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20 years after they joined MLB, we look back at the Rays and D-backs franchises

We look back at the Rays, D-backs franchises

On this day 20 years ago, Major League Baseball unanimously approved two expansion teams: The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. You may have seen their back-and-forth on Twitter with the Cubs:



Both franchises paid a $130 million membership fee and would begin play in 1998. In recognition of this momentous day, we wanted to look back at some of the feats, moments and stats they've created for us over the past 17 years.

Earliest uniform models

ARI:

The Phoenix Suns -- including Danny Manning, Danny Ainge, Wesley Person, coach Paul Westphal and Kevin Johnson:

NBA

TB:

Tampa Bay radio host Tedd Webb and model Alex Kallebo, apparently in a cave:

Rays

Opening Day Lineups

ARI:

C - Jorge Fabregas

1B - Travis Lee

2B - Edwin Diaz

3B - Matt Williams

SS - Jay Bell

LF - Brent Brede

CF - Devon White

RF - Karim "Latino Bambino" Garcia

P - Andy Benes

9-2 loss to the Rockies

TB:

C - John Flaherty

1B - Fred McGriff

2B - Miguel Cairo

3B - Wade Boggs

SS - Kevin Stocker

LF - Mike Kelly

CF - Quinton McCracken

RF - Dave Martinez

DH - Paul Sorrento

P - Wilson Alvarez

11-6 loss to the Tigers  

First home run

ARI:

Travis Lee, March 31, 1998 

TLee

TB:

Wade Boggs, March 31, 1998

Best player (based on WAR)

ARI:

Hitter, Luis Gonzalez - 30.0

Gonzo

Pitcher, Randy Johnson - 53.0

RJ

TB: 

Hitter, Evan Longoria - 40.0

Longo

Pitcher, David Price - 21.3

Price

Best names (based on facts)

ARI:

Quinton McCracken

McCrack

TB:

Rocco Baldelli

Rocco

Or, Quinton McCracken

Quint

Records

ARI:

Overall: 1,355-1,399, 1 World Series, 1 pennant, 5 postseason appearances

TB:

Overall: 1,272-1480, 1 pennant, 4 postseason appearances

Head-to-Head:

16 games, Rays (9) - D-backs (7)

Greatest moment

ARI:

Luis Gonzalez hits walk-off single against Mariano Rivera to give the D-backs their first (and only) World Series in 2001:

TB:

Winning the AL pennant might be a popular choice, but goodness, Game 162 was so much fun:

First, the home run by Dan "The Great Pumpkin" Johnson:

And then Longoria with the finisher:

Let us know what memories/players you like best in the comments.

Read More: Tampa Bay RaysArizona Diamondbacks