Rays fans preparing Goodbye for Carl Crawford

In this past season, people around baseball considered the 2010 season ‘The Last Running of the Bulls’ in Tampa Bay. It was one final round up for the Rays to do something special with the kids who had grown up together.

The main catalyst of that exercise was to be Carl Crawford–and it was a foregone conclusion that Crawford would not return to Tampa once the final out had been recorded in the Rays’ 2010 season. He went out with a bang, hitting .307 with 47 stolen bases 19 home runs and 90 RBI. He did literally everything he could in 9 years to make the a Rays respectable organization.

And now the folks at DRays Bay would like to say thank you.

The Tampa Bay Rays franchise has undergone a lot of change in the past nine years: new name, new uniforms, new managers, and new ownership. The one constant in all of that change has been Carl Crawford.

Our franchise leader in hits, batting average, stolen bases, doubles, triples, runs scored, breath-taking defensive plays, and more, Crawford has become one of Tampa Bay’s most beloved sports figures. It’s rare for any player to spend nine years of their career in one city, let alone the best leftfielder in all of baseball.

The Rays are still strong and will stay competitive, but we should consider ourselves lucky to have seen Crawford play. Good luck in the rest of your career, Carl – you’ve earned it.

Thanks for everything,

The Tampa Bay Community

Brought to you by the fans at DRaysBay.com.

Pretty heartwarming, really. And at age 28, Crawford leaves the Rays as probably the best player in that franchise’s short history. Of Josh Hamilton, Rocco Baldelli, and Crawford; he was the only one who realized his potential while wearing a Tampa uniform.

ht: originally spotted on Hardball Talk/Rounding the Bases.