Colorado Rockies Vs Tampa Bay Rays Rivalry

Kevin Smith

rockies vs rays

The intersection of two baseball franchises, the Colorado Rockies and the Tampa Bay Rays, brings together a tale of sporadic yet captivating encounters. While not marked by a traditional rivalry, these interleague clashes have woven moments of suspense and exhilaration into the fabric of both teams’ histories.

Hailing from different leagues and distinct regions, the Rockies and Rays have engaged in occasional matchups that reveal the essence of baseball’s unpredictability.

These meetings, though infrequent, have left an indelible mark on the memories of fans and players alike, painting a unique portrait of competition that transcends the confines of routine divisional play.

History: Colorado Rockies Vs Tampa Bay Rays

Formation and Early Years

  • Colorado Rockies: The Rockies were established as an expansion team in 1993 and played their inaugural season in 1993. They joined the National League and quickly faced the challenges of playing in a high-altitude environment at Coors Field.
    Despite this challenge, the Rockies found early success by making a historic run to the World Series in 2007, capturing the attention of baseball fans.

  • Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays, originally known as the Devil Rays, were established as an expansion team in 1998 and played their first season in that year. They joined the American League and faced the challenge of building a competitive team from scratch.
    The Rays struggled in their early years, often finishing at the bottom of their division. However, they underwent a major transformation in the mid-2000s, adopting new strategies and building a strong pitching staff that eventually led them to the World Series in 2008.

Success and Achievements

  • Colorado Rockies: The Rockies’ most significant achievement to date is their run to the World Series in 2007. While they were swept by the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, their improbable journey captured the hearts of fans and showcased their potential.

  • Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays’ breakthrough moment came in 2008 when they won the American League pennant and reached the World Series. Although they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, their success marked a turning point for the franchise.
    The Rays have since become known for their innovative approach to the game and their ability to compete with larger-market teams despite budget constraints.

Fanbase: Colorado Rockies Vs Tampa Bay Rays

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies have a passionate and loyal fanbase that has supported the team since its inception in 1993. Rockies fans are known for their enthusiasm and the vibrant atmosphere they create at Coors Field, the team’s home stadium located in Denver.

The team’s iconic mountainous backdrop and the excitement of high-scoring games due to the thin air have contributed to a unique fan experience. 

The Rockies’ fanbase includes both local supporters from Denver and surrounding areas as well as fans who have been drawn to the team’s scenic ballpark and exciting style of play.

While the team had periods of success, including their memorable run to the World Series in 2007, they have also experienced challenging seasons. Nonetheless, the fanbase has remained loyal and dedicated to the team.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, have faced unique challenges in building and sustaining a fanbase. Despite their on-field success, including their World Series appearance in 2008 and consistent competitiveness.

The Rays have struggled with attendance issues due to factors like their stadium’s location and the competitive entertainment landscape in the Tampa Bay area.

The Rays’ fanbase is known for its resilience and passion despite the challenges. The team has cultivated a dedicated following, and their “Rays Republic” includes diehard fans who attend games regularly and support the team both at home and on the road.

The Rays’ success, combined with their innovative approach to baseball, has garnered them respect and admiration among baseball enthusiasts.

Iconic Moments: Colorado Rockies Vs Tampa Bay Rays Rivalry

Inaugural Meeting and Walk-off Winner (2002)

The first-ever meeting between the Rockies and the Rays took place on June 21, 2002. The Rockies secured an 8-7 victory in extra innings at Coors Field, with Todd Helton delivering a walk-off single in the 10th inning. This thrilling game set the tone for their interactions.

Rays’ Dramatic Sweep (2004)

During their visit to Coors Field in 2004, the Rays swept the Rockies in a three-game series. All three games were decided by just one run, showcasing the competitiveness between the teams. The last game was particularly intense, as the Rays scored in the top of the ninth to take a lead, and their bullpen held off the Rockies’ rally to secure the win.

2007: Different Paths to History

In 2007, the Rockies and the Rays met as they were both on paths to historic moments. The Rockies won two out of three games at home, scoring double-digit runs in their victories. The Rays, then known as the Devil Rays, would achieve their best-ever record that season, while the Rockies would embark on their memorable late-season run to reach their first-ever World Series.

