Rick Baker, right, served as mayor of St. Petersburg from 2001 to 2010, during which time the Tampa Bay Rays pursued a waterfront ballpark on the Al Lang Stadium site.
Baker has met with council members to make a name change part of the Tampa Bay Rays stadium deal.
After a nearly 30% increase in attendance led to its highest total since 2014, the team will follow a mostly similar plan for 2024.
Having dealt with a mini stroke and prostate cancer, the longtime manager from Tampa is hopeful that Sunday’s vote leads him to Cooperstown.
Tampa’s Gary Sheffield, who hit 509 home runs, returns for his 10th and final year on the BBWWA ballot.


  1. Rick Baker, right, served as mayor of St. Petersburg from 2001 to 2010, during which time the Tampa Bay Rays pursued a waterfront ballpark on the Al Lang Stadium site.
  2. The Rays saw a  27.7% increase in attendance from 2022 at their home games this past season.
  3. Tampa native and former Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella in the office at his Tampa home on Nov. 14, amid some of the memorabilia from his storied baseball career.
  4. James Shields tips his cap to the crowd after being taken out of a World Series game on Oct. 23, 2008, in St. Petersburg.
  5. The Rays will be without, from left, pitchers Drew Rasmussen, Shane McClanahan and Jeffrey Springs for much or all of the 2024 season.
  6. The Rays have survived regular seasons without Blake Snell, but they could have used their former ace in the playoffs after first-round losses the past three seasons.
  7. Andrew Lindsey pitches for Tennessee against LSU during the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., on June 17. He was drafted by the Marlins in the fifth round the next month.
  8. San Diego Padres  and former Rays left-handed pitcher Blake Snell won his second Cy Young award on Wednesday.
  9. This rendering released by the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday shows the interior of a proposed new ballpark on the site of Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
  10. The Rays' Yandy Diaz celebrates with his teammates after hitting a two-run home run against the Atlanta Braves during a game in July at Tropicana Field.
  11. Rays infielder Austin Shenton was acquired from Seattle, along with reliever JT Chargois, in exchange for reliever Diego Castillo in July 2021.
  12. The Rays' Kevin Cash has been among the top three in American League Manager of the Year voting five times in the last six years, winning in 2020 and 2021, and finishing third in 2018, 2019 and now 2023.
  13. Tyler Glasnow was certainly a prime topic of discussion at the MLB general managers meetings, given the industry-wide demand for starting pitching and his $25 million salary for 2024.
  14. Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Tyler Alexander plays during a game in June in Detroit.
  15. Yandy Diaz became just the fourth player in Rays history to win a Silver Slugger award, joining Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena.
  16. Michael Johns was promoted from Triple-A Durham manager to first base coach for the Rays on Wednesday.
  17. Michael Johns, expected to be named the Rays' first base coach, served as manager at Class A Charlotte from 2015-17.
  18. Rays manager Kevin Cash, shown here during a batting practice in August, is one of three finalists for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America's AL Manager of the Year award.
  19. Rays relief pitcher Jalen Beeks, acquired in a July 2018 trade, is headed to the Rockies.
  20. Peter Bendix, the Rays' senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, speaks during a news conference at Tropicana Field last month.
  21. “We have a lot of really good talent, we’ve got great people, and we’re in a really good position of strength here to start the winter," Rays baseball operations president Erik Neander said Friday.
  22. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a Sirius XM radio interview he trusts Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg’s decision to make a deal for a new stadium in St. Petersburg.
  23. Christian Bethancourt was the Rays' primary catcher this season, starting 89 games, but struggled at the plate and lost the job to Rene Pinto.
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