NEW YORK -- Thursday night marked the 2,500th game in franchise history.
The first game was an 11-6 loss to the Tigers at Tropicana Field on March 31, 1998. Some who were in uniform for that game were present for Thursday night's game at Yankee Stadium, including Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild, the Rays' first manager; Yankees broadcaster John Flaherty, who caught for the Rays; and Rays bench coach Davey Martinez, who played outfield and actually got the Rays' first hit.
"First hit, first at-bat," Martinez said. "Guy's playing behind the base [at first], it was a two-hopper and it hit the base. That was my first at-bat. I was hitting eighth. It went straight up in the air."
Martinez said it's "unbelievable" where the organization was when it started and where it is now.
"It's been a lot of fun," he said.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.