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Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day Countdown: 12 days to go

A Hall of Fame third baseman is the only player to wear the number 12 in team history

Cleveland Indians v Tampa Bay Devils Rays

There are now 12 days until Opening Day.

Thanks to Vince Naimoli, and Wade Boggs, there has only been one player in franchise history to don the number 12.

  • Wade Boggs (1998-1999)

In December of 1997, the Devil Rays signed veteran third baseman and Tampa native, Wade Boggs. The future Hall of Famer would be the starting third baseman for the team during their inaugural game, bashing the team’s first home run during the sixth inning.

During the 1998 season, Boggs provided the Devil Rays with a quality year as he accrued 1.4 fWAR while hitting .280/.348/.400 with 7 HR over 123 games.

During the 1999 season, Wade Boggs slowly trekked towards 3,000 career hits.

Boggs would only play in 90 games that season, hitting .301/.377/.377 and totaling a career low in fWAR (-0.4). However, in August he would finally reach 3,000 career hits and he became the first player in baseball history to launch a home run for his 3,000th career hit.

Boggs would announce his retirement following the season and joined the team’s coaching staff as their new hitting coach in 2000. During the 2000 season, the Devil Rays would retire Boggs’ number 12.

Check back tomorrow as the countdown continues.