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Tampa Bay Rays

(Tampa Bay Rays)





Tampa Bay Rays

(Tampa Bay Rays)


Season Recap: The Rays played good ball in the first half, but 15 August losses dropped them into third place in the AL East. Four hitters socked 20-plus homers, including Steven Souza and Logan Morrison. Chris Archer struck out 249 batters to finish among the league leaders.

July 11, 2017: Corey Dickerson was the starting DH for the American League in the 2017 All-Star Game. Chris Archer was also selected for the All-Star team, but did not pitch in the game.

November 1, 2016: Tampa Bay brought up the rear in the AL East with a 68–94 record despite plenty of talent. The starting infield, led by Evan Longoria, slugged 100 homers.  Alex Colome was one of the league’s best closers. But a 13–25 record against the Red Sox and Orioles kept the Rays in the cellar all summer long.

October 6, 2015: Tampa Bay got excellent years from Evan Longoria, Logan Forsythe, and Kevin Kiermaier, and found a young ace in Chris Archer. However, the Rays did not have the power or pitching to compete with the Yankees and Blue Jays for the division crown. They finished 80–82.

October 4, 2015: Reliever Brad Boxberger finished with 41 saves to lead the American League.

April 5, 2015: Manager Joe Maddon left the team to manage the Cubs and the great David Price is now a Tiger. Tampa Bay will need big years from two young stars—pitcher Chris Archer and outfielder Steven Souza—if they hope to compete in the AL East.

November 1, 2014: For the Rays to be successful, their offense had to fire on all cylinders. When it didn't, the team fell out of the AL East race and traded its pitching ace, David Price. Ben Zobrist, Evan Longoria and Alex Cobb had solid seasons, while young prospects Wil Myers and Chris Archer showed flashed of good things to come.

April 19, 2014: Evan Longoria homered against the Yankees to become the team's all-time home run leader with 164. Carlos Pena had held the record with 163.

March 31, 2014: In the super-tough AL East, the difference between first and fifth can be a couple of injured stars and a few unlucky bounces. Tampa Bay begins the year as the division favorite thanks to young stars WIl Myers and Chris Archer, and veterans David Price and Evan Longoria.

November 12, 2013: Less than a year after being traded to Tampa Bay for James Shields, Wil Myers was named 2013 AL Rookie of the Year. Myers did not join the team until June, but still led all AL rookies with 55 RBIs.

October 1, 2013: Tampa Bay looked to be on another miracle run at the end of 2013. They defeated Texas in a Wild Card play-in game and then beat the Indians to advance to the ALDS. Unfortunately, they fell to a red-hot Red Sox team in four games. This did not dampen an otherwise excellent year. After a slow start, the Rays surged into first place in August before slipping back into second. They got especially good performances from young pitchers Alex Cobb and Matt Moore, as well as Evan Longoria, who led the team in doubles, homers, runs and RBIs.

May 10, 2013: Alex Cobb struck out 13 batters in 4 2/3 innings against the San Diego Padres. No one had ever fanned that many hitters in fewer than 5 innings.

March 30, 2013: With the loss to free agency of B.J. Upton, Desmond Jennings will need to fill his shoes in center field. Most everything else stays the same in Tampa, where the Rays are older, wiser, and good enough to return to the World Series after winning their first pennant in 2008.

October 3, 2012: The Rays finished three games short of a Wild Card spot, but they sure made things interesting in the last two weeks. They won 12 of their last 14 games. An injury to their top hitter, Evan Longoria, slowed down the offense much of the year. The team's pitching was excellent, with David Price going 20–5 and Fernando Rodney saving 48 games. Rodney's 0.60 ERA was the lowest in history for a pitcher making 50 or more appearances.

April, 2012: Three players who were not on the Opening Day roster in 2011 should be fun to watch in 2012. Pitcher Matt Moore has the stuff to win 20 games. Left fielder Desmond Jennings has the power and speed to join the 30-30 Club. And slugger Carlos Pena is back after playing one season for the Chicago Cubs. How great is that!



