One of the country’s most exclusive new museums is right here in Tampa Bay – but it’s only open around 80 days per year. The Rays Museum, now open every gameday, is the newest and most historic addition to Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The walk-through museum has four exhibits clustered in the four left field alcoves of the concourse on the field level, showcasing incredible Rays memorabilia, stories and stars. Access to the museum is free for any ticket holder, and each exhibit highlights a unique part of the relatively young but exceedingly successful franchise.
The four exhibits are titled ‘Chasing Pennants;’ ‘Hello, Big Leagues;’ ‘Rays Cave;’ and ‘Rays Greats Clubhouse.’ While each exhibit tickles the nostalgic senses of even the youngest fans, locals may find Hello, Big Leagues to be among the most enjoyable of the new museum’s displays.
Celebrate all things Devil Rays in the Rays Museum
Hello, Big Leagues is one part history tour from the franchise’s first season, and one part shrine to all things Devil Rays. The exhibit shows the distinct Devil Rays uniforms and gear, detailing how the franchise changed its look early on. It also features items from the inaugural game and season, bringing fans back in time to when the team was first introduced to Tampa Bay.
In addition to authentic Devil Rays uniforms, highlights of Hello, Big Leagues include Toby Hall game-used and signed catcher’s gear, the ceremonial first-pitch ball from the team’s inaugural game, draft cards from the 1997 expansion draft, and a ball and uniform signed by the 1998 team.
If Hello, Big Leagues is a celebration of the Rays’ roots, then Chasing Pennants puts the exclamation point on what the franchise is capable of. Highlighting Tampa Bay’s two AL Championship seasons, it tells the story of the 2008 team that went from “worst-to-first,” shocking the American League on its way to its first AL pennant, and the 2020 team and its COVID-shortened season, as well as the historic run by Randy Arozarena.
Coaches and players celebrated throughout Rays Museum
Next door, Rays Cave and the Rays Greats Clubhouse are shrines to the incredible coaches and players who have made Rays history. Rays Cave celebrates the awards and honors bestowed upon Tampa Bay’s past and present stars, including David Price’s Cy Young Award, Kevin Kiermaier’s Gold Glove Award, All-Star Game uniforms, and even game bats from Dan Johnson and Evan Longoria.
Meanwhile, the Rays Greats Clubhouse honors players who helped put the Rays on the map and established the franchise in the league. It highlights Fred McGriff and Wade Boggs, early members of the club who provided legitimate star power, as well as Carl Crawford, James Shields and Evan Longoria, who helped usher in a new era of baseball at Tropicana Field. Here, you’ll find game-used gear, signed memorabilia and much more.
While admission to the museum is free once inside Tropicana Field, game tickets are required for entry to the stadium. And while you’re there, check out our story on all the great new food available at Rays games this year.