Ten Years of Tampa Bay Rays

January 19, 2011
Tampa Bay Rays
by InspectedbyNo27

St. Petersburg in Florida is a famous destination for those who plan to go on vacation. There is variety of attractions that the vacationers can enjoy. They have a wide array of museums and art galleries. They also have beautiful sites and when you are tired from exploring the many stunning places, you can dine at their fine restaurants.

St. Pete is also the home of one of the younger teams in the Major League Baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays. The foundation of the team took place a decade ago. Talks of having a major league baseball team in St. Petersburg started back in the mid 1960s. After several attempts, the American League approved to have an expansion team at St. Pete. They are set to start play in 1998 together with the D-back of the National League.

After the approval, they picked Chuck LaMar to be the general manage the team. They hired Larry Rothschild to manage the team. The Expansion Draft help them acquired players that will potentially lead to their success. Their first pick was Tony Saunders.

They lost their first major game to Detroit Tigers in March 31 1998. However, it was memorable because Baseball Hall of Famer, Wade Boggs hit the first home run for the franchise. Another memorable moment for Wade Boggs took place in 1999. He marked his 3000th career hit with a homerun, the best way to do it. After he retired, the Bay Rays retired his jersey.

Although they had some memorable moments with Wade Boggs, it was not enough to give success to the team in general. After his retirement, the team continued to have a hard time winning. Even the acquisition of baseball stars in 2000 and 2001 did not do them magic.

The team changed Rothschild as their manager. Hal McRae took over the management of the team. In 2002, they concentrated on building new players. Although new promising talents emerged, the season became the worst in the franchise history.

Lou Piniella managed the team from 2003 to 2005. He managed to improve the team standing of the team a bit during his leadership. Interesting moments took place when he took over. One incident happened in 2003 during the pitch of Geremi Gonzales against Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs. The bat that Sosa used broke and revealed that it was a corked bat. The Major league Baseball prohibits the use of such bat.

There were major changes in the management of the team after Stuart Sternburg bought it in 2004. Joe Maddon managed the Tampa Bay Rays after Piniella left. The team focused on their young players. They also improved their marketing strategies to attract more audience during home games.

Although the changes had some positive impacts, the team continued to struggle due to injuries and the trading of their seasoned players to other teams.

Recent changes are promising for the team. They have a strong start and winning more games than before. They had their best year in 2008, earning their first postseason berth ever.

Rick Grantham is an expert on sports equipment, specially on Tampa Bay Rays Merchandise for more information on Major League Baseball Logo Merchandise, visit BooYah Village.

Article from articlesbase.com

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