David Price makes his first start for the Tigers Tuesday night against the Yankees, officially ending his career with the Rays. Before taking the mound for Detroit, however, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner took out a full-page ad in in Tuesday’s Tampa Bay Times to thank Rays fans, in addition to Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) August 5, 2014
Among the many others Price (and his dog, Astro) expressed gratitude were manager Joe Maddon, pitching coach Jim Hickey, owner Stu Sternberg and general manager Andrew Friedman, along with the entire Rays organization.
Price pitched seven seasons with the Rays, compiling an 82-47 record and 3.18 ERA with four All-Star appearances, one 20-win season and the aforementioned Cy Young Award. He was Tampa Bay’s first-round draft pick, No. 1 overall out of Vanderbilt, in 2007.
It would be difficult not to get attached to a place and fanbase after all they’ve been through together, and to acknowledge that is a classy gesture for a player who did not leave voluntarily.