The Rays At the National Baseball Hall of Fame

By Robbie Knopf

Just went to Cooperstown,  New York to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and although mainly I just enjoyed all the baseball history, I did make sure to take a few pictures of everything Rays-related in the Hall. If you’re a Rays fan heading to the Hall, here’s what you have to look forward to. (All pictures were taken by my at the Hall of Fame unless otherwise noted.)

Here are a couple of pictures from the Babe Ruth Room at the Hall that relate to St. Petersburg. These two pitchers relate to a trip that Ruth took to St. Pete, apparently to do some golfing and some barnstorming. Ruth has connections all across the AL East (obviously the Yankees and Red Sox, and he played for the minor league Baltimore Orioles), and it’s nice that he also has a Rays connection.

Sad as it may seem, Boggs is the only Hall of Famer to ever play for the Tampa Bay Rays franchise. That being the case, though, we better soak it up. Boggs got his 3000th hit on a home run, the first player ever to accomplish the milestone like that, and probably the greatest moment in Devil Rays history prior to their name change to the Rays other than Opening Day 1998. The first picture is Boggs’ D-Rays jersey from the day he got 3000, while the second picture is his Hall of Fame plaque, where he is wearing a Red Sox cap, but there’s still the “Tampa Bay A.L., 1998-1999”. (The Boggs picture was far too perfect to be taken by me. It’s from the Nebraska Baseball Museum.)

Every current MLB team has a Every current MLB team has a locker in the Hall of Fame as part of the “Today’s Game” section, and there were a whole bunch of everything Rays-related things there. The first couple pictures are various things from the 2008 World Series, quite a time in Tampa Bay, while the last three pictures feature three of the most iconic moments by Rays players: the hat from Carl Crawford‘s homer-robbing catch in the 2009 All-Star Game to give him the MVP award in the game, the spikes from B.J. Upton‘s cycle, the first of its kind in Rays history, and finally the batting gloves from Evan Longoria‘s home run to send the Rays into the 2011 Postseason.

A minor league shout-out here as this is a Durham Bulls jersey from the movie Bull Durham. The Durham Bulls are the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate.

And we close with Matt Garza‘s no-hitter, with the baseball and Garza’s hat from that day making the Hall. That was quite a memorable day as well.

The Rays are tied for the newest MLB team. You can’t expect too much from them to made the Hall of Fame. But there are a few nuggets, and the entire museum is incredible. If you’re a baseball fan, it’s definitely worth the effort to visit the Hall of Fame.