The Tampa Bay Rays started in Major League Baseball in 1998. Originally called the “Devil Rays,” the expansion team opened at home 25 years ago today (March 31, 1998), taking on the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field. Coincidentally, the Rays opened their season yesterday at home, beating the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field. Though the club has had numerous all-star players over the years, the Tampa Bay Rays retired numbers are slim. The group contains only one person who was a player on the team.
Over the years, Tampa has been a breeding ground of great baseball players. Rays legends such as Fred McGriff and Tino Martinez are from Tampa, as is the team’s current manager, Kevin Cash.
The retired numbers are displayed inside the park on a wall that is to the left of the center field scoreboard. One of these numbers represents a manager who ended his career as an advisor with the Rays and was a Tampa, FL resident. The other two numbers reflect players, but again, only one of them actually played for the Rays. He too, called Tampa home.
The Rays will sport numerous uniform options this season. They will pay tribute to their anniversary with the throwback Devil Rays look on Friday home games (in addition to opening day). Over the course of the season, they will call up various players from their minor league system. These players, like the current roster and coaching staff, will immediately have three numbers unavailable to them regardless of the colorful uniform combination.
Here are the official Tampa Bay Rays retired numbers.