All season long, the Tampa Bay Rays have been celebrating their 25th anniversary (as if the team on the field hasn’t given fans enough reasons to celebrate), and this week the club announced more festivities in honor of the occasion. The Rays announced that two new statues will be erected outside the stadium commemorating historic moments in the organization’s history, alongside a 25th anniversary book and several promotional events.
The statues will be unveiled at the Rays’ September 23 game against the Toronto Blue Jays, featuring historic moments by Evan Longoria and Akinori Iwamura. They will be unveiled inside the stadium before they are installed in permanent locations outside Tropicana Field. Two exclusive replica figurines of the Evan Longoria and Akinori Iwamura statues, presented by DEX Imaging, will be available to all fans while supplies last.
Local sculptor Steven Dickey crafted each statue in collaboration with Bronzart Foundry Inc., which works to provide the highest level of craftsmanship at each stage of production to fulfill the sculptor’s vision. The statues represent two of the most iconic moments in franchise history:
- Iwamura as he stepped on second base and leaped into the air for the final out, clinching the 2008 American League pennant and sending the team to the first World Series in franchise history.
- Longoria’s 12th-inning walk-off home run against the New York Yankees to clinch the 2011 AL Wild Card in Game 162.
Rays to release book commemorating 25th anniversary
Additionally, the Rays and the Tampa Bay Times have collaborated on a commemorative book highlighting the top 25 moments in franchise history, written by longtime beat writer Marc Topkin and with a foreword by Stu Sternberg. The book features more than 100 pages of Rays history, photos and key moments, documenting the moment the franchise was awarded in 1995 until the end of the 2022 season. The Rays 25th Anniversary book, published by Skybox Press, will be available to fans in early August at the Bay Republic Team Store at Tropicana Field for $50.
And that’s not all – the franchise will also induct the final member of the 2023 Rays Hall of Fame class with a celebration of the contributions of former player Carl Crawford prior to the game against the New York Yankees on Saturday, August 26. Crawford will be recognized alongside Don Zimmer and Wade Boggs in the Gate 1 Rotunda and in a historical alcove in the left field concourse. A Carl Crawford mystery bobblehead will also be available to all fans while supplies last.
What to read next:
- Vanilla Ice, Lee Brice, Montell Jordan star in Rays postgame concert series
- How to get Rays tickets for $10 or less at every home game this year
- 1771 Designs, local maker of St. Pete shirts, dedicates design to Rays’ Dave Wills
- Foot-long pretzel dog, self-serve beers highlight Rays new concessions offerings