The Rays entered the ninth inning of Monday’s loss to the Los Angeles Angels with a chance for a very cool little historical nugget. The team was trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, but Daniel Robertson drew a two-out walk, meaning “walk-offs were now available” as Michael Martinez stepped to the plate. Of course Martinez has a career isolated power of .061 and just six home runs in 597 career plate appearances, so the odds of a walk-off home run were low, but it would have been fitting.
As many of you know, the Rays have not had a walk-off home run - a play which Adam Sanford correctly designated the most exciting way to end a game - in exactly three years. The last time the Rays had a walk-off home run was May 22, 2014, when Sean Rodriguez hit a three-run jack in extra innings to top Luke Gregerson and the Oakland A’s. Rodriguez is now rehabbing his shoulder for the Atlanta Braves, while Gregerson stayed in the AL West, now locking down impact innings for the Houston Astros.
It’s not too surprising to see those two players in new spots - a lot has changed since the last Rays’ walk-off. In honor of passing the three-year mark without a walk-off home run, here’s a list of just some of the many things that have changed since the last Rays’ walk-off homer:
- Not one but two volumes of Guardians of the Galaxy were released into theaters.
- Chris Pratt took the eternal lead in the “Battle of the Chrises” against Chris Pine, Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth.
- Britain Brexited the European Union.
- The finale of How I Met Your Mother aired on TV. (Team Cristin Milioti personally.)
- The Patriots won not one but two Super Bowls. (Booooooooo!)
- Left Shark was a thing that happened.
- The Hamilton phenomenon occurred.
- The San Antonio Spurs won a title. That’s right, teams that didn’t have a collection of superstars/LeBron used to win titles, that’s how long ago we’re talking.
- Rachel Dolezal had a 15 minutes of fame she’d rather not have had.
- A lot of people got really sick of hearing about a stupid dress that looked different colors to different people. (White and gold over here.)
- The ice bucket challenge came and went (and raised $115 for ALS research).
- Pizza Rat.
- The San Francisco Giants won their third title in five years.
- The Kansas City Royals won their first title in 30 years.
- The Chicago Cubs won their first title in 108 years.
- And oh yeah, some guy named Trump made a bunch of headlines.
Have any other funny moments that happened since the last time the Rays hit a walk-off home run? I know you do, so toss them in the comments section below and hopefully the Rays get off the schneid with a walk-off long ball before too many more crazy headlines need to be included in this ever-growing list.