Clash of Legacy and Determination: Chicago Cubs Vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Kevin Smith

cubs vs rays

The exciting world of Major League Baseball, where the storied Chicago Cubs and the dynamic Tampa Bay Rays have left their mark on the sport.

While not traditionally known as rivals, these teams have captivated fans with their unique histories and iconic moments.

The Chicago Cubs, one of the oldest and most celebrated franchises, finally broke a century-long championship drought in 2016, igniting jubilation among their devoted fanbase.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays, a relatively newer team, have consistently surprised critics, making their mark in the competitive American League. Join us as we delve into the intriguing journeys and highlights of the Cubs vs. Rays rivalry.

History: Chicago Cubs Vs Tampa Bay Rays

The Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays have vastly different histories, given their divergent backgrounds and ages as Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises.

Here’s a comparison of their histories

Founding and Establishment

  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs were established in 1876 as one of the charter members of the National League (NL). They are one of the oldest and most historic franchises in MLB history.

  • Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays, previously known as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, were established in 1998 as an expansion team.
    They were part of a wave of expansion teams that aimed to grow MLB’s presence in newer markets.

Championship Success

  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs have a storied history but have experienced prolonged championship droughts. Their most recent World Series victory came in 2016, ending a 108-year drought, as mentioned in the previous response.

  • Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays, as a newer franchise, have not yet won a World Series. However, they have enjoyed success in recent years, reaching the World Series in 2008, where they faced the Philadelphia Phillies but ultimately fell short.


  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs play their home games at Wrigley Field, which is one of the oldest ballparks in MLB and is renowned for its ivy-covered outfield walls and iconic manual scoreboard. It has a nostalgic and historic charm that makes it a beloved destination for baseball fans.

  • Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays play their home games at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. While it lacks the historical significance of Wrigley Field, it has unique features like the catwalks on the roof that can impact the outcome of a game.

Player Legacies

  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs have seen numerous Hall of Fame players don their uniform, leaving a lasting legacy in baseball history. Players like Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Ferguson Jenkins are revered in Cubs lore.

  • Tampa Bay Rays: While the Rays’ history is shorter, they have had standout players who have made significant impacts on the team and the league. Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, and David Price are among the notable players who have represented the Rays at an elite level.

Fanbase: Chicago Cubs Vs Tampa Bay Rays

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have one of the most passionate and devoted fanbases in all of sports. They are known for their unwavering loyalty to the team, even through years of championship droughts.

The Cubs’ fanbase is deeply rooted in tradition and history, as the team is one of the oldest and most storied franchises in Major League Baseball (MLB).

Generations of families have supported the Cubs, passing down their love for the team from parents to children.

Wrigley Field, the Cubs’ historic home ballpark, has become a pilgrimage site for baseball fans, and the atmosphere during home games is electrifying.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays have a relatively newer fanbase compared to the Cubs, as the team was established in 1998. However, despite being a newer franchise, the Rays have steadily built a dedicated and enthusiastic fanbase over the years.

The Rays’ fanbase primarily centers around the Tampa Bay area in Florida. Florida, in general, is a region with diverse interests, and baseball might not have as deep-rooted a tradition as in some other parts of the United States.

As a result, the Rays have faced challenges in drawing consistent attendance to their games, despite their on-field success.

The team’s competitive performances and multiple playoff appearances have certainly helped in growing the fanbase and gaining support from the local community.

The Rays have also been active in engaging with their fans through various initiatives and community outreach programs.

Iconic Moments: Chicago Cubs Vs Tampa Bay Rays Rivalry

Chicago Cubs

  • 2016 World Series Victory: As mentioned earlier, the Cubs’ most iconic moment came in 2016 when they won the World Series after a 108-year championship drought.
    The team’s dramatic comeback from a 3-1 deficit against the Cleveland Indians in the Fall Classic was a memorable and emotional journey for Cubs fans.

  • “The Sandberg Game” (June 23, 1984): Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg hit two game-tying home runs against the St. Louis Cardinals in the late innings of an extraordinary game.
    The Cubs eventually won in extra innings, solidifying Sandberg’s place in Cubs lore and earning the game the nickname “The Sandberg Game.”

  • Sammy Sosa’s 66th Home Run (September 25, 1998): Sammy Sosa’s 66th home run of the 1998 season set a new MLB record for most home runs in a single season at the time. His epic home run race with Mark McGwire captivated baseball fans nationwide.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • Game 162 (September 28, 2011): In one of the most thrilling and dramatic finishes to a regular season in MLB history, the Tampa Bay Rays came back from a 7-0 deficit against the New York Yankees. Evan Longoria’s walk-off home run in the 12th inning sealed their victory and secured their spot in the playoffs.

  • First-Ever Playoff Series Win (October 6, 2008): The Rays won their first-ever playoff series by defeating the Chicago White Sox in the American League Division Series (ALDS). This victory marked a significant milestone in the franchise’s history.

  • 2008 World Series (October 22, 2008): Although the Rays ultimately fell short in the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, their appearance in the Fall Classic was a historic moment for the franchise and a testament to their competitiveness.

Future Outlook: Chicago Cubs Vs Tampa Bay Rays

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are facing a rebuilding phase, as evidenced by their recent overhaul, trading away key players, and changing managerial positions.

While this may lead to short-term struggles, the organization aims to develop a strong foundation for sustainable success in the future.

The Cubs’ loyal fanbase will need patience and optimism as they await the growth of young talents and potential acquisitions that could shape a competitive team down the road.

Tampa Bay Rays

In contrast, the Tampa Bay Rays have established themselves as a model of efficiency and competitiveness in the modern era of baseball.

Their innovative approach, effective use of analytics, and commitment to player development have consistently led to success on the field.

With a savvy front office and a talented core of players, the Rays seem poised to remain a formidable force in the league, consistently challenging for division titles and playoff berths.

Recent Performance: Chicago Cubs Vs New York Mets

Chicago Cubs

  • Record: 24-31

  • Last 10 Games: 4-6

  • Series Result vs. Tampa Bay Rays: 1-1 (May 30-31, 2023)

  • Notable Performances: Seiya Suzuki went 4-for-8 with two RBIs and a run scored in the series against the Rays. Ian Happ drove in two runs and scored once.

New York Mets

  • Record: 29-26 (as of June 1, 2023)

  • Last 10 Games: 6-4

  • Series Result vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: 1-1 (May 30-31, 2023)

Chicago Cubs Vs Tampa Bay Rays Rivalry

2018Aug 31-Sep 2Wrigley FieldChicago Cubs1-0
2017Sep 19-20Tropicana FieldTampa Bay Rays8-1
2014Aug 8-10Wrigley FieldTampa Bay Rays3-0
2013Aug 9-11Tropicana FieldTampa Bay Rays3-0
2008Jun 17-19Wrigley FieldChicago Cubs3-0
2008Jun 17-19Tropicana FieldTampa Bay Rays3-2


How often do the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays play against each other?

The Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays are from different leagues, so they only face each other occasionally during interleague play in the regular season.

Do the Cubs and the Rays have a long-standing rivalry?

No, the Cubs and the Rays do not have a long-standing rivalry, as they have limited historical matchups and are not in the same league.

When was the last time the Cubs and the Rays played in a regular-season game?

The most recent regular-season game between the Cubs and the Rays took place in 2018.

Have the Cubs and the Rays ever met in the postseason?

No, the Cubs and the Rays have not met in the postseason, as they belong to different leagues and would only face each other in the World Series, which has not happened as of my last update.

How do the fan bases of the Cubs and the Rays compare?

The Chicago Cubs have a long and passionate fanbase with deep-rooted traditions, while the Tampa Bay Rays have a newer fanbase that has grown steadily over the years, fueled by the team’s success and community engagement.

To Recap

The Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays did not have a long-standing rivalry, given their different leagues and limited head-to-head matchups.

The Cubs boast a rich history and one of the most loyal and passionate fanbases in sports, highlighted by their historic 2016 World Series victory.

On the other hand, the Rays, as a newer franchise, have steadily built a dedicated fanbase through competitive performances and playoff appearances.

While they haven’t met in the postseason, both teams have provided their respective fans with iconic moments, and their histories continue to evolve in the ever-changing landscape of Major League Baseball.

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Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn