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ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 6: Former Tampa Bay Rays owner Vince Naimoli throws out the ceremonial first pitch to first base coach Rocco Baldelli #15 of the Tampa Bay Rays before the start of a game against the Baltimore Orioles on April 6, 2015 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Florida – Sunday night Vince Naimoli died due to a rare brain disorder he was diagnosed with 5 years ago. Naimoli was a champion in bringing a Major League Baseball team to Tampa; he landed an American League expansion franchise in 1995 that began to play as the Devil Rays in 1998.

In 2004 Naimoli sold the then Devil Rays to the current principal owner Stuart Sternberg and a group of investors. Sternberg said. “I am forever grateful that he entrusted me with the franchise in 2005. It was my pleasure to have worked with Vince and to have been his partner.” He went on to acknowledge Naimoli’s major part in bringing MLB to Tampa.

The former owner returned to Tropicana Field to throw out the first pitch at the 2015 season opener.

The Rays will wear a uniform patch in his honor for the rest of the season. The Rays plan to recognize Vince Naimoli before Friday night’s home game against Cleveland and the team also plans to wear a uniform patch for the remainder of the season in Naimoli’s honor.

By Marc Charles for Money Talk Radio

Sources: AP News, ESPN

Marc Charles has worked in Radio since 2005. Marc has been active in media in Detroit, Ohio, Canada, and Florida. When he's not blogging for Money Talk Radio, he covers UFC. Follow Marc on social media @TheLegalManMarc & @TheOctagram.