Despite existing for just 20 years, the Tampa Bay Rays have had a few star players pass through their clubhouse. Which of those players could see their number retired by the franchise?
Although the Tampa Bay Rays are one of the two newest teams in MLB, they have already retired three numbers. One, 42, is in honor of Jackie Robinson, and was retired throughout the game. In fact, no one in Rays history has ever worn that number, aside from the annual Jackie Robinson Day game.
Number 66 was retired for Don Zimmer, in honor of his 66 years in the game. Zimmer had spent his final decade in the game with the Rays, and was employed as a senior adviser by the team. He also spent time as a coach during Spring Training and in Rays home games. Every year, he increased his uniform number by one to match the time he had been in the game, with 66 being the final jersey he wore when he passed away in 2014.
Then, we come to number 12. This number was retired for Wade Boggs, the only retired number to be set aside in honor of someone who played for the Rays. Boggs spent his final two seasons with the expansion ballclub, posting a decent .289/.360/.391 batting line with 37 doubles. Boggs also homered for his 3000th career hit while wearing a Rays uniform, and as a lifetime resident of the area, had his jersey retired for what he meant to Tampa Bay, as opposed to his on field contributions.
Now that the Tampa Bay Rays have had nearly two decades of action, the time is beginning to come where they will retire numbers based on their production with the team. But which players, either past or present, have a chance to have their jersey numbers retired? Let’s take a look through the Rays history.