Former Tampa Bay Rays player Brandon Allen turns 31 years old today. Let’s look back on his brief, but notable, time in Tampa Bay.
Typically, if a player appears in just seven games for a team, they would be hard pressed to leave behind a lasting legacy. In fact, it is difficult to imagine that they would have had any type of an impact upon the team at all. However, that was not the case with former Tampa Bay Rays first baseman/outfielder Brandon Allen.
Allen had once been a top prospect, ranking in the top 100 prospects in the game prior to the 2009 and 2010 seasons. However, he was unable to stay in the Diamondbacks lineup, ad was traded to the A’s at the 2011 trade deadline as part of a package for Brad Ziegler. He was placed on waivers that April, and joined the Rays on the 21st.
Four days later, on April 25, Allen got his first game action for the Rays. Although he had not played in 17 days, he was called upon to pinch hit with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs, Allen drew a walk off of Jason Isringhausen, forcing home what would prove to be the game winning run.
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After his success the previous day, Joe Maddon called on Allen again in a pinch hit role once again. After Melvin Upton singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Allen was summoned to pinch hit for Jose Molina. This time, he deposited Jordan Walden‘s 2-2 offering over the right field wall, giving the Rays a walkoff 4-3 victory. In two games, Allen cemented his place in Rays lore.
Unfortunately, the rest of his time in Tampa Bay was not as successful. He had only one more hit, that coming, perhaps fittingly, as a pinch hitter in the top of the ninth against the Yankees. Trailing 1-0, Sean Rodriguez led off the inning with a single, and Allen followed with a base hit as well. He came around to score what would prove to be the game winning run on Matt Joyce‘s three run homer.
Allen would eventually be sent to the minors, and then released on July 27 to pursue an opportunity in Japan. However, he struggled overseas, and came back stateside, signing with the Rangers for the 2013 campaign. Since then, he has bounced around the minors, spending time in the Padres, Mets, and Reds systems. At this point, it seems unlikely that he will get another chance at the Majors, at least in any extended action.
Brandon Allen had only seven games with the Tampa Bay Rays, but he made quite the impact upon their record. Let us remember his contributions today on his 31st birthday.