Why Is Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria the Most Famous Player in MLB?

By Rodney Coe
Tampa Bay Rays Evan Longoria
Kim Klement-US Presswire

The Tampa Bay Rays are not the New York Yankees or the Los Angeles Dodgers. But in Tampa resides the most famous player in Major League Baseball, Evan Longoria.

It’s been widely assumed for years that Evan Longoria is the brother of the actress Eva Longoria. Longoria used to laugh it off in the minor leagues, but still many casual baseball fans believe it is true. The connection is still there. When Longoria made the All-Star Team in his rookie year (2008) at 22, Eva sent him a bottle of champagne with a note, thanking him for “doing the Longoria name proud.”

Longoria was a fresh face and a great talent for MLB in 2008. But what he meant to the Rays is astonishing. The Rays won 66 games in 2007, and finished in the basement of the American League East. Enter Longoria, and 2008 saw the Rays win 97 games and finish at the top of the AL east. The Rays went from worst to first, with Longoria and the Rays winning the American League pennant and a trip to the World Series.

The Rays have consistently been near the top of their division with Longoria. He has posted phenomenal numbers. Longoria has a .276 BA, with a .361 OBP, .516 SLG and .877 OPS. He scored 380 runs, 130 HR,and 456 RBI. This is especially amazing because he missed more than of half the season last year with injuries.

But he means even more to his team. Playing the hot-corner at third base, Longoria has a .963 fielding percentage. His glove and his big bat have helped the Rays stay in ball games, and even win several they probably shouldn’t have. That’s why the Rays have signed him through 2022 for $144.5 million.

At 25, Longoria is the young face of baseball. Because of his talent, and movie star name, he is the most famous player in MLB. He may never have a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, but he is a star in Tampa on his way to the baseball Hall of Fame.

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