The Sports Logo Spotlight Shines on the Tampa Bay Rays

There is not much to like about the Rays, cosmetically. Their ballpark stinks, they get no fan support despite having successful teams, and their jerseys are just okay. But if you don't think there's much now, I wonder what you'd think of the Rays back when they had the "Devil" inside of them. Seriously, I'm not quite sure...
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Let's investigate...

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays existed from the team’s inception in 1998 until 2007. The logo had a very 1980’s feel to it…almost, Miami Vice-like. I mean, I feel like I’m supposed to wear white pants with a teal polo while looking at it. 

With the Devil Ray swimming right to left and the wave of his path angling the lettering accordingly, the logo possesses a very dark, underwater motif. Combined with the black and dark blue is a minor spectrum of colors ranging from blue to yellow, with green shades blending in between, tying the two tones together. 

Whereas the Devil Ray look appears to be more of an underwater view of things, the new Rays look is what you get while drifting above the water with the sun shining down on you. 

When the new logo came about, the idea was to truly shed the “devil” element and even transition away from an animal, more towards the bright rays of the sun. Oceanography be damned with the new look…there is no sign of the animal at all. 

The new look is brighter and, one could say, “more fun.” Maybe I’m reaching, but when I see the extended bottom stem of the “R,” I see a water slide leading right into a pool with the sun splashing down. 

So, which one do I like better? While I enjoy the 1980’s color scheme, I much prefer the new look…the colors seem fresher. I’ve always been a fan of the dark blue and the light blue paired with one another, though others don’t share the same opinion. Add in the sun-splashed yellow as a great accent and the colors are rocking.

The Devil Ray is a much stronger mascot, in terms of tangibility and intimidation, but I think the presentation of the sun ray is done better than was the presentation of the Devil Ray. The animal version had no personality…it was just a blob, kind of. 

As far as the regional tie, both have loose connections, each by way of the water. It would be kind of funny if the newer incarnation had a rain-version that randomly appeared every half hour for about a minute at a time. But neither really stands out in this way. 

Ultimately, give me the new look by just a smidge, but I do miss the 1980’s coloring from time-to-time. 

Just outside Tampa, lies Dade City, the home of one of our Awesome Sports Logos super soft baseball t-shirts. The city of St. Joseph in Dade County Florida is known as the Kumquat Capital of the world. Each year 40,000 people descend on this area for the one-day Kumquat Festival. Who would have thought a kumquat would attract so many people? 

What is a kumquat besides a funny name? A kumquat is in the citrus family and looks like an orange, but it’s the size of an olive. We decided to take a cute looking fruit with a funny name and make it into an awesome baseball logo. A funny name with a funny logo equals a top of the line funny t-shirt in our book. We hope you like our Dade City t-shirt!

And if you love baseball like we do, pick up our Boca Raton Cougars, Decorah Trolls, Boston Accents and others by joining our t-shirt of the month club

Thanks as always for reading,

Jared Sandler
Awesome Sports Logos Columnist