From the opener to four outfielders, Kevin Cash and the Tampa Bay Rays have been innovators in the baseball industry the last few years, and it’s finally paying off. The Cash-led Rays have advanced to the World Series after taking the Houston Astros down in seven games. Before Cash was an innovator and leader in the majors, he was a student of the game under Mike Martin.
From 1997-1999, Cash was a key part of the Seminoles lineup. In three seasons at Florida State, the Tampa native hit .299 through 178 games. Cash was also a third-team All-American his junior year, after hitting 14 home runs. He went on to have an eight-year career in the majors as a catcher, before becoming the manager of the Rays in 2015.
Despite consistently having one of the lowest payrolls, Cash has turned the Rays into a consistent contender for the World Series. After 90+ wins the last two seasons, the Rays broke through as AL East Division Champs in a shortened season this year. So far this playoffs, Cash’s Rays have beat two teams with almost four times the payroll of his squad.
Through six seasons as a manager, the 42-year old has posted a .522 winning percentage. After coming in third for the award the last two years, he’ll likely win the AL Coach of the year award, and already has some awards rolling in this year.
After 11 broke the NCAA all-time wins record at Clemson in 2018, Cash spoke a bit about Martin’s influence on him and his career. On 11, he said, “The winning atmosphere that he’s always instilled, it goes a long way, not just while you’re there, but you carry it for a long time.”