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20 years of the Rays, and 20 players who surprisingly finished with them

20/20 Vision: Looking back at 20 years of the Rays and 20 players who surprisingly finished with Tampa Bay.
Manny Ramirez waits to hit during batting practice before a spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., Monday, March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Manny Ramirez waits to hit during batting practice before a spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., Monday, March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Published Mar. 24, 2018
Updated Mar. 25, 2018

With the Rays planning a year-long celebration of their 20th anniversary, the Times is taking a look back – with 20 lists of 20 things about those first 20 seasons.

Here are 20 players you about whom you may find yourself saying "these guys finished as Rays?"

Tampa Bay Devil Rays infielder Roberto Alomar bunts during spring training camp, Friday, Feb. 25, 2005 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays infielder Roberto Alomar bunts during spring training camp, Friday, Feb. 25, 2005 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)

1. Roberto Alomar 2b

YEAR: 2005*

In a sentence: Yes, only in spring training. So what?

1999, Wade Boggs connects with a pitch at Tropicana Field. Photo Provided By Tampa Bay Devil Rays
1999, Wade Boggs connects with a pitch at Tropicana Field. Photo Provided By Tampa Bay Devil Rays

2. Wade Boggs 3b

YEAR: 1999

In a sentence: Maybe you did know, but it's still cool.

Tampa Bay Rays’ Manny Ramirez waits to hit during batting practice before a spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., Monday, March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Tampa Bay Rays’ Manny Ramirez waits to hit during batting practice before a spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., Monday, March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

3. Manny Ramirez of /dh

YEAR: 2011

In a sentence: Could win many Boston bar bets with this.

Tampa Bay Rays’ Hideki Matsui reacts after popping out to end the baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Mariners won 2-1. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Tampa Bay Rays’ Hideki Matsui reacts after popping out to end the baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Mariners won 2-1. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

4. Hideki Matsui of/dh

YEAR: 2012

In a sentence: Looked odd in anything but pinstripes.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays Fred McGriff is congratulated by Danny Clyburn at the plate after hitting his first home run of the night. The ball bounced off the top of The Batter’s Eye restaurant high above center field. This was the first ball to hit the top of the restaurant during a game. ( Tampa Bay Devil Rays vs. Kansas City Royals – Baseball Games – Rays won the game 10-7 ) Staff Photo David Kadlubowski
Tampa Bay Devil Rays Fred McGriff is congratulated by Danny Clyburn at the plate after hitting his first home run of the night. The ball bounced off the top of The Batter’s Eye restaurant high above center field. This was the first ball to hit the top of the restaurant during a game. ( Tampa Bay Devil Rays vs. Kansas City Royals – Baseball Games – Rays won the game 10-7 ) Staff Photo David Kadlubowski

5. Fred McGriff 1b/dh

YEAR: 2004

In a sentence: If only he'd hit seven more homers for 500.

Rays 3B Vinny Castilla, left, shares a laugh with IF Ozzie Guillen, right, during infield exercises on the first day of Spring Training Thursday in St. Petersburg. JAMES BORCHUCK | Times
Rays 3B Vinny Castilla, left, shares a laugh with IF Ozzie Guillen, right, during infield exercises on the first day of Spring Training Thursday in St. Petersburg. JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

6. Ozzie Guillen inf

YEAR: 2000

In a sentence: Related: First ex-Ray to be a manager.

Tampa Bay Rays’ Grady Sizemore just misses making a catch on a double by Toronto Blue Jays’ Cliff Pennington during the second inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Tampa Bay Rays’ Grady Sizemore just misses making a catch on a double by Toronto Blue Jays’ Cliff Pennington during the second inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

7. Grady Sizemore of

YEAR: 2015

In a sentence: Cleveland cover boy tried to keep playing.

Ken Hill, Photo provided by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Ken Hill, Photo provided by the Tampa Bay Rays.

8. Ken Hill p

YEAR: 2001

In a sentence: Unable to add on to his 117 victories.

Tampa Bay Rays Troy Percival closses out the game against the Florida Marlins Saturday, June 14, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. [Times files (2008)]
Tampa Bay Rays Troy Percival closses out the game against the Florida Marlins Saturday, June 14, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. [Times files (2008)]

9. Troy Percival p

YEAR: 2009

In a sentence: Was key piece of 2008 uprising.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays reliever John Rocker bows his head as he leaves the field after walking Detroit Tigers’ Bobby Higginson and Dmitri Young during the eighth inning Friday, May 9, 2003, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Martin)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays reliever John Rocker bows his head as he leaves the field after walking Detroit Tigers’ Bobby Higginson and Dmitri Young during the eighth inning Friday, May 9, 2003, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Martin)

