After a dramatic regular season, The Tampa Bay Rays are hotly competing in Post Season play. This team hailing from beautiful Tropicana Field is known for their perseverance against the odds and their ability to turn things around. They have even surpassed last year’s winning season record and securing a spot in post-season play. Head coach Kevin Cash is surely proud of his team and has high hopes for the men in blue and white to win big in the Division series. Sports commentators are divided on how far the team will go, but it’s anyone’s guess, but you can watch the excitement by ordering tickets to their upcoming home games.
Even if you have never seen the Rays on the field, you can’t miss out on the post-season for this comeback king team. The rays have not seen postseason action since 2013, so fans both old and new are shouting from the stands to see the Rays do the impossible and come out on top. Just imagine, you could be with thousands of baseball fans to see every run, every pitch, and every moment of their battles against their division foes. Don’t miss out!
Order your tickets to see the conclusion of this season. Order fast while supplies last!
Hard-Earned Stripes For the Rays
Tropicana Field is proud to play host to the scrappy and determined Tampa Bay Rays. As members of the American League East Division, the team is no stranger to working hard during every one of their games. After the team began to play as the Devil Rays in the 1998 season, the team faced a decade of losing seasons, where they finished last in the AL East every season except for 2004 where they finished second to last. Many sports commentators and baseball fans at the time were doubtful over the team’s prospects and suspected that they would be the easy team to beat.
Stuart Sternberg, who had purchased controlling interest in the team two years earlier, changed the team’s name from “Devil Rays” to “Rays” to refer to a burst of sunshine rather than the aquatic animal. Some fans questioned the decision, wondering if a name change would help the team improve their regular-season records. But it seemed like the name change, along with roster changes, was exactly what the Rays needed as they put up their first winning season in 2008. This season led the Rays to their first AL East Championship and their first Pennant after defeating the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. Although the team later lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in that year’s World Series, the Rays were finally on track, with later postseason appearances in 2010, 2011, 2013, and now 2019.
The team is one of the youngest in the league but shows a level of growth that keeps fans coming back to Tropicana Field every time the team comes home. Even now, when some commentators were ready to give up on the team for this year’s postseason, true fans kept cheering on the team and were richly rewarded when the Rays claimed the Wild Card slot. Now, you can make sure you catch the upcoming excitement for this team, by ordering tickets to see the Rays play.
Professional Baseball in Tampa Bay
The decision to bring baseball to Tampa Bay came in the 1960s when civic leader and St. Petersburg Times publisher, Jack Lake, suggested that St. Petersburg pursue bringing a Major League baseball team to town. Lake spoke with anyone who would listen to see the city become home for a Major League team. Lake was dogged, determined, and influential and used his connections to the sport to start serious discussions that transformed St. Petersburg from a spring training location to a major league city. Local leaders followed his example and worked to acquire a team in the 80s and 90s with no success even with five teams considering moving to Tampa or St. Petersburg. The community had even built The Florida Suncoast Dome (now known as Tropicana Field) to lure in a major league team. At the time, Tampa and Sarasota were both searchings for an expansion team, with Tampa confident enough to register the name “Florida Panthers” which was later purchased by Wayne Huizenga for an NHL hockey team.
When MLB announced that it would add two expansion teams for the 93 season, many sports analysts believed that Tampa would gain one of the two teams for the Dome. But due to a competing group applying to field a team in Tampa, the bid had become conflicted to the point that Denver and Miami were awarded the teams instead. But Tampa was undeterred and was in talks with Bob Lurie of the San Francisco Giants, who agreed to sell his team to Tampa Bay-investors led by Vince Naimoli. But at the last moment, MLB owners canceled the plan due to pressure from San Francisco officials. It looked like the end of Tampa’s expansion team bids.
But finally, on March 9, 1995, Naimoli’s group was awarded a new franchise that would begin play in 1998, and that franchise would become the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Things You Have to See at Tropicana Field
Why should you go to a stadium just for an amazing game of baseball, when great fields like Tropicana Fields have so much more to offer. When you visit the stadium, here are a few things that you may want to experience.
Tropicana Field may have changed its name from the Devil Rays, but it still remembers the original inspiration for the franchise name with The Rays Touch Tank. 40 fans at a time can come to the tank and see several varieties of rays and learn about Tampa Bay wildlife. Animal lovers will enjoy the discussion and seeing the graceful animals swim through one of the largest tanks in the country. The tank is open from 20 minutes after the gates open to two hours after the first pitch, so make sure you show up early.
If you want to enjoy buffet-style meals with the typical ballpark fare, then call ahead and see if the Press Level Party Area is available for individual seating. On certain dates, the team allows individuals to join the press box section on the right-field side to dining in ways that most fans never get to experience. It’s a special privilege when the team allows it since the section is usually reserved for large group parties of 35 persons or more.
If you prefer celebrating the best of baseball, then you may enjoy seeing The Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame. Originally the museum was in Hernando, Florida a few blocks from where Williams lived in his later years. The museum was moved to Tropicana Field in 2006 to save it after the original facility underwent bankruptcy. The facility was expanded to include memorabilia from baseball player Ted William’s life including his mementos as well as his selections for the Hall of Fame. Williams never inducted himself into his own Hall of Fame, with the decision to add him being made after his death. The museum often hosts autograph sessions and charity auctions during or before games.