Formally known as the Devil Rays, the Tampa Bay Rays played their first game on
March 31, 1998 against the Detroit Tigers. After 10-straight losing seasons, the Rays won the AL Pennant and faced the Phillies in the 2008 World Series. Their Pennant winning
victory in the AL Championship Series showed the talent the Rays had acquired through the draft and in their farm system.
In 1995 Tampa Bay was awarded a professional baseball franchise and the Devil
Rays organization was created. In 1996 the organization’s minor league team played
its first game. The first manager for the Devil Rays was Larry Rothschild who took
the position on November 7, 1997. The Devil Rays drafted their first player from
the Florida Marlins named Tony Saunders. On March 31, 1998, a crowd of 45,369
purchased Rays tickets to Tropicana field and watched the Devil Rays lose 11 – 6.
On June 11, 2006 while playing the Kansas City Royals the Rays hit into the third triple
play in major league history that required an appeal, and the first one since 1937.
During the 2008 season people who had Rays tickets saw their team have the best
home record in baseball. That year people with Rays tickets watched their team
defeat the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox during the playoffs. They advanced to their first World
Series but lost in 7 games to the Philadelphia Phillies.
In 2011 fans bought Rays tickets to see them defeat the Yankees 8 – 7 in 12 innings
to advance to the playoffs. They then lost to the Texas Rangers 3 games to 1.
Fans have purchased Rays tickets to Tropicana Field and watched the Rays
since 1998. The stadium was built in the 1980s and when St. Petersburg was given a
Major League Baseball franchise, Tropicana Field received quite a few renovations.
rights were purchased by the Tropicana Products corporation.
The Rays organization announced in 2007 its desire to build a covered ballpark
so its fans could use their Rays tickets at a stadium on the St. Petersburg waterfront. In
2009 they cancelled their proposal and were considering locations in Pinellas County
The fans who purchase Rays tickets are considered a part of the Rays Republic. Their
slogan is X, representing the 10th Man.
Robert Szasz is a Rays fan who’s been given the title of “The Happy Heckler.”
He's been known to yell so loudly he is heard on both radio and television
broadcasts. He was considered a heckler with ethics, since he only criticized a
player’s performance and never used foul language or hurled insults. He wrote and
released a book called The Happy Heckler. In 2009 Szasz did not renew his season
Rays tickets. He has resumed his activities during selected games of the 2012 season.
Many professional wrestlers purchase Rays tickets and are big fans. There have
been promotions where wrestling matches have been held after games in "Legends of Wrestling Nights".
One game every year is designated as cowbell night. Free cowbells are given to
fans. They are usually rung when a batter from the opposing team has two strikes or
when the Rays make a good play.
12-9-13: Despite being a very tough division which is kept them out of the playoffs for several years the Tampa Bay rays have one thing going for them they compete well against both the Yankees and the Red Sox. Continuing their strategy of grooming young pitchers and never spending top dollar the rays have managed to always compete for a playoff spot all throughout the season. Perhaps that Big contract free agent that always seemingly eludes them would be the antidote to get them over the hump. However the Tampa Bay rays are no charity case and third baseman Evan Longoria is no slouch. Last season Longoria led the rays in home runs RBIs and run scored.
10-8-13: The Rays cut Boston's lead in the series to 2 games to 1 with their 5-4 win on Monday night. Jose Lobaton won it for the Rays with a walk-off home run off Sox closer Koji Uehara in the 9th.
10-7-13: After beating the Cleveland Indians in the Wild Card play in game the Tampa Bay Rays find themselves in a 0-2 whole on the verge of getting swept look to hold off the Boston Red Sox to stay alive in the American League Division Series.
9-30-13: Coming into the final weekend of the regular season the Tampa Bay rays are one of baseballs hottest teams. After sweeping both the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees the rays are still trying to make a push into the playoffs. The Tampa Bay rays are currently in the wildcard lead in the American League and will conclude their regular season with the series against the Blue Jays over the weekend. As usual solid pitching was the meat and potatoes for the Rays success. However this year the offense of production was improved compared to years past as Evan Longoria eclipsed 30 home runs and the team was 12 in the major leagues in overall batting average. The left-hander David Price led the team in strikeouts with the hundred and 47.
8-20-13: The Tampa Bay rays are in second place only one game out of first. This week they will embark on a series against division rival Baltimore. On Monday they opened their series with the Orioles with a 4-3 win. David Price won his 7th game and Evan Longoria went 2-for-4 for with a home run.
Tampa Bay has a strong record at home of 41 – 23. They are +55 in terms of run differential. After starting the season on the disabled list left-hander David Price has a seven – five record with an ERA of 3.29. T
8-6-13: The Tampa Bay rays are in second place and leaders in the American League wild-card. This week they will engage in interleague play against the Diamondbacks and Dodgers. The rays are 6-4 in the last 10 games.
7-18-13: The Tampa Bay Rays are in second place in the division and they lead the AL wildcard race, along with Texas who is also tied for the wild-card lead. The rays have been strong behind young left-hander Matt Moore who is 13-3 with an era of 3.44. Matt Moore has struck out 108 batters in 107.1 innings. Offensively the rays are led by Evan Longoria And his 18 home runs along with 52 RBIs. After the All-Star break the Rays will head to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays who are currently in last place of the division. As always pitching has been the rays strength with a team ERA of 3.82.
7/7/13 - Ben Zobrist was the only Tampa Bay Ray selected for the 2013 American League all-star team. So far in 2013 the 2nd baseman is hitting .262 with 5 HR and 45 RBI. It will be his 2nd ASG appearance.
6/12/13 - The Tampa Bay rays have lost two in a row and are currently in fourth place in the AL East division. The Rays missed the playoffs last year and if this seasons trend continues It will be the second straight season they miss the playoffs. The newly acquired James Loney leads the team in batting average Hitting 327. The longest tenured Ray Evan Longoria Is hitting 305 and leads the team with 11 homeruns.