Julio Lugo
Julio Lugo is shown here in the team's old green-and-white Devil Rays uniform. (Black Book Partners)





Scott Kazmir
Scott Kazmir fires a pitch for Tampa Bay. He was a little guy with a big fastball. (Black Book Partners)



Rolando Arrojo — Pitcher
Born: 7/18/1968
Played for Team: 1998 to 1999
Rolando Arrojo was Tampa Bay's first All-Star. He had a 14–12 record in the team's first season even though the Rays' record was just 63–99.

Wade Boggs — Third Baseman
Born: 6/15/1958
Played for Team: 1998 to 1999
Wade Boggs grew up in Tampa, so when he heard that his hometown was getting a new team, he was happy to finish his baseball career where it started. He collected his 3,000th hit in August of 1999 and retired three weeks later.

Julio Lugo— Shortstop
Born: 11/16/1975
Played for Team: 2003 to 2006
Julio Lugo ranked among the leaders in doubles, triples, and stolen bases when he played for the Rays. He was also third on the team in home runs in 2003.

Rocco Baldelli — Outfielder
Born: 9/25/1981
Played for Team: 2003 to 2008 & 2010
When Rocco Baldelli was signed by Tampa Bay as a teenager, some scouts compared him to Joe DiMaggio. He hit well as a rookie and led AL outfielders in assists in his first two seasons. Knee and elbow injuries slowed him down after that, but he was still on the team when it won its first pennant.

Scott Kazmir — Pitcher
Born: 1/24/1984
Played for Team: 2004 to 2009
Scott Kazmir was a strikeout specialist. He led the Rays in K's each year from 2005 to 2008 and was the American League leader in 2007. Kazmir was an All-Star in 2006 and again in 2008.

Jeremy Hellickson — Pitcher
Born: 4/8/1987
Played for Team: 2010 to 2014
After Matt Garza left the Rays, fans wondered who would fill his shoes. Jeremy Hellickson got the job done. He went 13–10 with a 2.95 ERA in 2011 and was named AL Rookie of the Year.

Matt Moore — Pitcher
Born: 6/18/1989
Played for Team: 2011 to 2016
Matt Moore was a busy young man in 2011. After pitching a no-hitter in the minor leagues in June, he was invited to play in the All-Star Futures Game in July. Moore's "future" arrived in September when he was called up to Tampa Bay and struck out 11 New York Yankees in his first big-league start.

Rocco Baldelli
Rocco Baldelli watches a hit sail toward the outfield. (Black Book Partners)

Shortly after the 2002 season, the Rays wanted to hire Lou Piniella to manage the team while he was still under contract to the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners gave their OK, but they asked for a player in return. The Rays sent All-Star outfielder Randy Winn. Winn went on to lead the Mariners in doubles in 2003.

Rocco Baldelli was one of the greatest student-athletes in history. He had a 4.25 grade point average in high school and was All-State in baseball, basketball, track, and volleyball. He turned down a chance to go to Princeton University to play pro baseball.

Matt Moore's second big-league start came in Game 1 of the 2011 Divisional Series against the Texas Rangers. He pitched seven innings of two-hit baseball in a 9–0 victory. No pitcher had ever started the opening game of a postseason series with just one major-league start under his belt.

Just one base to go! Carl Crawford looks toward the pitcher's mound from third base. (Black Book Partners)

Home Runs
2009 — Carlos Pena — 39

Batting Average
No Ray has led the league in batting average.

Runs Batted In
No Ray has led the league in runs batted in.

Stolen Bases
2003 — Carl Crawford — 55
2004 — Carl Crawford — 59

No Ray has led the league in wins.


2014 — David Price — 271*

* Also played with Detroit Tigers

Earned Run Average
2012 — David Price —  2.56

2008 Philadelphia Phillies Lost 4–1
© 2012-17 by Norwood House Press. Team Spirit® is a registered trademark of Norwood House Press.