10. John Rocker p

YEAR: 2003

In a sentence: Rays don't seem to be claiming this one.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays catcher Charles Johnson in the dugout, Wednesday, April 6, 2005 at Tropicana Field. [Times files (2005)]
Tampa Bay Devil Rays catcher Charles Johnson in the dugout, Wednesday, April 6, 2005 at Tropicana Field. [Times files (2005)]
Check out the rest of Marc Topkin’s coverage here, on:

20 words on the 20th anniversary
20 numbers to remember
The 20 weirdest moments
Tampa Bay's 20 'Forrest Gump moments'
20 years of Rays and 'the things we've loved' about them
Greatest moments in franchise history
Best signings, trades and deals
20 players you forgot ever played for them
20 most notable draft picks
20 Things we've hated over the years
The 20 best players
The 20 best quotes
Recounting the 20 most memorable injuries
The 20 worst players
Worst signings, trades and deals
Ranking every season

11. Charles Johnson c

YEAR: 2005

In a sentence: Seemed like he was always a Marlin.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays Chris Singleton (10) makes his way from the dugout as the Rays take the field in their home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Tropicana Field in downtown St. Petersburg Monday. DIRK SHADD | Times
Tampa Bay Devil Rays Chris Singleton (10) makes his way from the dugout as the Rays take the field in their home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Tropicana Field in downtown St. Petersburg Monday. DIRK SHADD | Times

12. Chris Singleton of

YEAR: 2005

In a sentence: A lot more words now than hits then.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays players congratulate Travis Lee, center, in the dugout after he hit a solo home run off Milwaukee Brewers reliever Ricky Bottalico during the eighth inning Monday, June 13, 2005, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Devil Rays won 6-4. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays players congratulate Travis Lee, center, in the dugout after he hit a solo home run off Milwaukee Brewers reliever Ricky Bottalico during the eighth inning Monday, June 13, 2005, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Devil Rays won 6-4. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

13. Travis Lee 1b

YEAR: 2006

In a sentence: More games with the Rays than anyone.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher Jae Seo, of South Korea, reacts after giving up a fifth-inning home run to Detroit Tigers’ Craig Monroe during a baseball game Thursday night Aug. 3, 2006, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher Jae Seo, of South Korea, reacts after giving up a fifth-inning home run to Detroit Tigers’ Craig Monroe during a baseball game Thursday night Aug. 3, 2006, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

14. Jae Seo p

YEAR: 2007

In a sentence: Made Devil Rays known in South Korea.

Tampa Bay Rays’ Luke Scott high-fives teammates after the Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-0 in a baseball game Saturday, June 8, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
Tampa Bay Rays’ Luke Scott high-fives teammates after the Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-0 in a baseball game Saturday, June 8, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

15. Luke Scott dh/of

YEAR: 2013

In a sentence: Or maybe he's still hunting for hits.

Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Heath Bell (13) talks with Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor before the Minnesota Twins against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Kapoor threw the ceremonial first pitch. [Times file (2014)]
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Heath Bell (13) talks with Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor before the Minnesota Twins against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Kapoor threw the ceremonial first pitch. [Times file (2014)]

16. Heath Bell p

YEAR: 2014

In a sentence: Never seemed to be a good fit.

Tampa Bay Rays’ Gabe Kapler is congratulated by third-base coach Tom Foley as he rounds the base on his way to score on a home run hit against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday June 12, 2009 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Tampa Bay Rays’ Gabe Kapler is congratulated by third-base coach Tom Foley as he rounds the base on his way to score on a home run hit against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday June 12, 2009 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

17. Gabe Kapler of

YEAR: 2010

In a sentence: Raised IQ in the clubhouse for sure.

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Alexei Ramirez (24) after flying out in the fifth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. WILL VRAGOVIC | Times
Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Alexei Ramirez (24) after flying out in the fifth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

18. Alexei Ramirez inf

YEAR: 2016

In a sentence: Seemed like he was always a White Sox.

Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Rickie Weeks (8) doubles, scoring second baseman Brad Miller (13), in the second inning of the game between the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. [Times files]
Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Rickie Weeks (8) doubles, scoring second baseman Brad Miller (13), in the second inning of the game between the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. [Times files]

19 Rickie Weeks inf/DH

YEAR: 2017

In a sentence: Passed over as top '03 pick for Delmon Young.

Dave Eiland tosses a curve ball during his 99-pitch performance against the Angels in St. Petersburg. [Times files (2000)]
Dave Eiland tosses a curve ball during his 99-pitch performance against the Angels in St. Petersburg. [Times files (2000)]

20. Dave Eiland p

YEAR: 2000

In a sentence: A better coach than he was player.

* spring training

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays