Johnson (@ElliotJohnson9) September 19, 2012 According to the account, Johnson showed up soon after in his game gear, not wearing a jersey but, most important, carrying a glove and baseball. Turns out that the fan didnt even have a glove, though he certainly never could have guessed that E.J. would take the bait and show up. "Youre the first person to ask, and I had nothing going on, Johnson can be heard saying in the video post of the impromptu catch-and-throw with the bare-handed Bell, who later told the website: After the game, we were behind the dugout, Elliot spots us and tosses us a few game balls. What a great experience. Elliot couldnt have been a nicer guy. Perhaps fittingly, the evening turned into a great experience for Johnson and just about everyone in the Trop except for the Red Sox and their fans. The Rays routed the Red Sox 13-3, temporarily, giving Tampa Bay a sliver of hope in the Wild Card race. Johnson added one more touch to the unusual tale, sending this tweet to the grateful and surprised Rays fan: Next time let me know to bring you a glove! RT @chrisbelltb: twitvid.comC57LE - Playing catch with @elliotjohnson9 @bucball09 Elliot Johnson (@ElliotJohnson9) September 20, 2012
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: ‘Multiple’ teams open to giving Noel max contract

Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charges

Report: Clippers ‘overwhelming favorite’ to keep Chris Paul

Giants owner: Signing Kaepernick would anger fans

Mike Trout to undergo MRI after suffering thumb injury

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall: Bench was cause of Wizards’ ‘downfall’

Arum says Pacquiao would fight McGregor if Mayweather won't

Aaron Judge hits first grand slam of his career

David Stern: Lakers could have had Chris Paul, GM panicked

Brandon Jacobs vows to 'expose' Jim Harbaugh, get him fired

Mike Zimmer won’t retire even if right eye goes blind

The 'Hope your Cup runneth over this Memorial Day' quiz

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Hope your Cup runneth over this Memorial Day' quiz

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker