Per the Tampa Bay Times, third baseman Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays took sole possession of first place on the all-time franchise home run list this weekend, hitting career homer No. 164 in Saturday's 16-1 rout of the New York Yankees. He broke a tie with the previous record holder, Carlos Pena, who hit 163 of his 285 career homers as a member of the Rays.
Longoria, who was selected by the Rays with the third overall pick in the 2006 first-year player draft, has played for just one team in his seven-year major league career.
His 816 games as a Ray rank fourth in the team's record books, while his 554 RBI rank second, just 38 behind Carl Crawford's 592. With 37.2 career wins above replacement (WAR), Longoria edges out Crawford (35.5 WAR) and jack-of-all-trades Ben Zobrist (32.5 WAR) as the Rays' all-time leader.
Crawford is Longoria's only real challenger for the title of best player in franchise history, as the Rays have existed for just 17 seasons, the first 10 of which failed to produce a single winning record.
In addition to RBI, Crawford is the franchise's all-time leader in batting average (.296), games played (1,235), at-bats (4,992), runs (765), hits (1,480), total bases (2,217), doubles (215) and triples (105).
Despite Crawford's slew of records, Longoria is widely viewed as the most important player in Rays history by both the team's fans and fans of baseball in general. Crawford left Tampa Bay for a big contract with the rival Boston Red Sox after the 2010 season, and many of the outfielder's exploits as a Ray came during the team's cellar-dwelling years.
Longoria, on the other hand, is signed through 2022 with a team option for 2023. There's little question he will be with the Rays for a long time, and his tenure with the team has coincided with its rise to perennial-contender status.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference unless otherwise noted.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!