Who are the best players in Tampa Bay sports history?
Every team seems to have a top four players in history conversation ongoing in almost every sports market.
It is no different here in tampa even though the Tampa Bay Sports market is relatively young. It was just 44 years ago the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were born and became the first pro sports team to call Tampa home.
The Tampa Bay Lightning came along 16 years later in 1992 when the Bolts took the ice for the first game at Tropicana field which was called the Thunder Dome.
Th Tampa Bay Rays would come along six years later in 1998 and has called St. Petersburg and Tropicana Field home ever since.
The Buccaneers were the first sports team to win a championship winning the Super Bowl in 2003 following the 2002 season. The Lightning soon followed winning their first Stanley Cup in 2004 following the 2003-04 season.
The Lightning have been back to the Stanley Cup finals once since that run in 2004 losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015-16 final.
The Tampa Bay Rays have one World Series under their belt, losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.
Unfortunately, there has been a lot more losing than winning here in Tampa Bay, but besides the losing there have been some great players call Tampa home during the last 44 seasons.
There have also been a lot of players that the teams gave up way too early and those players have gone on to have success in other markets.
Some of these players had issues off the field which you can chalk it up to youth and inexperience. Other players, it was a mistake bringing them on board as their character issues overshadowed their performance on the field.
Every fan base has created a Mount Rushmore for their team. The best players of all time ever to play a particular sport in their city.
There is always one or two players which are debated heavily as to whether or not they should be on the list of the four best players on that team.
It is no different in Tampa, if you made a list of the top 10 or top 15 players in each sport, you would still get an argument as to why a certain player made the cut and another player didn’t
Over the next week, Tampa Bay Pro Sports will be unveiling a Mount Rushmore for the Tampa Bay Rays, Bucs, and Lightning.
If you disagree, thats fine. We all have different opinions and we all have a different measuring criteria as to what constitutes greatness.
For our purposes they will have had to play at least two seasons in Tampa to be eligible.
What the player did while playing in Tampa will count, not what the player did before or after.
Tomorrow, the Tampa Bay Rays Mount Rushmore will be revealed, followed by the Tampa Bay lightning on Friday, and concluding with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.