Owns a condo on St. Pete Beach ... also owns one near his parents' home in Cumberland, R.I. ... Was a 2004 inductee into the Rhode Island Italian-American Hall of Fame ... Rocco was nominated for the 2006 Tony Conigliaro Award given by the Boston BBWAA to the Major League player who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage, trademarks of the former Red Sox star outfielder ... Is said to have a 40-inch vertical jump ... He has high-jumped 6-2 and ran a 5.5 in the 55-yard run in high school ... Has a tattoo of the Major League Baseball logo on his left calf.
Missed the first 4-plus months of the season due to mitochondrial disorder, a
condition that slows muscle recovery and causes fatigue...Spent the first 116 games of the season
on disabled list with the condition and missed the final 124 games of 2007 (240 games total) with
hamstring injuries and general soreness...After 2 rehab assignments he was reinstated to the
roster on August 10 as Carl Crawford was placed on the DL.
Made a pair of rehab assignments, combining to bat .257 (19-for-74) with 4 home runs and 16
RBI over 24 games...Played for Single-A Vero Beach from June 16-29 and July 13-14, batting .216
(8-for-37) with 2 long balls and 8 RBI in 11 games...Joined Double-A Montgomery from July 16-
August 1 and hit .297 (11-for-37) with 3 homers and 8 RBI in 13 contests.
HAPPY RETURNS: After coming back he played in 28 of the Rays final 46 games...Made 16 starts
(13 at DH, 3 in RF), 13 of them against left handed starters...In his first game back, August 10 at Seattle,
batted cleanup and started in right field...Was his first appearance in a major league game
since May 15, 2007 vs. Texas at the Disney Complex in Orlando, a span of 15 months in between...
Went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in his 2nd at-bat.
HONOR ROLL: Received the 19th annual Tony Conigliaro Award in 2008, presented by the Boston
Baseball Writers' Association of America to a major league player who has overcome adversity
through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage, trademarks of the former Red Sox
star outfielder..Garnered 43 points, followed by Arizona's Doug Davis (27) and Oakland's Brad
Zeigler (26)...Was previously nominated for the honor in 2006.
MORE 2008 HIGHLIGHTS: Delivered a walk-off RBI double on August 30 vs. Baltimore, scoring
Carlos Pena from first base in the 9th inning off Rocky Cherry...It was his first career game-ending
RBI...Reached base safely a career-high 5 times in the game...Combined to reach base safely 9 times in 10 plate appearances from August 30-31 against the Orioles, a feat he had never before
accomplished over a 2-game span in his career...Belted his first home run of the season off the
White Sox' Octavio Dotel on August 22 at Chicago, his first since May 3, 2007 vs. Minnesota...Hit
the 50th homer of his career 2 days later off Chicago's Mark Buehrle...His first career pinch-hit
blast came on September 6 at Toronto, a 2-run, 9th-inning shot off Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan.
Twenty-six year-old appeared in 35 games }
before suffering a season-ending hamstring
injury on May 15 ...
Endured a right hamstring injury in spring }
training and was the Opening Day designated
hitter...was his first Opening Day appearance
since 2004 ... he DH'd 15 games and started 20
in centerfield ...
Appeared in 156 games his rookie season of 2003 and 136 in 2004, but has played in just
127 of 486 (26%) the last three seasons due to
injury ... missed all of 2005 with a torn ACL in his
left knee and a torn ulnar collateral ligament in
his right elbow ... missed the first two months of
the 2006 season with a left hamstring strain suffered
in spring training ...
Season-ending injury occurred May 15 vs. the Rangers at the Disney Sports Complex running
out a ground ball in his first at-bat ...
While on rehabilitation assignment with Durham (AAA) in mid-June, he re-aggravated the
injury after two games...attempted another
comeback in late August but was shut down
after two games with Vero Beach (A) due to general
soreness ... At the time of the injury was mired in a 1-for-40 slump (since homering May 3 at home off the
Twins' Ramon Ortiz)...skid dropped his average
from .275 to a career-low .204...included was a
career-high 0-for-22 spell and a season-ending
0-for-17 stretch ... Opened the season as the no. 3 hitter...moved to leadoff April 10 ... in 29 games from the top
spot he hit .205 (23-112) with 4 HR... batted .339
(62-183) from the leadoff spot in 2006 with 11
HR ... Was just 5-for-32 (.156) off left-handed pitching, but three of those hits were home runs ...
entered the year a career .308 batter off lefties ...
Four of his five home runs put the Rays ahead and four of his five came at Tropicana Field ... Connected for his 6th career leadoff HR April 18 off Baltimore's Erik Bedard ... is tied with Carl
Crawford for the most leadoff homers in Rays
history ... First HR was April 8th off Roy Halladay ... His 34 outfield assists are still 3rd most in club history behind Randy Winn (40) and Carl Crawford (36).
