Why are the Tampa Bay Rays wearing a “VJN” patch on their jersey during the 2019 Major League Baseball Postseason?
The patch was first added to their uniform sleeve on August 30th and has been worn for every game played since. It was added in honour of Vincent Joseph Naimoli, the original owner of the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who died on August 25th at the age of 81.
The Rays also paid tribute to Naimoli by wearing 1998-style Devil Rays throwbacks for their game against the Cleveland Indians on August 30th.
Naimoli had originally attempted to purchase the San Francisco Giants in 1992 with the intent of relocating the team to Tampa Bay. When that deal fell through Naimoli kept pursuing his goal of bringing Major League Baseball to the Tampa Bay area eventually achieving that when awarded an expansion team in 1995. Naimoli owned the Devil Rays until 2005.