ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Brooks Raley knew that something terrifying happened in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. But he didn’t get all the details until after the game that night.
“I heard something but I didn’t really follow up because we were about 40 minutes from the game,” Raley said. “I didn’t deep dive in for any information. I talked to my parents yesterday who live there, too.”
The Rays’ 33-year-old relief pitcher attended Robb Elementary School in Uvalde where a gunman killed 21 people, including 19 children.
“It’s just a tragedy. Growing up there, going to that school, it kind of hits home,” he said. “Having young children myself, you just feel for those families. You pray for them and your thoughts are with them.
Raley went to Robb Elementary from first to fourth grade.
“I walked those halls. I can’t imagine the experience yesterday,” he said. “I’m feeling for that community. It’s a small, close-knit community. Obviously a tough day today and in the morning.”
He graduated from Uvalde High School before moving to College Station to play baseball at Texas A&M. The game might be a slight distraction, but his mind is on Uvalde.
“It’s a pretty small town. News travels fast,” Raley said. “My family is still there, my brother lives there, his wife, his daughter. It hits close to home."