Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are a Major League Baseball franchise. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are a member of the Eastern Division of MLB's American League. Since their beginning in the year 1998, the club has played at Tropicana Field and has finished out of last place thrice: once in the year 2004, when Devil Rays finished fourth in their division; in year 2008, when the Devil Rays won their first division title, they entered the playoffs for the 1st time in their history, and competed for the World Series; and in the year 2009. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays played their first game on March 31, 1998 against the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field facing a crowd of 45,369. The first pitch was thrown by Wilson Alvarez and Wade Boggs hit the first home run in team history that day, and though the Devil Rays lost their opening game by 11 6, they actually got off to a good start.
In November 2007, Stuart Sternberg who was the majority owner made major changes to his franchise's image, changing the club's name to the "Tampa Bay Rays", which he described as "a beacon that radiates right through Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida.