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Tampa Bay Rays facts for kids

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Tampa Bay Rays
Established 1998
Tampa Bay Rays.svg Tampa Bay Rays cap logo.svg
Team logo Cap insignia
Major league affiliations
Current uniform
Retired numbers
  • Navy blue, light blue, yellow, white
  • Tampa Bay Rays (2008–present)
    • Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998–2007)
Major league titles
World Series titles (0) None
AL Pennants (1) 2008
East Division titles (2)
  • 2008
  • 2010
Wild card berths (3)
  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2019

The Tampa Bay Rays are an American professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) East division. Since its inception, the team's home venue has been Tropicana Field.

Following nearly three decades of unsuccessfully trying to gain an expansion franchise or enticing existing teams to relocate to the Tampa Bay Area, an ownership group led by Vince Naimoli was approved on March 9, 1995. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays began play in the 1998 Major League Baseball season.

Their first decade of play, however, was marked by futility; they finished in last place in the AL East in all but the 2004 season, when they finished second to last. Following the 2007 season, Stuart Sternberg, who had purchased controlling interest in the team from Vince Naimoli two years earlier, changed the team's name from "Devil Rays" to "Rays", now meant to primarily refer to a burst of sunshine rather than a manta ray, though a manta ray logo remains on the uniform sleeves. The 2008 season saw the Tampa Bay Rays post their first winning season, their first AL East championship, and their first pennant (defeating the rival Boston Red Sox in the ALCS), though they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in that year's World Series. Since then, the Rays have played in the postseason in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2019.

The Tampa Bay Rays' chief rivals are the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Regarding the former, there have been several notable on-field incidents. The Rays also have an intrastate interleague rivalry with the National League (NL)'s Miami Marlins (originally the Florida Marlins), whom they play in the Citrus Series.


The Rays played their first game on March 31, 1998 against the Detroit Tigers (as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays), which they lost 11-6. They were one of the least successful teams in the Major Leagues until 2008, when they finished in first place in the American League East and had one of the best records in baseball. They made it to the World Series but were beaten by Philadelphia in five games. Evan Longoria brought the team's first AL Rookie of the Year award to the team on November 10, 2008.

On November 8, 2007, the team changed its name to Tampa Bay Rays.


The Rays have rivalries with two teams. The Boston Red Sox is one due to the 2008 American League Championship Series, the other is the Florida Marlins due their in-state location.

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