Pitchers’ Duel and Extra Innings (2019)

In 2019, the teams faced off at Tropicana Field. The Rays won two of the three games, shutting out the Rockies in the first two games. The third game turned into a pitchers’ duel, extending into extra innings.

The Rockies eventually secured a 1-0 victory in the 11th inning with a solo home run by Chris Iannetta.

Rays’ Winning Streak (2016-2019)

The Rays had a period of dominance over the Rockies, winning four consecutive games from July 19, 2016, to April 2, 2019. During this streak, the Rays outscored the Rockies 32-11, showcasing their ability to control the matchups during that time.

Future Outlook: Colorado Rockies Vs Tampa Bay Rays

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies face the challenge of revitalizing their roster and building a competitive team. Developing young talent and strategic player acquisitions will be crucial.

They’ll seek to balance offensive firepower with pitching strength, aiming for consistency and better divisional standings. Coors Field’s unique conditions can still work to their advantage. Engaging their dedicated fanbase and cultivating rising stars will shape their trajectory, aiming for playoff contention.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays continue to redefine success with innovative strategies and efficient resource utilization. They’ll harness their strong pitching staff while nurturing promising prospects.

Overcoming attendance hurdles and improving their stadium situation remains a priority. The Rays will strive to consistently compete within their division, leveraging smart scouting and analytics. 

Their success hinges on cultivating adaptable talent, embracing the underdog spirit, and staying resilient in the face of challenges to remain a formidable force in the league.

Recent Performance: Colorado Rockies Vs Tampa Bay Rays

Colorado Rockies

  • Record: 48-74

  • NL West Standing: Last place

  • Notable Features: Struggling season, on pace for one of the worst records in baseball, facing challenges in various aspects of the game.

  • Recent Matchup: Swept by the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-game series at Tropicana Field in April.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • Record: 76-46

  • AL East Standing: Leading the division

  • Notable Features: Strong season, leading the division, impressive overall record, showcasing consistent performances both offensively and defensively.

  • Recent Matchup: Swept the Colorado Rockies in a three-game series at Tropicana Field in April.

Colorado Rockies Vs Tampa Bay Rays Rivalry

2002June 21Coors FieldRockies8-7 (10)
2004June 18-20Coors FieldRays3-2
2007June 18-20Coors FieldRockies12-2
2007June 18-20Coors FieldRays5-4
2007June 18-20Coors FieldRockies10-5
2011June 17-19Coors FieldRockies13-5
2019April 1-3Tropicana FieldRays7-1
2019April 1-3Tropicana FieldRays4-0
2019April 1-3Tropicana FieldRockies1-0 (11)


When did the Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Rays first play against each other?

The Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Rays first faced each other on June 21, 2002, at Coors Field. The Rockies won the game in extra innings with a walk-off single.

How many times have the Rockies and Rays met in interleague play?

As of my last update in September 2021, the Rockies and Rays have played a total of 21 games in interleague play since their first meeting in 2002.

Have the Rockies and Rays had any memorable matchups?

Yes, they’ve had notable moments, including the Rockies’ historic 2007 World Series run and the Rays’ appearance in the 2008 World Series. Both teams have had games decided by slim margins, contributing to their unique rivalry.

What’s the current status of their rivalry?

While not a traditional rivalry, the Rockies-Rays matchups have showcased competitive and memorable games. The teams have shared iconic moments despite playing in different leagues and infrequent meetings.

To Recap

While the Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Rays may not have a deep-seated historical rivalry, their sporadic meetings have given rise to intriguing moments on the baseball field.

From walk-off victories to dramatic sweeps, these interactions have showcased the unpredictable nature of the sport. The Rockies and Rays, representing distinct geographic regions and league divisions, have managed to create sparks of excitement through their limited encounters.

As they continue to cross paths in the ever-evolving landscape of Major League Baseball, their matchups offer fans a glimpse into the potential for new narratives to unfold. The future might hold the promise of deeper connections and more memorable chapters in their ongoing, albeit sporadic, rivalry.

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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