Enjoyed a remarkable comeback season after missing 221 games including all of 2005 due to
two major injuries: tore the ACL in his left knee in October of 2004 and tore the ulnar colateral
ligament in his right elbow while rehabbing from the knee injury in June of 2005...Was on
target to open the season with the Rays then strained his left hamstring in spring training and
landed back on the DL for the first two months of the season...Returned on June 7 and started 85 of the Rays remaining 103 games...From that point
forward he was the Rays leader in runs (59), doubles (24), RBI (57) and home runs (16)...Over
a full season, his numbers translate to 134 games played, 37 doubles, 25 home runs, 93 runs
scored, 90 RBI and 71 extra base hits...Batted .355 (27-76) in June, his best month since the first month of his career (.364, April 2003)...Of his 57 RBI, 26 were go-ahead or game-tying, a percentage of 45.6...Only 4 major leaguers
had a better ratio (min 50 RBI)...After Aug 18, only one American Leaguer had a better slugging average than Rocco's .667 mark: David Ortiz (.684)...Also batted .340 (52-153) after Aug 18, 9th best in the AL...His 10 home runs starting Aug 30 were bettered by only 3 major leaguers: Albert Pujols (11), Frank Thomas (11) and Mark Teixeira (11)...His 9 home runs in September set a Rays record for that month surpassing the old mark of 8
held by Aubrey Huff in 2003...Batted .330 (30-91) with runners in scoring position, 3rd best season in club history...Moved primarily into the leadoff spot after Julio Lugo was traded to the Dodgers on July 31...Batted leadoff 42 times and hit .339 (62-183) with 11 home runs...Despite limited time
at the top of the lineup, hit 5 homers leading
off the first inning, tied with the Yankees'
Johnny Damon for 2nd most in the AL behind
Detroit's Curtis Granderson (6)...also tied the
club record for a career- with Carl Crawford
and Randy Winn...Didn't go back-to-back games without a hit after July 25 and didn't go three straight games without a hit all season...Had the first multi-homer game of his career Sep 14 at Yankee Stadium (both off Jeff Karstens) on his mom's (Michelle) birthday...Had a 4-hit game - tying his career high (3rd time) in just his 4th game back - at KC on June 11...Batted .373 (19-51) in Interleague play, 6th best season in club history (min 25 ABs)...Had a 6-game stretch, Sep 13-18, where he batted .414 (12-29) with 10 runs scored, five homers and 7 RBI...Only six position players in the last 20 years missed more consecutive games and returned
to play, none matched Rocco's numbers on their return...The others: 3B Herbert Perry, Cleveland-Tampa Bay, 1996-98, 341 games (right and left knees); C Ed Hearn, Kansas City, 1987-88, 285 games (shoulder); SS Shawon Dunston, Chicago-NL, 1992-93, 271 games (back); C Eddie Perez, Atlanta, 2000-01, 269 games (shoulder); OF Mike Colangelo, Anaheim, 1999-2000, 262 games (thumb); OF George Lombard, Atlanta, 2001-02, 232 games (foot).
Missed the entire season with knee and elbow injuries...On November 5, 2004, he
underwent successful surgery on his left knee to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL),
The surgery was performed by Dr. Richard Steadman at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic
in Vail, Colorado....Rocco injured the knee on October 24 while playing baseball with his
younger brother, Dante, in the backyard of his home in Cumberland, Rhode Island...Rehabbed his knee during most of the first half of the 2005 season, then injured his right elbow in mid-June while working out at the Rays minor league complex...tore the ulnar collateral ligament...was preparing to return to the Rays immediately after the All-Star Break...underwent "Tommy John" surgery on June 23...surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews
in Birmingham...the procedure used a tendon from Baldelli's right wrist to replace the torn
ligament...was expected to be out 8-9 months...Following his surgery he began dressing with the team following the All-Star Break and kept the pitching chart every game the rest of the season...Is expected to be ready to play in the spring of 2006...On Nov. 10, he inked a six-year contract that could be worth more than $32 million...the
deal includes two options, one covering 2009 and another for the 2010 and 2011
Made 131 starts, 120 in CF and 11 as DH...Missed 15 games when he went on the disabled list for the first time in his career...Was on the DL Aug 14-Sep 1 with a strained right quadriceps muscle...Aggravated the injury running to first base in the first inning Aug. 13 at Texas...Originally sustained the injury in mid-June and missed several games that month...The injury hampered him in August and he batted only .200 (9-45) that month after hitting a combined .301 (87-289) in
May-June-July...Rebounded to hit .287 in September with five home runs, his most ever in one month...Tied with Oakland's Mark Kotsay, SD's Jay Payton and St. Louis' Jim Edmonds for the most assists among major league center fielders with 11...Was attempting to become the first player to lead the AL in outfield assists in each of his first two full seasons...Was tied for the AL lead in outfield assists as late as September 19...Finished tied for 4th...His 26 outfield assists the past two seasons are 3rd most in the majors behind Richard Hidalgo (36) and Jose Cruz (28)...Got off to a slow start...Was batting only
.195 on April 18, then batted .302 (98-325) over his next 82 games before entering injury-plagued August...Batted .315 (47-149) during the Rays' 32-13 run, May 20-July 7...Rays had the best
record in baseball during that span...Batted .313 (25-80) in June when the Rays went 20-6, best
month in club history...Set a club record with at least one RBI in 8 consecutive games, Sep 9-17 (13 RBI total)...Homered twice off Curt Schilling and once off Pedro Martinez, making him one of six players to homer off both Boston aces in 2004...Also Gary Sheffield, Bret Boone, Tony Clark, Eric Hinske and Javy Lopez...Hinske and Rocco were the only two to homer off both at Fenway...Batted .347 (16-46) vs. the National League, 3rd best on the club, as the Rays went 15-3 in Interleague play...Batted .331 (41-124) vs. lefthanders, 7th best in the AL...Of his 75 RBI, 30 were game-tying or go-ahead, 40%...Connected for his first career grand slam July 22 at Minnesota off Juan Rincon (tied game 5-5 in the 8th)...On Aug 12 at Boston, he threw out 2 runners at home in the 5th inning tying an AL record held by many players...He was the first Ray to get 2 outfield assists in the same inning and was the first player to throw out runners at home on consecutive plays since Gary Sheffield did it for the Dodgers vs. Pittsburgh on April 25, 2001...Had 34 infield hits, 7th in the AL...Had 29 as a rookie, 4th best in the league...Spent June 8 in a St. Petersburg hospital with a nasty bout of food poisoning.
