David Price may be one of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball right now, but as a rookie, he was just a hard-throwing reliever.

The southpaw appeared in only five regular-season games, including one start, with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. However, when it came time for the most important game in franchise history, Rays manager Joe Maddon wasn’t afraid to hand the ball to the rookie.

Tampa Bay was clinging to a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2008 American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox. With the bases loaded and two outs in the inning, Maddon called upon Price to face Red Sox slugger J.D. Drew. It turned out to be a brilliant move. 

Price struck out Drew to get out of the jam. He ended up picking up the four-out save, thanks to three strikeouts, and sent Tampa Bay to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. 

The Rays wound up losing the World Series in five games to the Philadelphia Phillies.

On Thursday, the Rays traded Price to the Detroit Tigers. Price won the 2012 AL Cy Young award and made four AL All-Star teams in seven seasons with the team. All of those accolades are nice, but Rays fans will never forget his performance that helped get the team to the World Series.


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