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20 years of the Rays: Tampa Bay’s 20 ‘Forrest Gump moments’

20/20 Vision: The 20 most notable times the Rays were present as something historic passed by.
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz hits his 500th career home run in the fifth inning off Matt Moore during a game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. LOREN ELLIOTT  | Times
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz hits his 500th career home run in the fifth inning off Matt Moore during a game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. LOREN ELLIOTT | Times
Published Mar. 25, 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.

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 who surprisingly finished with them
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
Ranking every season

The Rays seem to have been a party to — as witnesses or guests — a number of historical and other noteworthy events, in addition to the five no-hitters (including three perfect games) thrown against them. Among them:

• July 5, 1998, at SkyDome: Toronto's Roger Clemens logs his 3,000th strikeout, Randy Winn.

• Sept. 2, 1999, at Camden Yards: Baltimore's Cal Ripken hits his 400th homer, off Rolando Arrojo.

• Sept. 25, 2001, at Yankee Stadium: The first game in the Bronx after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

• June 3, 2003, at Wrigley Field: Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa is caught using a corked bat after it breaks when he hits a ground ball against Jeremi Gonzalez and catcher Toby Hall picks up the barrel. Sosa is ejected and later suspended.

• June 20, 2003, at Pro Player Stadium: Miguel Cabrera makes his majors debut for the Marlins, marking the occasion with a two-run walkoff homer in the 11th inning.

• July 25, 2003, at U.S. Cellular Field: Chicago's Frank Thomas hits his 400th homer, off Jorge Sosa.

• Sept. 25, 2003, at SkyDome: Carlos Delgado ties the modern-day record with four homers in a game, two off Jorge Sosa, one each off Joe Kennedy and Lance Carter.

• June 15, 2004, at Petco Park: The Rays are welcomed to San Diego by a 5.4-magnitude earthquake that rattled the stadium and forced players still at the hotel to walk down 20 flights of stairs.

• Sept. 3, 2008, at Tropicana Field: The first use of MLB's new replay system. Rays manager Joe Maddon asked the umpires to reconsider a fair call on an Alex Rodriguez blast over the leftfield foul pole and off the catwalk. Crew chief Charlie Reliford decided to go to the tape. The call stood.

• Sept. 19, 2008, at Tropicana Field: The first call reversed under MLB's new replay system. After a fan reached for a Carlos Pena drive to right, the umpires ruled Pena had to stop at second. Manager Joe Maddon asked them reconsider. After a four-minute review, they changed the call to a homer.

• Aug. 20, 2009, at Angel Stadium: Los Angeles' Vladimir Guerrero hits his 400th homer, off Russ Springer.

• Sept. 4, 2009, at Tropicana Field: Fernando Rodney, then with Detroit, marks getting the final out by throwing the ball from the mound into the press box, leading to a three-game suspension.

• July 16, 2010, at Yankee Stadium: The first game following the death of Tampa-based Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who was honored in a pregame ceremony.

• July 9, 2011, at Yankee Stadium: Derek Jeter gets his 3,000th hit, a homer off David Price.

• April 15, 2013, at Fenway Park: The Rays were in the clubhouse after losing to the Red Sox when bombs went off near the Boston Marathon finish line, sending the city into chaos.

• May 2, 2013, at Kauffman Stadium: Snow forces the Rays' game against the Royals to be stopped in the fourth inning and eventually postponed, with a Yule log displayed on the video board and Let It Snow playing. It was the first measured May snow in Kansas City since 1907.

• Sept. 26, 2013, at Yankee Stadium: Mariano Rivera is honored in last home game.

• Sept. 13, 2015, at Tropicana Field: David Ortiz hits his 500th homer, off Matt Moore.

• April 6, 2016, at Tropicana Field: The first enforcement of the new second-base slide rule. Toronto's Jose Bautista is called out after a review, taking two Toronto runs off board and giving the Rays a win.

• Aug. 12, 2016, at Yankee Stadium: Alex Rodriguez is honored in his final game.