On this day eights year ago the Tampa Bay Devil Rays acquired the relatively unknown Ben Zobrist from the Houston Astros.
At the time of the trade, Zobrist was hitting .327 with the AA Corpus Christi Hooks with three homers and 30 RBIs.
Zobrist would play 18 games with the Durham Bulls before making his major league debut that year where he featured in 52 games with Tampa Bay.
Eight years later, Zobrist is now arguably one of the best players in franchise history.
Against the Toronto Blue Jays today, Zobrist will play in his 1,000th major league game. In the 999 previous games, Zobrist has hit 110 home runs and has 481 RBIs with a career slash line of .263/.354/.432.
He’s a two-time All-Star (2009,2013) and has been an instrumental part of the turnaround that saw the Rays make the 2008 World Series and the continued success they have had since.
Furthermore, what perhaps makes Zobrist so valuable is his versatility to play multiple positions.
His primary position is second base, but over his nine-year career the 33-year-old has played every position except for catcher. He holds a .982 fielding percentage for his career showing just how good of a defender he is. Over the course of his career, Zobrist has been a tremendous teammate too.
Off the field, Zobrist is a humbled, religious, family man.
1,000 games with the Rays, on the eight-year anniversary of the day he joined the organization, makes today a truly special day.
It also happens that Zobrist is not just a special player, but a special person too.