I remember going to a game in June 2004 when the Colorado Rockies were at Tropicana Field to take on the Devil Rays. Checking the attendance through Baseball Reference shows it was one of the lowest attended games of the year, but a moment occurred during the game that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
In the top of the second, Vinny Castilla came to the plate for Colorado and as his name was announced, the less than 10,000 strong at the Trop that night roared with thunderous booing. It was the loudest thing I had ever heard in my thus far brief existence.
Three pitches later, the stadium managed to get louder as he went down quickly on strikes. The stadium followed that same trend throughout the night. No matter the situation Castilla came up in, he was met with an aggressively loud Tropicana Field crowd.
Not knowing the backstory at the time, Castilla had come to Tampa Bay following the 1999 season. During the 90’s, he was one of the top slugging third baseman in all of baseball, but stumbled upon his arrival and was cut following a season and a half of pathetic performances, only to resurrect his career shortly after and go on to achieve solid success for a few more years outside of Tampa Bay.
I’m sure in the years since there have been players the Rays faithful have hated more than Castilla, but I’ve never been present at a game in which a player was met with more hostility than Castilla received during that game in 2004.
This leads me to wonder: Which current players do Rays fans love to hate?
Let us know your answer in the comments.