Tampa Bay Rays Announce Plans for 20th Anniversary Season

ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 19: Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 19: Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) /

In celebration of their 20th Anniversary, the Tampa Bay Rays introduced their season long campaign that will pay tribute to the past two decades of Tampa Bay Rays baseball.

On Wednesday morning at Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg along with many of the Ray’s executives presented their 20th Anniversary Campaign to the media that will kick-off at FanFest at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Wednesday’s announcement began with the unveiling of the 20th Anniversary Logo patch that will be worn all season on the jersey’s left sleeve and caps.  The logo is a combination of the current sunburst with the original “Ray” fish that has been modernized with some of the current team colors.

Over the past couple of years, the Rays have had a “Turn Back the Clock” promotion, where they have worn retro style uniforms – with no comparison to anything associated with the franchise.

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"“We are excited to celebrate 20 years of playing Major League Baseball in Tampa Bay,” said Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg. “The festivities this year will bring smiles to faces as we recall the many colorful moments and incredible accomplishments of the last two decades. I’m grateful for all Rays staff, fans and supporters, who have done so much to make these 20 years so special for Tampa Bay.”"

However, in lieu of their 20th Anniversary, the Rays will really be turning back the clock when they will wear the original “Devil Rays Rainbow” design, which was worn from 1998-2000. The Rays will wear this jersey on four home games (March 31, June 9, June 23 and Sept. 8). In addition, during these games and some road games, a new retro cap will also be worn.

With the uniforms addition, you cannot go without paying tribute to the two most important teams in franchise history – the 1998 Devil Rays and the 2008 American League Championship.

How ironic that the first tribute will take place on March 31, when the Rays host the Red Sox. Making this day extra special is that March 31 is the actual anniversary of the very first game played by the Devil Rays, in which they played host to the Detroit Tigers.

There will be pregame ceremonies, which will include members of the 1998 Devil Rays Opening Day roster and all fans will receive a replica version of 1998 seat cushion that fans received at the March 31, 1998 game.

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On Aug. 4 against the Chicago White Sox, will be the celebration of the 2008 AL Championship team. Pregame ceremonies will include members of this team and fans will receive an Akinori Iwamura bobblehead that comes included with a special feature – the radio call of Dave Wills when Iwamura stepped on second that propelled the Rays into the World Series.

The Rays promotional schedule for the 2018 season will include 20th Anniversary themed giveaways that will include bobbleheads honoring Carl Crawford, a duo of Fred McGriff and Tino Martinez, Wade Boggs and Dan Johnson. As well, there will be give-a-ways that will include a Rays and Devil Rays Reversible Jersey, a 20th Anniversary Photo Viewer and many others that to be added.

Also included in the 20th Anniversary celebration there will be numerous ticket specials and incentives. There will be a special 2-for-$20 ticket specials for the Party Deck for half of the home games, with the other half priced at $20.

What would a 20th Anniversary promotion be without Evan Longoria? Well, additional promos for the season will be announced on Thursday – however, there is a special Evan Longoria Game 162 bobblehead. It will be available for purchase at the Clubhouse Corner at FanFest on Saturday for $20 with all proceeds to benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays: Is the Starting Rotation Fixed or in Flux?

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For a complete trip down memory lane of the franchise, check out the 20th Anniversary Special which includes the all-time roster, uniforms and logos, all-time leaders and much more.