Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays Tales: 10-year anniversary of Wade Boggs' 3,000th hit is Friday

For the longest time, it stood alone as the greatest Rays moment at Tropicana Field. Friday, it, somehow, turns 10. It was Aug. 7, 1999, when Wade Boggs joined the 3,000-hit club like no one else, capping his three-hit sprint to baseball's gold standard with a home run, then sealing his night by kissing home plate. Does it seem like it has been 10 years? "Absolutely not," Boggs said Friday. "Good gracious. I guess time really does fly when you're having fun." Or when you're in the Hall of Fame, anyway. Boggs was back in Cooperstown, N.Y., for last weekend's induction, sitting with a bunch of members reminiscing about their 3,000th.

"I was the only guy in the room with a home run," he said. "So I kind of stood out." The spot in rightfield where the ball came down is commemorated at the Trop with a yellow seat. The scene as it happened — sixth inning, one on and one out, family on hand, off Chris Haney — is still fresh in Boggs' mind. "Just a magical moment," he said. "You're at 2,999 and you're walking up to the plate and it's, 'Oh my gosh, here we go. …' " So, too, is the significance. "When you put it in perspective," Boggs said, "it was the culmination of everything I played for. Eighteen years building to the pinnacle of getting to 3,000."

Living history

So where does Boggs' 3,000th hit rank now among top Rays moments at the Trop? After last season, not quite as high. Here's our updated list:

1. Oct. 19, 2008

2B Akinori Iwamura fielded the ground ball, stepped on second, and the world (as well as the World Series) changed forever: the Rays eliminated the Red Sox and won the AL pennant.

2. Sept. 20, 2008

3B Evan Longoria caught the foul pop and launched a celebration like there'd never been at the Trop as the Rays clinched their first-ever playoff berth, and celebrated with the fans.

3. Aug. 7, 1999

Boggs' home run, the third of his three hits that night, was electrifying and still ranks as the most significant individual accomplishment under the tilted roof.

4. March 31, 1998

After a 20-plus year effort to get a team, the Devil Rays were ready to play ball, LHP Wilson Alvarez delivering the first pitch of the first game, which turned out to be a buzz-killing 11-6 loss.

5. March 31, 2003

The dawn of the Lou Piniella era was already exciting, and Carl Crawford made it an exhilarating evening with a walkoff homer to beat the hated Red Sox.

Also considered:

Oct. 2, 2008: First postseason game; Oct. 22, 2008: First World Series game; April 13, 2009: Raising of the '08 pennant before home opener.

Almost perfect

There has been a lot of talk about perfection since Mark Buehrle's July 23 perfect game against the Rays. That includes Dick Bosman, Rays minor-league pitching coordinator. Bosman threw a no-hitter for the Indians on July 19, 1974, and all that kept him from perfection was his own errant throw — on Sal Bando's fourth-inning swinging bunt on the third-base side of the mound. "I had more time than I thought," Bosman said last week. "It's one of those things. It was a play I made many times, I just didn't make it that particular day."

Playing from behind

With 60 games left, the Rays were seven games out of first. Only four teams since 1988 made up more ground to reach the postseason:

Year Team GB*

2006 Minnesota Twins 10.5

1995 Seattle Mariners 9

1993 Atlanta Braves 8

2001 St. Louis Cardinals 7.5

Catching the wild-card leading Red Sox, whom they trailed by 4½, isn't much easier. Only nine teams made up that ground over the same span:Yr, Team GB

'06 Dodgers 7

'04 Astros 6

'03 Twins 5.5

'03 Marlins 5

'01 A's 5

Yr, Team GB

'96 Orioles 5

'07 Yankees 4.5

'07 Rockies 4.5

'03 Cubs 4.5

Rays rumblings

Tuesday's new ESPN E:60 show features Evan Longoria, focusing on his mental approach and relationship with sports psychologist Ken Ravizza. … Reports to the contrary, senior VP Gerry Hunsicker was never offered the Nationals GM job. … Add to the list of things you didn't expect this season: An espn.com piece debating Ben Zobrist's candidacy for AL MVP. … The price of doing trade business: For one reliever, the Rays were asked for prospects Desmond Jennings and Reid Brignac. … Rough treatment by Trop fans may be bothering Pat Burrell, but manager Joe Maddon points out the former Phillie has "been booed by the booing-est fans in the world." … Not sure what this says about his sense of humor, but Maddon was genuinely thrilled to see the GEICO TV commercial caveman at the Trop and insisted on a photo.

Got a minute? James Shields

Best meal you can make? Home-made raviolis. I make my own sauce and dough, the whole thing.

Band you'd like to be on stage with? Metallica.

Must-see TV? Entourage. (Which character are you most like?) Turtle. I like hanging out in the background.

Karaoke song if you had to? Jammin' by Bob Marley.

Dream date, with your wife Ryane's permission? I said Kathy Ireland last time, so … Jessica Biel.

Tampa Bay Rays Tales: 10-year anniversary of Wade Boggs' 3,000th hit is Friday 08/01/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 1, 2009 10:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: A lot that went into a marathon win

    Blogs

    Rays manager Kevin Cash had a simple strategy when Fox Sports Sun's Alex Corddry asked him how the team would move on from Sunday's marathon win and get ready to face the Rangers tonight in Texas:

    Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays celebrates as teammate Michael Martinez slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Minnesota Twins during the 14th inning.
  2. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  3. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  4. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  5. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.