Tampa Bay Rays Tickets
The Tampa Bay Rays are a major league baseball team based out of St. Petersburg, Florida. Known as the Rays, the team competes in the Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member franchise of the American League (AL) East division. The team was established in 1998 as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and had their name changed to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. The Rays play their home games at the Tropicana Field. Having won one AL Pennant in 2008 and two East Division titles (2008, 2010), the Rays have yet to win their first World Series title.
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History of the Rays
Unlike other major league baseball teams that are named after cities, Tampa Bay is not a city. Rather, it represents a geographical area surrounding of Tampa Bay. The cities that surround Tampa Bay are Bradenton, Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg.
The quest for Tampa Bay having a major league baseball team dates back to the sixties. St. Petersburg was a spring training location and its residents wanted to have a major league baseball team of their own. Among these residents, Jack Lake, St. Petersburg Times publisher, was the most vocal.
Local leaders tried to influence and lure many professional baseball teams to Tampa Bay including the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants and Minnesota Twins. In this quest, a baseball field was also constructed, which was initially named the Florida Suncoast Dome. The ballpark is now called the Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay came close to having a team of its own in 1993. That year, the MLB had announced that it would add two expansion teams to the league. Tampa Bay residents were sure that they would finally get a team of their own. However, they were disappointed when Denver and Miami were given those expansion franchises.
In 1992, too, Tampa Bay had a near miss. The owner of the San Francisco Giants had agreed to sell his team to a group of businessmen from Tampa Bay. However, the deal could not go through as the MLB nixed the move under pressure from San Francisco officials.
However, finally, in 1995, the Tampa Bay residents got the news they had been waiting for. The MLB decided to add two more expansion franchises to the league, one being the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the other being the Arizona Diamondbacks. The two teams were scheduled for their inaugural season in 1998.
A Slow Start
Typically, in all major league sports, expansion teams lose, before settling down. The Rays were no exception. They lost their first 10 seasons, coming in last in their division, with the exception of the 2004 season, when they finished second-to-last.
Change of Name, Change of Fortune
After the 2007 season, the team’s owner changed the team’s name to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays posted their first winning season in 2008, winning their division, their first Pennant and making it to the World Series for the first time. They, however, lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.
The Rays Since 2008
Since 2008, the Rays have been to the playoffs on three occasions. Their last playoff appearance was in 2013. The team has struggled since 2013 and finished its 2014 and 2015 seasons 4th in their division and 5th position in the 2016 season.
Can the Rays Shine Again?
Irrespective of the fact that Drew Smyly and Logan Forsythe, two of the best players in the team, were traded away, the Rays can still make it this year. However, this would depend on Kevin Kiermaier breaking out this season. An underrated player, Kiermaier breaking out at the right time, could make all the difference between 2017 Rays and the previous year’s Rays.
Are the Rays Relocating?
The franchise’s ownership isn’t happy with the fact that Tropicana Field doesn’t make them enough money. One of the major reasons for this is that the ballpark is situated outside of Tampa Bay area’s population center. For this reason, the ownership has been striving to make a new ballpark for the team. However, they have not been able to due to variety of reasons. Frustrated, the team’s owner has decided that they he would move the team to Montreal, which has been without a major league baseball team of its own since 2005.
While the team’s relocation plans are not finalized, it is possible that the Rays could move to Canada. If you want to see the Rays play as Tampa Bay Rays, then get these Tampa Bay Rays tickets from here.