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'Zorilla' takes out full-page ad thanking the Rays and their fans for nine great seasons

Zobrist takes out ad thanking Rays, fans

Ben Zobrist has played his entire Major League career with the Rays. Since getting the call as a 25-year-old shortstop, Zobrist -- *Ace Ventura-style inhale* -- made two All-Star teams, earned MVP votes in three seasons, posted two 8+ WAR seasons, started playing the outfield ... and first base ... and second base ... and third base and helped the Rays to their first World Series appearance in franchise history.

That wonderful marriage ended this offseason when Zobrist and Yunel Escobar were dealt to the Athletics for catcher John Jaso, prospects Boog Powell and Daniel Robertson and cash considerations. Though Zobrist is basically the poster boy for Billy Beane's do-everything-slightly-better-than-most mantra, it's his time with the Rays that has inspired a full-page spread.

Zobrist and his wife took out a full-page ad in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times thanking the Rays organization and its fans for all of their support over the past nine years.

The Ray Way is a special way and will always be our MLB hometown.

In part, I'm glad this is difficult because it means it has impacted our hearts. I would be lying if I said there were no tears shed in the Zobrist household over leaving Tampa Bay. But rest assured they are due to gratitude rather than sadness. So during this bittersweet time, we will try to look forward to the coming season as much as possible even though part of our hearts will always be in Tampa Bay.

I will go on to give everything I can to help the Oakland A's win a championship now. You all know this in Tampa Bay ... I play to win everyday. It's how God wired me and how my parents taught me. After all, it's the only way I know how to play this game.

God bless,

Read More: Oakland AthleticsTampa Bay RaysBen Zobrist