The Tampa Bay Rays is a quite young professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The franchise competes in the American League East division of Major League Baseball.
Since the beginning of the 1960s, the authorities had attempted to locate in St. Petersburg own baseball team to play in MBL. Jack Lake, St. Petersburg Times publisher, supposed to turn St. Petersburg from an offseason training location to a major league city.
In the 1980s and 1990s, local officials made zillions of unsuccessful attempts to acquire a major league baseball team, like the Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners. They were offered both significant payment and better training conditions after moving to either Tampa or St. Petersburg. However, there was no deal. The Tropicana Field, a domed stadium, was built in St. Petersburg in 1990 to lure a major league club.
The Tampa Bay Rays franchise was founded in 1998. The Tropicana Field has been the team’s home since its inaugural season. Constant losses marked Their first decade of play: they finished seasons in the last place in the East division until 2002, when they managed to get into the top three.
Initially, the team was called the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, a reference to the cartilaginous fish, but after the 2007 season, the club owner Stuart Sternberg changed the team’s name from “Devil Rays” to “Tampa Bay Rays.” There were several names to choose from, like the “Aces,” “Bandits,” “Cannons,” “Dukes,” “Stripes,” and “Nine,” Sternberg’s personal favorite. The new name referred to a burst of sunshine rather than a long horn-shaped tail of a manta ray. The new team color scheme included navy, Columbia blue, and a touch of gold.
After changing the name and logo in 2008, the Tampa Bay Rays opened their winning season. In 2008, they won in the American League East division and beat the Boston Red Sox to get to the first World Series in franchise history. Unfortunately, they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies. Since then, the Rays have played in the World Series in 2010, 2011, and 2013. The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are the Tampa Bay Rays’ principal rivals.
Meaning and History
The short history of the baseball franchise (which appeared in 1998) has four logos. According to their content, they are divided into two groups: before 2008 and after. This precise classification is due to the style of individual symbols, which underwent a redesign at the end of 2000. If earlier it combined text and graphics, then only the verbal part became predominant.
1998 – 2000
Since the initial team’s name was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the first logo featured a devil ray swimming leftwards while the “Devil Rays” wordmark was situated below and “Tampa Bay” wordmark above the straight length of the tail. Behind this, there was an oval bearing a rainbow gradient.
2001 – 2007
In 2001, the Tampa Bay Rays logo was replaced with a similar one, yet much starker in appearance. The black devil ray was still headed in the same direction. Moreover, it was now situated below the “Tampa Bay” inscription. The oval was present as well, but it, too, received a change to being blue and green from its previous rainbow gradient. The “Devil Rays” wordmark was removed from the logo.
2008 – 2018
In 2008, the Tampa Bay Rays needed a new logo because of their name change. Thus, the devil ray was phased out. In its place, there was now a sunburst in the “R” of the navy blue-scripted “Rays” that now took the central position. The elongated tail of the “R” is a symbol of the waters. The emblem Tampa Bay Rays looked like a blue-outlined white baseball diamond. The navy blue color symbolizes the deep waters, while bright blue means Florida’s sky. The sunburst stands for sunny Florida.
2019 – present
Very recently, the Tampa Bay Rays have made one more slight change to their logo. The modern version was adopted in 2019. It builds on the previous version, from which the baseball court, which served as the background for the word “Rays,” disappeared. In the updated version, the developers have increased the inscription, leaving everything else unchanged.
As before, “R” is depicted with an extended leg in the form of an inverted arch or wave crest. It connects to “A” and reaches the bottom notch “Y.” All elements have a double border on the right, forming a kind of shadow, creating a 3D effect. The upper half of the capital letter is a shining star with seven sharp rays of varying lengths.
Font and Color of the Emblem
The debut logo was radically different from modern versions since the club had a different name. The first two options included the image of the sea devil – a huge stingray. It crossed a diagonally located oval, on which was written “TAMPA BAY” in the second logo, and in the first one in addition to it – “DEVIL RAY.”
The two remaining emblems contain the team’s wordmark as a result of the rebranding. At first, the word “Rays” was on a diamond-shaped background – a baseball stadium with all lines and bases. Then the designers simplified the logo so that it was visible on the current media.
The Tampa Bay Rays logo appears to use a font reminiscent of Hermecito A SC. This is a serif font designed by designer Ari Rafaeli and published by ARTypes. All letters are in uppercase, but the first is still different in size and is much larger than the rest. The zest of the inscription is in the elongated leg “R,” personifying the waves.
The color palette of the logo is also related to the water theme. Dark blue combined with light blue symbolizes the ocean and echoes the name of the baseball club. Yellow conveys the hot sun and hot sands of Florida, while white serves as a background and provides additional contrast.