Baldelli thanks Rays fans

Updated: January 23, 2009, 2:36 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- He's headed off to play for the rival Boston Red Sox now, but former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli wants Rays fans to know how much he appreciated their support the past nine years.

Baldelli, who played in the World Series after missing most of last season because of a mitochondrial disorder that causes fatigue, took out a half-page ad in the St. Petersburg Times to express his gratitude this week.

"Nine years ago you welcomed me into your community. ...

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