ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Before being traded to the Rays from Philadelphia, outfielder Rich Thompson played 13 seasons in the minor leagues, making his first start with the Rays that much sweeter.
"It was encouraging. It was everything I've been playing for, but at the same time I was having fun being in the minor leagues and I am certainly grateful for the career I've had there. This is an affirmation of the hard work I put in," said Thompson.
In his 13 years in the minors, he had just one call-up in 2004, one plate appearance with the Kansas City Royals eight years ago. In Thompson's second game with the Rays, though, he finally logged his first career major league hit.
"When you first get the hit, it was just like any other hit. You see the second baseman dive and you're just hoping it gets through and then once you get on base it's really one of those bucket list items that you're never sure you'll ever get to do," said Thompson.
Thompson realizes his time in Tampa Bay could be limited, so he'll make the most of any role that is given to him.
"I don't know how long I'll be here, so I just want to make sure that I show them everything I can do. I know my role is more in a support capacity, anything I can do to help them win," said Thompson.
In four games with the Rays, Thompson has recorded 1 hit, 1 RBI, and 2 stolen bases.