31 Facts About Tampa Bay Rays


Tampa Bay Rays are an American professional baseball team based in St Petersburg, Florida.

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The Rays compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the American League East division.

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Since then, the Tampa Bay Rays have played in the postseason seven more times, winning the American League pennant again in 2020 and losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in that year's World Series.

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Tampa Bay area has a long association with amateur and professional baseball.

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However, though Tampa was awarded the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers by the National Football League in 1974, the region suffered through many unsuccessful attempts to acquire a major league baseball team through expansion or relocation in the 1970s to the early 1990s.

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Tampa Bay Rays-based investor Vince Naimoli had negotiated a deal to buy the San Francisco Giants and move them to St Petersburg in 1992, but MLB owners unexpectedly voted to block the deal.

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Devil Tampa Bay Rays played their first game on March 31,1998, against the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field, before an opening day crowd of 45,369.

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Devil Tampa Bay Rays continued to struggle in their next few seasons, with many of their veteran players, including the "Hit Show" of sluggers, being past their prime—though Wade Boggs would mark his 3000th career hit, a home run, against the Cleveland Indians on August 7,1999.

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The Tampa Bay Rays started the season strongly with their best record in franchise history, and became the first team in modern Major League history to hold the best record in the league through Memorial Day, after having the worst record in the league the year before.

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The Tampa Bay Rays performed much better the following year, a season that saw Matt Garza throw the franchise's first no-hitter They again won the AL East, finishing with the best record in the AL, but were eliminated in the ALDS by the Rangers.

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Tampa Bay Rays named Kevin Cash as Maddon's successor on December 5,2014; he would be the youngest manager in league.

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Tampa Bay Rays went on to defeat the Yankees in the five-game ALDS, thanks to Mike Brosseau's go-ahead eighth inning home run off Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman; during the regular season, Chapman had instigated a bench-clearing altercation by throwing over Brosseau's head.

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Later that year, the Rays and Yankees would meet in postseason for the first time in the 2020 American League Division Series, which Tampa Bay won in five games; the go-ahead run, in the eighth inning of Game 5, was a home run by Brosseau off of Chapman.

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Tampa Bay Rays have a geographical, interleague rivalry with the Miami Marlins.

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Tampa Bay Rays have played at Tropicana Field since their inception in 1998.

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Tampa Bay Rays attendance has historically ranked among the lowest compared to all MLB teams including seasons following a playoff berth.

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However, in the face of vocal opposition, the Rays withdrew the proposal in 2009 and stated they had abandoned all plans for a ballpark on the downtown St Petersburg waterfront, preferring a location nearer to the center of Pinellas County or across the bay in Tampa.

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However, at the December 2018 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Sternberg announced that plans for the proposed stadium in Ybor fell through, meaning the Tampa Bay Rays were still on track to play at Tropicana Field until 2027.

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In 2001, the Devil Tampa Bay Rays dropped the multicolor text and de-emphasized purple in favor of more green.

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Tampa Bay Rays' first alternate jersey features the name "Tampa Bay Rays" and a yellow sunburst on chest, but is a dark blue material with Columbia blue piping, white characters for the player name, and player numbers that are simply a white outline.

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The Tampa Bay Rays' second alternate jersey is similar, but is a light Columbia blue.

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Tampa Bay Rays staged a "Turn Back the Clock" promotion with a retro theme and throwback uniforms several times early in their existence, and it has become an annual tradition since 2006.

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In 2014, the Tampa Bay Rays debuted a road version of the fauxback in an interleague game against the Chicago Cubs, this one with gold sleeves instead of navy.

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Tampa Bay Rays management gave away a bobblehead at the game featuring a young Zimmer in a Dodgers uniform and an older Zimmer in a Devil Tampa Bay Rays uniform.

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Tampa Bay Rays games have been aired on WFLA 970 AM and WHNZ 1250 AM in the past.

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In 2013, the Tampa Bay Rays became the second team to enter into a contract to have games broadcast nationally by Compass Media Networks in a Game of the Week format.

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Tampa Bay Rays was persuaded to try out for professional ballclubs and signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization.

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Whereas Red Sox fans are referred to as Red Sox Nation, the Orioles fan base is referred to Birdland, and Yankee fans are referred to as Yankees Universe, the Tampa Bay Rays have adopted the term Tampa Bay Rays Republic for their fan base.

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DJ Kitty was introduced in 2010, initially through a video that would play on the scoreboard whenever the game situation called for a rally, in which a large anthropomorphic cat, wearing a Tampa Bay Rays jersey, appeared on the screen wielding a turntable similar to those used by rap DJs.

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Tampa Bay Rays' Cowbell was originally a promotional idea thought up by principal owner Stuart Sternberg, who got the idea from the Saturday Night Live sketch.

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The slogan morphed throughout the 2008 MLB postseason as the Tampa Bay Rays surpassed their previous team record for wins in a single season by more than 30 wins, and ultimately clinched the AL East division title for their first postseason appearance in franchise history.

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