When Wil Myers lifted a long fly ball to center at Yankee Stadium, he believed it was gone and proceeded to do his signature bat flip and casual jog towards first. Jacoby Ellsbury didn't think so though, as he ran back and attempted to scale the center field wall, only to have the ball ricochet off the wall and into his gut, then bounce towards the right field corner.
Carlos Beltran, who had been stationed in right field, thought that Ellsbury was more than capable of handling the ball on his own and only went for the ball after it had rolled along the wall for a bit. By the time Beltran reached the ball and threw it in, Myers was rounding 3rd and scored easily for an inside the park homerun.
It had been a rare play for the Rays, as the last one had occurred in September of 2011. But Myers was the first of three Rays to accomplish the feat in 2014.
To date, there have been 13 in the team's history, here are the players that are included in that illustrious club:
- Dave Martinez
- Randy Winn (2)
- Chris Gomez
- Rey Sanchez
- Carl Crawford (3)
- Evan Longoria
- Ben Zobrist
- Wil Myers
- Kevin Kiermaier
- David DeJesus
Sanchez's Game Winner
When: June 11th, 2004
Against: Shawn Chacon of the Colorado Rockies
Where: Tropicana Field
This play will forever live on as the single greatest play I have ever witnessed live in person. Bottom of the tenth, after a typical Devil Rays game where they had the lead, but blew it in the 9th only to tie it in the bottom half of the inning. Rey Sanchez came up against Shawn Chacon of the Colorado Rockies. Keep in mind that Sanchez hadn't hit a home run since April of 2002.
On a 2-2 pitch, Sanchez looped a low liner to shallow right field. Jeromy Burnitz charged in on it, but the ball sailed just beneath his glove and back into the the right field corner. Burnitz immediately recognized his misplay, but slipped and fell on the Trop's turf as he was turning to run for the ball.
As soon as Sanchez saw the ball go by Burnitz, he turned the jets on and dashed around the bases. Choo Freeman chased the ball down and fired in, but unbeknownst to him, Sanchez was already rounding 3rd. Freeman turned and threw towards third, meanwhile his cutoff men were stationed along the foul line so no one fielded his throw and Sanchez scored easily giving the Devil Rays a thrilling 8-7, walkoff win.
I Miss Watching CC Run the Bases
When: April 13th, 2007
Against: Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins
Where: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
In the top of the 6th inning, Carl Crawford was facing off against Minnesota Twins ace, Johan Santana. The Devil Rays had taken a 3-1 lead the previous inning. The count reached 1-2, when Santana tried to paint the outside corner with a fastball, but Crawford was able to reach out and slap the ball into left field.
Jose Rabe, the Twins left fielder, tried to run it down but had the ball bounce under his glove and roll back to the corner. By that time, Crawford was already halfway to 2nd. Rabe chased the ball down into the corner, but by the time he reached it, Crawford was already rounding 3rd. The ball came in, but was way too late and Crawford scored easily for his 3rd HR of the year and 2nd career inside the parker.
Video - Crawford's Inside-The-Park Homer
When: July 20th, 2009
Against: Gavin Floyd of the Chicago White Sox
Where: U.S. Cellular Field
Carl Crawford was leading off the top of the 4th inning against Gavin Floyd. The White Sox had taken a 4-1 lead the previous inning thanks to a 3-Run HR from Paul Konerko. The count reached 1-1, when Crawford lifted a high fly ball to deep center field.
Chicago's speedy center fielder, Scott Podsednik, was racing back towards the wall. He went up and scaled the fence, only to have the ball ricochet of wall and roll toward no-man's land along the center field wall. By this time, Crawford was already rounding 2nd; he was already halfway home when Jermaine Dye retrieved the ball and scored easily with his 9th HR of the year and 3rd career inside-the-parker.
Longoria's Crazy Line Drive
When: June 12th, 2011
Against: Jeremy Accardo of the Baltimore Orioles
Where: Camden Yards
Evan Longoria stepped up the plate in the top of the 8th inning with the Rays leading 7-5. Ben Zobrist had led off the inning with a single, then Justin Ruggiano flew out for the 1st out of the inning. Jeremy Accardo came out and replaced Mike Gonzalez and Longoria was the first batter he faced.
The count reached 1-2 when Longoria drilled a ball to center. Adam Jones seemed to have a bead on it, but then the ball twisted away from Jones. The gold glove center fielder made a desperate attempt to catch it, but the ball sailed by him and back to the wall.
Jones had no choice, but to retrieve the ball himself. He got up and ran for the wall, retrieved the ball and threw it in, but it was too late as Longoria slid in safely with his 5th HR of the year.
Zobrist Benefits from Bautista's Ill-fated Attempt
When: September 25th, 2011
Against: Brett Cecil of the Toronto Blue Jays
Where: Tropicana Field
Approaching the end of the 2011 season, every game was a must win for the Rays as they were battling for the AL Wild Card. In the bottom of the 1st inning, B.J. Upton had already blasted a solo home run with 1 out. Ben Zobrist came up with 2 outs after Longoria grounded out.
The count reached 1-2, when Zobrist lift a fly ball deep towards the right field corner. Jose Bautista charged back for it, as he got closer to the wall, he outstretched his glove. Bautista had his eye on the ball, until the last second when he looked for the wall, then crashed into it at full speed. Bautista fell to the ground and the ball bounced back towards the playing field. Zobrist had reached 3rd by the time Dewayne Wise got to the ball. Wise threw the ball to the cutoff man, Kelly Johnson, who rocketed the ball home, but the throw was high and Zobrist slid in safely with his 19th HR of the year.
Kiermaier Nails Bradley in the Eye
When: May 31st, 2014
Against: Alex Wilson of the Boston Red Sox
Where: Fenway Park
Kevin Kiermaier's emergence onto the Rays roster was one of the lone high points of the 2014 season. He was still trying to earn his spot on the roster when he came to bat in the top of the 8th inning against Alex Wilson. The Rays were being shut out, 7-0, when Wilson replaced the starter, Rubby De La Rosa. Kiermaier was the first batter to face Wilson.
On a 2-1 pitch, Kiermaier drove a ball to left-center field. Jackie Bradley ran back on it and tracked it to the Green Monster. He timed his leap and went up for it, only to have the ball land on his face and bounce away. Bradley fell into a fetal position and Jonny Gomes retrieved the ball. Kiermaier was easily able to slide in before the throw for his 2nd career HR, but as soon as he got up, he took a look out towards to center where Gomes was tending to Bradley, who would stay in the game.
DeJesus Causes Collision
When: September 7th, 2014
Against: Bud Norris of the Baltimore Orioles
Where: Tropicana Field
On September 7th, 2014, home runs were being hit all over Tropicana Field. Of the 6 total home runs, Nelson Cruz accounted for 2 of them, and Longoria, Kiermaier, Loney, and DeJesus provided the other 4. DeJesus's, though, didn't leave the playing field.
In the bottom of the 4th, with the Rays up 2-0 and after 2 very quick outs, DeJesus stepped up. On a 0-1 pitch, DeJesus flared one into left-center field. Alejandro De Aza and David Lough were both converging on it. De Aza reached out first and had the ball go in his glove, but Lough ran into De Aza and caused him to fling the ball out of his glove and far away towards the left field corner.
Both players ran hard for the ball and De Aza made a desperate throw, but DeJesus crossed home at about the same time for his 6th HR of the year and 4th career inside the parker.