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S.W. Florida Daily News


Opening Day Countdown: Who are your SIX favorite Rays players of all time?

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As the Tampa Bay Rays gear up for another exciting season, fans are eagerly anticipating Opening Day. To commemorate the occasion, we take a look at some of the most beloved players to ever don a Rays uniform. From veterans to newcomers, these players have created lasting impressions on fans and helped lead the team to success. Who are your six favorite Rays players of all time? Read on to see if your favorites made the list.

Opening Day Countdown: Who are your SIX favorite Rays players of all time?

As the Tampa Bay Rays gear up for the upcoming season, fans can’t help but reminisce on their favorite players from seasons past. From the early years at Tropicana Field to their recent World Series run, there have been countless standout players to grace the Rays’ roster.

Here are six of the greatest Tampa Bay Rays players of all time, sorted in no particular order:

1. Evan Longoria

Evan Longoria is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable faces of the Rays’ franchise. He spent 10 seasons with the team and was a three-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove winner, and Silver Slugger Award recipient. Longoria’s 1,236 hits, 261 home runs, and 892 RBIs as a Ray all rank in the top five in franchise history.

2. Carl Crawford

Carl Crawford was one of the most dynamic players to ever wear a Rays uniform. He spent the first nine seasons of his career with the organization, earning four All-Star selections, two Gold Glove Awards, and five stolen base titles. Crawford remains the Rays’ all-time leader in hits and stolen bases.

3. David Price

David Price was a cornerstone of the Rays’ rotation during his six seasons with the team. He was a four-time All-Star, two-time AL wins leader, and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2012. Price holds several franchise records, including most strikeouts and lowest ERA, and was instrumental in the club’s run to the 2008 World Series.

4. Rocco Baldelli

Rocco Baldelli only played five seasons with the Rays, but his impact on the franchise was immeasurable. He was a fan favorite and was the first player ever drafted by the team in 2000. Baldelli was a rare combination of power and speed, and earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2003. Unfortunately, injuries cut his career short, but he remains a beloved figure amongst Rays fans.

5. James Shields

James Shields was a reliable workhorse for the Rays during his seven seasons with the team. He was a two-time All-Star and won the prestigious Warren Spahn Award in 2011, given to the best left-handed pitcher in baseball. Shields is also known for his leadership and mentorship of young players during his time in Tampa Bay.

6. Matt Joyce

Matt Joyce spent five seasons with the Rays, making his presence known with his powerful swing and clutch hitting. He was an All-Star in 2011 and remains one of the Rays’ all-time leaders in home runs and RBIs. Joyce was a fan favorite for his hustle and dedication to the team.

While these six players may top many fans’ lists of all-time Rays greats, there have been countless other players who have contributed to the team’s success over the years. From the likes of Ben Zobrist and Fernando Rodney to Kevin Kiermaier and Blake Snell, the Rays have a rich history filled with talented players.

As the countdown to Opening Day continues, Rays fans eagerly await the next generation of players who will seek to make their mark on the franchise’s storied history.


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