Today marks the birthday of my favorite player of all-time…. Third baseman of my Tampa Bay Rays, Evan Longoria. And the answer is “NO,” not Eva Longoria, Evan! With an “N” at the end.
Longoria has been in the majors for 5 years now. Played ball at Long Beach State, where he earned Big West Co-Player of the Year in 2006. Longo also earned the League MVP of the Cape Cod League in 2005. Longo made an instant impact on the Rays when he made debut in 2008.
In his rookie season he not only made the American League All-Star team, he also won Rookie of the Year for the AL. The Rays won the AL East and were 97-65 on the year. Longo had a huge impact being their everyday third baseman.
Longo continues to make a solid impact every day for the Rays. He is their best hitter and best defensive player on the team. He not only plays as a leader, he acts like one as well. He is the glue that holds the Rays together.
One of my favorite moments ever watching him was something I saw him do in the dugout in between innings. B.J. Upton, the centerfielder, was lollygagging to a ball in centerfield and ended up not catching it. Once the inning ended, Evan got in B.J.’s face and called him out for big-dogging the play.
They got into a little altercation. However, Evan stood up for his team and called out one of his teammates because he was hurting the team. That is what leaders do. Leaders lead, and they make sure everyone is on the same page.
So not only is he a great player with great talent, he also is a guy with character. Today is his 28th birthday, and he also just recently had his first kid, a baby girl. It’s cool to watch him play the game and watch him lead the Rays. He is the cornerstone of the franchise and will always be a Ray!
Happy birthday E, hope 28 brings us a win tonight!