Led all major league rookies with 184 hits becoming just the 9th American League
rookie since World War II to get that many hits in a season...Only the 24th AL rookie since 1900 to get 184+ hits in a season - 37th major league rookie. Only 4 active players have had that many hits in their rookie season (Carlos
Beltran, Nomar Garciaparra, Albert Pujols and Ichiro)...Finished 3rd in the BBWAA Rookie of the Year voting...Only 15 players in modern major league history have had 184+ hits in a season at Rocco's age or younger...That list includes seven Hall of Famers: Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Lloyd Waner, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron and Al Kaline...Led AL rookies in batting (.289), stolen bases (27), hits (184), multi-hit games (53), and triples (8) and was 2nd in total bases (265) and runs (89)...Only two rookies since 1900 have been able to match Rocco's totals for hits (184), runs (89), extra base hits (51), RBI (78), and stolen bases (27): Shoeless Joe Jackson with Cleveland in 1911 and Carlos Beltran with KC
in 1999...Only 2 players Rocco's age or younger since 1900 have matched those numbers: Alex Rodriguez (1997) and Ty Cobb (1908)...Only 4 players since 1900 have matched his total in hits and stolen bases at a younger age: Ty Cobb (1907-08), Roberto Alomar (1989), Claudell Washington (1975) and Garry Templeton (1977)...Led the AL in outfield assists with 14 becoming only the 13th rookie to lead the AL in outfield assists and only the 9th in the last 73 years...That list includes Joe (1936) and Dom (1940) DiMaggio...Received the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame AL Rookie of the Year Award...Set club rookie marks for ABs, hits, runs, doubles, extra base hits, stolen bases, RBI and games played and was one HR shy of club rookie record of 12 by Bubba Trammell in 1998...Native of Woonsocket, RI homered over the Green Monster Sept. 17 on "Rhode Island Night" at Fenway Park...Only two Rhode Island natives have ever had more hits in a season than Rocco's 184 hits and both are in the Hall of Fame: Nap Lajoie and Hugh Duffy...Set a major league record for most hits by a rookie through April with 40, surpassing Ichiro, who had 39 in 2001. The National Baseball Hall of Fame immediately put the ball on display.
Named 2002 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America and Sportsticker...
Named the Rays Minor League Player of the Year as well...Also named to Sportsticker's
All-Prospect team, the Topps Class A All-Star team and was tabbed the best 20-year-old
prospect by Baseball America...Rhode Island native was also named Minor League Player of the Year by the Boston
Baseball Writers Association of America...Received the award at their January banquet...Played in four different leagues - including the Arizona Fall League - appearing in 157 games including postseason and batted .323 (206-637) with 20 home runs, 36 stolen bases and 93 RBI while playing center field and hitting primarily out of the leadoff spot...Named MVP of All-Star Game between the California League and Carolina League on June 18 at Wilmington, DE. Game ended in a 3-3 tie. Baldelli had one of the two
California League's hits, stole two bases and scored a run.
Hit .249 with 23 doubles, 6 triples, 8 home runs, 55 RBI and 25 stolen bases for Class-A
Charleston in his first professional season in 2001...Tied with Bakersfield's Ramon Soler for 3rd-most thefts in the organization behind teammate Irwin Centeno (48) and Orlando's Carl Crawford (36)...Named the number five prospect in the Rays' organiztion by Baseball America...was also rated by the publication as the organization's Best Defensive Outfielder for the 2nd straight year...When Rocco was selected by the Rays with the sixth pick in the first round of the 2000 draft, he became the first Rhode Island resident to be selected in the draft's initial round
since Bill Almon was chosen first by the San Diego Padres in 1974...Rated the 4th-best prospect in the Appy League and the Rays' 9th-best prospect by Baseball America