Time to cover the team formerly known as the Devil Rays!
Let’s keep this short and sweet, kinda like the team’s existence. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays began as an expansion team in the American League in 1998, the same year as the Arizona Diamondbacks. Technically they play in St. Petersburg, Florida, but the area is known as Tampa Bay, so it’s the equivalent of calling the San Francisco Giants the ‘Bay Area Giants’. The Devil Rays original color scheme was somewhat of a spectrum, spanning a range from navy blue to teal to neon yellow, but changed with the team’s name after a decade. In 2008, the Devil Rays rebranded themselves as the Rays, which I just learned is meant to be a reference to a ray of light, and settled into the colors of navy, light blue, and sunshine yellow.
Leading up to their name change, the team had endured several woefully sub-par seasons, leading to a dwindling fan base. It seems, however, that the new team colors and evolution into the ‘Rays’ jolted the team into their most successful season, making it into their only World Series in the 2008 season. They continued to surpass their earlier in the next few seasons, making a few playoff appearances before sliding into some 4th place finishes in the AL East the past two years. Currently, the Rays are suffering through an even worse season, and there have been rumors of the team being relocated to Montreal, where the Expos left a void after their move to Washington DC, but their fate remains a bit foggy.
So, let’s pay homage to this young, occasionally feisty team, with the hopes that they stick around for a bit to balance out Florida with an AL team!