Tampa native named Rays manager
|Tampa native Kevin Cash named Rays new manager. Photo credit: Tampa Bay Rays.
The Tampa Bay Rays named Kevin Cash as the club’s new manager, making him the youngest active manager in Major League Baseball and the sixth Tampa native to become a manager.
Growing up in Tampa, Cash played for Northside Little League and competed in the 1989 Little League World Series. While playing for Gaither High School, he was honored as an all-county and third-team all-state selection.
With this managerial role, Cash carries on Tampa’s rich baseball legacy of producing Major League talent. He joins Al Lopez, Tony La Russa and Lou Piniella on an impressive list of legendary managers from Tampa.
Born and raised in Ybor City, Lopez started his extensive baseball career as a catcher with the Class D Tampa Smokers. After working his way up the baseball ranks, Lopez was a Major League manager for 15 seasons. None of his teams during his managing career ever had a losing record. Lopez was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.
Tony La Russa
Born in 1944, La Russa grew up on Tampa’s ball fields. Ybor City’s Optimist’s Club chose La Russa as a member of a youth all-star team that would travel to Cuba. He was named the team’s shortstop and co-captain at just nine years old. His 2,728 wins as a manager ranks third all-time in Major League history. La Russa joined Lopez in the Hall of Fame this past year.
Born and raised in West Tampa, Piniella played American Legion and PONY League baseball alongside La Russa. A Jesuit High School graduate, Piniella was named a College Division All-American in baseball while attending the University of Tampa. Piniella managed five teams, including the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, over a 24-year span. He was twice named AL Manager of the Year and the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series under his management in 1990.
The Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House will honor the nearly 100 players from Tampa who made it to the Major Leagues along with more than 125 years of rich Tampa baseball heritage.