Tampa Bay Rays News & Information
One of the newer teams in professional baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays, has only been playing since 1998, with the franchise being awarded in 1995. Anyone purchasing Tampa Bay Rays tickets today will be watching them play world class baseball in the Tropicana Field stadium of St. Petersburg, Florida, previously known as the Thunderdome. The Rays have played at the Tropicana Field stadium since the beginning. People buying Tampa Bay Ray tickets to the stadium will even find a 10,000-gallon "touch tank" filled with live rays, which has become a very popular attraction!
The first minor league games took place in 1996, with Larry Rothschild named as the team's first manager. During this time, the team managed to acquire Bobby Abreu, who went on to become a very successful player, but the Rays unfortunately made the mistake of trading him for middling player, Kevin Stocker. Luckily, before the start of the 1998 season, star players such as Fred McGriff and Wade Boggs became part of the roster. Boggs is also the only member of the team to have a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, although his plaque shows him in Red Sox uniform despite his many excellent games at the Tampa Bay Rays Tropicana Field stadium.
The team name was changed in 2007 from the slightly longer "Tampa Bay Devil Rays" to the current shorter title. Also changed were the team logo and colors, changing from the original green, black, and blue to a brighter blue and gold combination. This was a move from the majority owner Stuart Sternberg to send the message that the Rays are entering a new era of baseball success without leaving all their old history behind.
It's quite fitting then that the team had their most successful year, finishing their spring training with a record 8 wins, tying with Oakland Athletics. Despite a less than positive start and a 3-0 loss for the Rays that mirrored some of the issues the team had in the previous season, Tampa Bay Ray ticket holders watched some amazing games as the season moved into May. The team held the best record in the entire league through Memorial Day, where only a year before they had held the worst. After playing some incredible games through the season, the Rays finally defeated the Boston Red Sox on October 19, sending them to the World Series for the first time in their short history.
Tampa Bay Rays ticket sales grew during this period, and it's no surprise. It's no strange thing to see Major League teams turn themselves around quickly, but seeing a team have such a terrible time only a year ago picking themselves up to become one of the most statistically impressive teams in the League within a year was truly an amazing feat.
Those not lucky enough to have Tampa Bay Ray tickets can watch the game on Fox Sports Florida, which now broadcasts the majority of the games in HD. Unfortunately, fans in the Greater Orlando area were blocked from watching the Rays games aired on the station because the main cable provider did not carry the network! This has luckily been resolved in 2009.
No other team in the entire Major League can boast quite the turnaround that the Rays pulled off in 2008. There is massive hope amongst fans that their victory wasn't simply a one-time thing, but a sign that the Rays have finally found their place in the League and will continue to push the limits of their players. Tampa Bay Rays tickets are certain to be in big demand in the future.