The Tampa Bay Rays is a quite young professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The franchise competes in the American League East division of Major League Baseball.
Since the beginning of the 1960s, the authorities had attempted to locate in St. Petersburg own baseball team to play in MBL. Jack Lake, St. Petersburg Times publisher, supposed to turn St. Petersburg from an offseason training location to a major league city.
In the 1980s and 1990s, local officials made zillions of unsuccessful attempts to acquire a major league baseball team, like the Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners. They were offered both significant payment and better training conditions after moving to either Tampa or St. Petersburg. However, there was no deal. The Tropicana Field, a domed stadium, was built in St. Petersburg in 1990 to lure a major league club.
The Tampa Bay Rays franchise was founded in 1998. The Tropicana Field has been the team’s home since its inaugural season. Their first decade of play was marked by constant losses: they finished seasons in the last place in the East division until 2002, when they managed to get into the top three.
Initially, the team was called the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, which was a reference to the cartilaginous fish, but after the 2007 season, the club owner Stuart Sternberg changed the team’s name from “Devil Rays” to “Tampa Bay Rays”. There were several names to choose from, like the “Aces”, “Bandits”, “Cannons”, “Dukes”, “Stripes”, and “Nine”, Sternberg’s personal favorite. The new name referred a burst of sunshine rather than a long horn-shaped tail of a manta ray. The new team color scheme included navy, Columbia blue and a touch of gold.
After changing the name and logo in 2008, the Tampa Bay Rays opened their winning season. In 2008, they won in the American League East division and beat the Boston Red Sox to get to the first World Series in franchise history. Unfortunately, they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies. Since then, the Rays have played in the World Series in 2010, 2011, and 2013. The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are the Tampa Bay Rays’ principal rivals.
Tampa Bay Rays logo history
Despite their relatively short 21-year history, the Tampa Bay Rays changed their logo four times. Announcing new name and new colors in 2007, Stuart Sternberg, the team’s principal owner, said “We are now the ‘Rays’ – a beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida. Tampa Bay and the Sunshine State are beautiful places. We want the Rays to reflect the best our region has to offer”.
1998 – 2000
Since the initial team’s name was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the first logo featured a devil ray swimming leftwards while “Devil Rays” wordmark was situated below and “Tampa Bay” wordmark above the straight length of the tail. Behind this, there was an oval bearing a rainbow gradient.
2001 – 2007
In 2001, the Tampa Bay Rays logo was replaced with a similar one, yet much starker in appearance. The black devil ray was still headed in the same direction. Moreover, it was now situated below “Tampa Bay” inscription. The oval was present as well, but it too received a change to being blue and green from its previous rainbow gradient. The “Devil Rays” wordmark was removed from the logo.
2008 – 2018
In 2008, the Tampa Bay Rays needed a new logo because of their name change. Thus, the devil ray was phased out. In its place, there was now a sunburst in the “R” of the navy blue-scripted “Rays” that now took the central position. The elongated tail of the “R” is a symbol of the waters. The emblem Tampa Bay Rays looked like a blue-outlined white baseball diamond. The navy blue color symbolizes the deep waters, while bright blue means Florida’s sky. The sunburst stands for sunny Florida.
2019 – present
Very recently, the Tampa Bay Rays have made one more slight change to their logo. The baseball diamond is now gone, thus leaving the navy blue-scripted “Rays” on its own to make up the whole of the logo. A minor outline update was made to the wordmark itself.