Nov 08, 2007: Name change does wonders
Submitted by BTGrimes on Thu, 11/08/2012 - 6:00am
It's the Shirts!
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - The Tampa Bay Devil Rays road to the 2008 World Series started on this date in 2007. More than 7,000 fans showed up at Straub Park in St. Petersburg on a Thursday in November to usher in the age of the Rays, no longer named for a sea creature, but for the ever present bright light in the sky. There were a number of games during the 2007 regular season where the Devil Rays struggled to get 7,000 fans in the seats. But this was a new day.
According to the St. Petersburg Times 18 Rays players and a couple former players showed off new uniforms with a new logo and a new name. The players, the manager and the fans were impressed. Veteran Devil Ray Carl Crawford (since traded to the Boston Red Sox) told the Times, "It feels like a fresh start." Manager Joe Maddon said, "[They] have a classic look to them... you're always looking for that symbolic moment to really move on to that next area... getting to the playoffs, et cetera."
Et cetera ended up being the 2008 World Series. The Devil Rays won just 66 games in 2007 and came in last in the American League East. The following year the Rays with a new name and new uniforms won 97, knocked the White Sox and Red Sox out of the playoffs to get to the World Series, which they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 4 games to 1.
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