Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Rays’ Tommy Pham delivers a message ‘For any little kid that needs to hear this’

Tampa Bay outfielder stirred images of his challenging childhood with his candor.
Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Tommy Pham (29) rounds the bases after connecting for a solo homer in the first inning against the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the American League Division Series Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Tommy Pham (29) rounds the bases after connecting for a solo homer in the first inning against the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the American League Division Series Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Oct. 9, 2019
Updated Oct. 10, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — Amid the postgame roar at Tropicana Field Tuesday and the euphoria enveloping the team after its 4-1 victory over Houston in Game 4 of the American League Division Series, Rays outfielder Tommy Pham looked back on a far more solitary moment.

His childhood.

Fox Sports One reporter Jon Morosi asked Pham in an interview to reflect on his performance and how far he’s come.

“From Durango High School in Las Vegas, to the Cardinals, to a moment like this, who do you want to thank for helping you get here?” Morosi asked.

“There’s a lot of people I could thank,” Pham started, “But, you know, I’m proud of myself to be honest with you. I remember throwing a ball against the wall, playing catch with myself. Throwing a ball up, hitting it, you know, throwing batting practice to myself. You know what I mean? I believed in myself from a young age."

And the reason why Pham practiced by himself since childhood?

“It ain’t like I had a dad out there to play catch with me or throw me batting practice,” Pham told Morosi. “I’m proud of myself.”

For many fans and peers looking on, the interview proved raw and emotional. But the unvarnished truths about his upbringing struck a chord.

“It made you a dawg,” Rays pitcher Blake Snell commented on Pham’s Instagram post of the interview. “Love it!!”

“If this ain’t my same story I don’t know what is,” commented Braves pitcher Touki Toussaint.

“I felt this s---," former big league pitcher Dontrelle Willis replied. “I was that same kid.”

In Pham’s post, he said his message is “for any little kid that needs to hear this.”

Pham got the Rays offense going early in Tuesday’s game, driving a Justin Verlander changeup to the leftfield seats to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.

The Rays tacked on three more runs against the Astros ace in the 4-1 victory. Pham finished the day 3-for-5 at the dish

Pham played a key role for the Rays this season. The outfielder played through a myriad of injuries to appear in 145 regular season games. He racked up 3.7 wins above replacement, hit .273 and slugged 21 home runs for the Rays this year.

UP NEXT

The Rays take on the Astros in a winner-take-all ALDS game 5 at Minute Maid Park on Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. EST, and the game will be televised on FS1.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow, shown at last year's event with since traded Ryne Stanek, likes the fun and games at Fan Fest.
    Registering on the MLB Ballpark app is necessary for all attendees 18 and older; team says no paper tickets can be used.
  2. For a while, Nick Anderson was nearly unhittable after the Rays acquired him from the Marlins in July. He ended up with 41 strikeouts in 21.1 innings for the Rays in 2019. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
    No one on Tampa Bay’s roster has more than 20 career saves to his name. But the Rays have at least four relievers who could be in line to protect the majority of ninth-inning leads.
  3. The Seattle Mariners' Chris Prieto now is part of the Tampa Bay Rays' staff. [LESLIE PLAZA JOHNSON  |  ZUMAPRESS.com]
    The extensive makeover includes six new hires (including a female athletic trainer) and 16 internal changes in assignment.
  4. Longtime Tampa-based player agent B.B. Abbott plans next month to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer. Here he walks around his South Tampa neighborhood at night with an altitude mask. [B.B. ABBOTT  |  Special to the Times]
    B.B. Abbott will climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer groups.
  5. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash and new Japanese slugger Yoshi Tsutsugo, shown during December press conference, will have a lot to talk about during spring training. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
    Rays Tales | Learning where Yoshi Tsutsugo and other newcomers best fit will be a priority in Port Charlotte.
  6. With pitching coach Kyle Snyder keeping a close eye on him at Tropicana Field on Friday, Rays prospect Brent Honeywell continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2018 and a fractured arm in 2019. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    John Romano | Once Tampa Bay’s top pitching prospect, Brent Honeywell has had elbow surgeries in successive seasons. Healthy again, he hopes to be in the majors this summer.
  7. Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow prepares to warm up on the field during a player workout at Tropicana Field on Friday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Discipline for sign-stealing scheme was lax, Rays pitchers say, as participating hitters should have been disciplined as well.
  8. Members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, who inspired the movie "A League of Their Own," will be honored at the Feb. 1 Ted Williams dinner at Tropicana Field. [GLOBE PHOTOS  |  ZUMAPRESS.com]
    Players from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, like Englewood’s Sue Parsons Zipay, will be honored at Ted Williams Museum event at the Trop.
  9. Diego Castillo (63) kicks a ball around during spring training at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte last February. [TAILYR IRVINE  | TIMES  ]
    Games will be available on TV and streamed; 21 of the exhibitions will be carried on radio.
  10. Derek Jeter speaks during the Baseball Hall of Fame news conference on Wednesday Jan. 22, 2020, a day after joining Larry Walker as members of the 2020 Hall of Fame class. [BEBETO MATTHEWS  |  AP]
    The New York Yankees great and the Baseball Hall of Fame say they are both OK not knowing who the lone voter is that kept Jeter from being a unanimous selection.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement