The Tampa Bay Rays headed into 2019 with big-time hopes and a talented squad. When they initially made their way into MLB in the final years of the 20th century, they took on a gargantuan task. They entered a division that featured both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, two of the strongest, most accomplished, most popular and most recognized baseball teams in the world. But the Rays have done their best to contend, and have done big things over the years. This year could be a big one based on the fast start they have gotten out to. All fans interested in watching this high-level breed of professional baseball up close can easily purchase Tampa Bay Rays 2019 Tickets now.
Tropicana Field is one of the last fully-indoor stadiums in Major League Baseball. It was built during an era in which domes were still very popular, and it has been the permanent home of the Tampa Bay Rays since they sprang into the league in 1998 as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. It lacks a natural grass surface, but it has many positive traits and qualities, including air-conditioning during the warm summer months, and a very immaculate field that veterans of the squad have learned how to play.
One of the most noticeable features of the stadium is a gigantic 10,000 gallon tank that features an array of stingray species and is located just beyond the fence in right centerfield. It is regarded as one of the biggest fish tanks in the entire United States, but only 40 fans are allowed into the region at any given time. This means that folks looking to experience the ultimate ocean-side element would be wise to show up early or make their way over in the late innings. Seven times throughout the history of the ballpark, players have hit home runs that actually splashed down into the watery set up. The first came after the Park was open for nearly 10 years, and the most recent came just a handful of months ago. No stingrays of any kind were harmed in the process.
Tampa Bay Greats & New Talents
All time Tampa Bay greats include third baseman Evan Longoria, outfielders Carl Crawford and Aubrey Huff, and pitcher David Price. Legendary hitter Wade Boggs had a brief stint in TB before retiring, etching his name into local folklore. Slugger Carlos Pena and pitchers Chris Archer and Matt Garza have also done enough to be recognized on a historic level, although the team only dates back 20 years.
The 2019 Tampa Bay Rays roster is filled with youthful talent ready to make a big and hopefully long-term impact on the inner coast of Florida. 23-year-old centerfielder Austin Meadows is off to a solid start this year, hitting over .350 through 20 games and racking up home runs and RBIs. He came into the year with just 12 career home runs and 36 career RBIs, and both of those numbers are likely to be eclipsed soon.
24-year-old second baseman Brandon Low is a slick fielder who is also contributing big-time offensive numbers thus far, and 27-year-old third baseman Yandy Diaz is proving to be a very solid contributor on offense and defense. The 6′ 2″ athlete is holding down the hot corner in a stadium that utilizes artificial grass – which is no small task. Balls come off the bats hot from right handed hitters.
A Change of Name
After some big-time success once they changed their name from the Devil Rays to the Rays in advance of the 2008 season, the squad has not been to the postseason since 2013. Their visit back then was a quick opening-round loss to the Boston Red Sox. Their confidence and roster this year are already emboldened with the confidence to not only compete with but hopefully ultimately dispatch of the Red Sox and the Yankees throughout what is always a long and demanding 162-game regular-season schedule.
Tampa Bay will square off against both teams that draw large crowds several times throughout the remainder of the year. It is an advantage for a team that plays on an artificial surface to host teams that are used to playing on natural surfaces the majority of time, as the home squad knows the bounces of the surface that was extremely popular throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The squad that won a total of 90 games last year and finished 18 games above .500 still finished 18 games out of first-place. If they can replicate the 91 win season once again and add just a few more victories to the tally, they will put themselves in a very good position to reach the summit of the American League East. Fans interested in purchasing Tropicana Field 2019 Tampa Bay Rays Tickets need look no further.