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Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day countdown: 26 days to go

The number 26 throughout the team’s history

Tampa Bay Devil Rays v Seattle Mariners Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

There are 26 days until Opening Day, March 29th.

The number 26 in franchise history has been worn by the following players:

  • Tim Laker (1998)
  • Tony Graffanino (1999-2000)
  • Andy Sheets (2001-2002)
  • Jared Sandberg (2003)
  • Brook Fordyce (2004)
  • Scott Kazmir (2005)
  • Delmon Young (2006-2007)
  • Dan Johnson (2008)
  • Gabe Gross (2008-2009)
  • Stephen Vogt (2012)
  • Brad Boxberger (2014-2017)

Several memorable moments have occurred for these players while donning the number 26.

Andy Sheets wore the jersey when he was a part of the first triple play in franchise history on September 13th, 2002 in Toronto, as he caught a low liner off the bat of Ken Huckaby. The Blue Jays had went with the hit-and-run, so both runners were off with the pitch. Sheets, after catching the line drive, flipped to second to double off Chris Woodward, the Rays short stop (Chris Gomez), would then complete the triple play as he doubled off Dave Berg.

Delmon Young, one of the most highly touted prospects in baseball history, donned the number 26 when he arrived at the major league level. Although his performance while with the Rays was lackluster, he still provided some nice moments as he belted this walk-off home run against the Texas Rangers while the two teams were playing at Disney.

Brad Boxberger came to the Rays in a trade following the 2013 season, and was pretty much an unknown to most fans.

That changed halfway through the 2014 season when Boxberger was promoted and proceeded to strikeout nearly half of the batters he faced. One outing in particular stands out as he into a bases loaded situation with nobody out. Boxberger would set down the next three batters on strikes, using just nine pitches, an immaculate inning.

Check back tomorrow as the countdown continues.