Every sports fan dreams of seeing their favorite team win a championship. The Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers are within touching distance of making those hopes become a reality. Those two clubs, of course, are squaring off in the 2020 World Series and fighting for the right to lift the Commissioners’ Trophy.
While the Dodgers have a long history, stretching back to their days in Brooklyn, the Florida club is a newer arrival to the baseball scene. In fact, the Tampa Bay Rays are still chasing their first-ever World Series title.
The history of the Tampa Bay Rays
This year, the Tampa Bay Rays claimed the American League title and earned a place in the World Series. 30 years ago, however, that sentence would have seemed utterly unbelievable.
The Tampa Bay Devils Rays franchise was officially born in March 1995, entering the league alongside the Arizona Diamondbacks. They first took the field in 1998 and, despite winning getting off to a decent start, struggled. The club limped to a 63-99 record, finishing 51 games back in the division.
The Devil Rays continued to struggle, failing to win more than 70 games in their first 10 years of existence. In 2008, the franchise shook things up, dropping the ‘Devil’ portion of their names and updating their uniforms; that fall, the club qualified for the postseason for the first time and made a run to the World Series.
That postseason run, however, didn’t exactly help the franchise turn a corner. While the Rays are miles better than they were in their earliest days, they’ve been on a bit of a roller coaster ride; since reaching the world series in 2008, they’ve made the playoffs five times while finishing below .500 in four campaigns.
Have the Tampa Bay Rays ever won a World Series title?
As mentioned above, the Tampa Bay Rays have appeared in one World Series.
In 2008, the Rays got off to a hot start and never looked back. They cruised to the AL East title, finishing the season 97-65; after marching past the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox, the club found itself in the Fall Classic. The Philadelphia Phillies, however, proved to be too much, and the Rays lost the series 4-1.
Since they haven’t made it back to the championship round until this fall, the Tampa Bay Rays have not won a World Series. Their fans, however, will be hoping that Kevin Cash’s men can change that in the coming days.
5 other teams have never won a World Series title
While no sports team wants to hold the dubious distinction of never winning a championship, the Tampa Bay Rays aren’t alone in that regard. In fact, there are five other teams who have never won the World Series.
In addition to the Rays, the Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, and Milwaukee Brewers have reached the Fall Classic but failed to win. The Seattle Mariners, however, have never even reached the World Series.
All of that history, however, could change if the Tampa Bay Rays can out-duel the LA Dodgers. The Florida franchise might not have a World Series title yet but, they’re now within touching distance of the title.
The Tampa Bay Lightning just won the Stanley Cup; Tom Brady has joined the Buccaneers. The Rays will be hoping that it’s their turn to make a splash.
Stats and records courtesy of Baseball-Reference