Not all of the best memorable moments for all baseball teams are based off of exciting events and this might be said by some of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. They’ve been around for a while, though, and their longevity has allowed for more than one memorable moment. It also allows for more than a couple of loyal fans.
In 1995, the Devil Rays first sign a lease to the Tropicana Field and then just 24 hours later, try to get out of the lease that they just signed.
In 1998, the Devil Rays play their first game with Hall of Fame baseball players Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Monte Irvin and Al Lopez sitting in the stands. The Devil Rays lose the game 11-6. In April of the same year, the Devil Rays win against the Angels; the win boosts them to 10-6, and the best expansion team start on the books.
In 1999, Wade Boggs, hits a home run for the 3,000 hit of his career. There was much celebration, but the Tampa Bay Devil Rays still lost with a final score of 15-10. September of the same years has the Devil Rays taking a wallop from the Texas Rangers. Still, the game had high points, such as when Jim Morris, the 35 year old high school coach and teacher, strikes Royce Clayton out. The story of Jim Morris has since been turned into The Rookie.
In October of 2002, Lou Pinella is signed as the Devil Rays manager.
2003 Started with Carl Crawford hitting a three run home run off the reliever for the Red Sox, Chad Fox. It was Pinella’s season opener. Pedro Martinez pitched the game beautifully, and went on to pitch against the Yankees that same year.
In 2004, The Devil Rays win in Tokyo Dome against the Yankees for a score of 8-3. There were 51,000 fans at the game. May and June of the same year sees the Devil Rays winning 30 of 40 games, with 12 of those wins consecutively. The team finishes 2004 70-91, which makes this record the best in the history of the Devil Rays.
July of 2004 sees the pitcher Victor Zambrano traded to the Mets, but gains the pitcher Scott Kazmir for the Devil Rays, which many fans see as a major boost for the team.
While some will argue that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays aren’t the best team out there, there are many die-hard fans that stay true year after year, and for many, the loyalty is what makes it all worth it.