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Posted July 9, 2014
Rays Players Bring Summer Excitement to All Children's Hospital Patients

Matt Joyce
Matt Joyce poses for a picture with a patient
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Outfielder Matt Joyce and starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi have each had a hand lately in the big winning ways of the Tampa Bay Rays. But Wednesday afternoon was all about small victories - in the form of the smiles and cheer they spread to patients and families at All Children's Hospital.
 
Joyce, a native of Tampa, made a special donation to All Children's Outpatient Care, Brandon earlier this year. He was thrilled to tour the main hospital and visit with sick children in need of a morale boost, only a few hours before heading to Tropicana Field to prepare for an important night game against the Kansas City Royals.

"Coming to visit the kids is definitely a perk for us," he said, following his hour-plus tour. "There's no other feeling than seeing a kid and putting a smile on his face. Especially with everything that they are going through. We play every day and it really becomes a rollercoaster ride. You'll have a great game, you'll have a bad game and sometimes you'll get caught up in the game of baseball. But at the end of the day, doing things like this really puts life in perspective and lets you know what's really important."

Odorizzi, a relative newcomer to the Tampa Bay area, couldn't wait to meet ACH patients upon arriving with Joyce and team mascot Raymond.

"This is my first visit here and I'm really excited to hang out with the kids," he said. "Anytime we can do something like this and give back, we should do it. It takes very little time out of our day and makes a big difference in their day. We're really happy to be able to do it."