J.P. Howell isn't known for overpowering stuff, but he's made a name for himself as a key member of the Rays bullpen.
With his walk-off hit in Game 3 of the World Series, Carlos Ruiz added his name to the growing list of celebrated Panamanian ballplayers.
Rays reliever Chad Bradford's unorthodox submarine delivery is fitting for a player whose journey to the Majors was anything but typical.
After being demoted to the Minor Leagues, a rejuvenated and more mature Brett Myers has shown the ability to learn from his mistakes.
Most big leaguers appear destined for athletic glory at an early age, but Fernando Perez also showed plenty of academic promise as a youth.
Middle reliever Clay Condrey may have taken the road less travelled to the Majors, but he achieved postseason glory with the Phillies.
Often sidelined but never beaten, Rocco Baldelli has battled back from the brink of retirement to play a key role in the Rays' historic run.
Longtime Minor Leaguer Chris Coste helped the Phillies act out what turned out to be a storybook ending to their 2008 campaign.
With pain comes perspective for Rays All-Star catcher Dioner Navarro, who draws strength from his family of survivors.
Ryan Madson is all business as a shutdown reliever, but old friends say he's still the same fun-loving guy from back in the day.
Andy Sonnanstine is a key member of the Rays rotation, but the people of his hometown feel he is ideally suited for an even bigger role.
Although he comes from a family of pro ballplayers, Jayson Werth has had to fight to make a name for himself in the big leagues.
Anything but the typical blue-collar tale, Akinori Iwamura's story is one of great distances traveled and greater blessings appreciated.
Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton is battle-tested on and off the diamond after helping his mother overcome breast cancer.
The Rays' longest-tenured player is a symbol of perseverance in the Hollywood-style story of the ballclub's ascension.
Former Phillies slugger Pat Burrell and Elvis -- his English bulldog -- harbor many fond memories of their time in the City of Brotherly Love.
While his fame grows with each passing day, Joe Maddon stayed true to his blue-collar roots on his way to the 2008 World Series. More »
One of 11 siblings, family man Charlie Manuel lived out his mother's final wish with a victory in the 2008 World Series. More »
Following the footsteps of his atheltic father, "Bossman Junior" Upton lived up to his name during the 2008 postseason. More »
Despite all his years of MLB experience, Phillies owner David Montgomery remains tied to his roots as a true fan of the game.More »
Phils second baseman Chase Utley is among several 2008 World Series participants born when the disco trend was in high gear. More »
Ryan Howard is one of several 2008 postseason heroes who joined the human race in the same year "Alien" was released. More »
The Phillies captured their first World Series title in the same year "The Miracle on Ice" transpired at the Lake Placid Winter Games. More »
Right-hander James Shields and outfielder Carl Crawford were born in the same year "Pac-Man" became an overnight arcade sensation. More »
Phillies reliever J.A. Happ is the lone 2008 World Series participant born in the same year audiences learned to "phone home." More »
Young guns Cole Hamels and Matt Garza are among the 2008 World Series figures who made 1983 a "Thriller" of a year.
Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir and B.J. Upton highlight the blossoming talents who were "Born in the U.S.A." in 1984. More »
In the spirit of "Back to the Future," a visit to 1985 reveals the cultural forces at work in the year Evan Longoria was born. More »
Paul C. Smith
Former MLB.com Rays beat writer Paul Smith was surely smiling down on the 2008 World Series from baseball heaven. More »
Former Major League catcher, studio analyst and Phillies fan John Marzano is fondly remembered by the MLB.com family. More »
The pressure of an ALCS Game 7 start would overwhelm many pitchers, but not 24-year-old Rays righty Matt Garza. More »
Phillies chairman Bill Giles inherited the baseball gene from his father, Warren, and is passing it along to his family. More »
"Big Game James" Shields learned to rise to the occasion with an assist from his cousin, Giants outfielder Aaron Rowand. More »
Phillies ace Cole Hamels battled back from a broken left arm on his way to 2008 World Series Most Valuable Player honors. More »
The first overall pick in the 2007 Draft, the Rays' David Price has always had the ability to excel on baseball's biggest stage. More »
Among baseball's true humanitarians, veteran lefty Jamie Moyer empowers youth through his Seattle-based foundation.More »
Five years ago, no D-I college baseball program wanted Evan Longoria; today, he is one of baseball's brightest young stars. More »
After choosing college over the pros, late-blooming All-Star Chase Utley has been taking Major League pitchers to school. More »
Though he was never a highly touted prospect, Jason Bartlett has worked his way into an indispensable role with the Rays.More »
Though he's cemented himself as a big-time big league slugger, the Phillies' Ryan Howard is the smallest man in his immediate family. More »
From Australia to Tampa Bay, fiery Rays setup man Grant Balfour has made an improbable journey to the 2008 postseason. More »
Philadelphia Phillies legend Harry Kalas' Hall of Fame broadcasting talents extend far beyond the baseball diamond. More »
The Rays' Don Zimmer has seen it all as a player, a manager, a coach and an advisor during his 60 years in professional baseball. More »
Jimmy Rollins' passion for baseball comes from his parents, while his other love, music, was fueled by rap legend MC Hammer. More »
One of several Rhode Islanders who participated in the 2008 postseason, Dan Wheeler played a big role in Tampa Bay's pennant run. More »
After playing for 11 different teams in his 16-year big league career, Matt Stairs finally won his first World Series championship. More »
While Carlos Pena has made a name for himself with the Rays, he appreciates the dominant dynamics of baseball in the Northeast. More »
Brad Lidge's success in the Majors is helping Notre Dame become known as more than just a football and basketball school. More »
From an early age, Tampa Bay left-hander Scott Kazmir clearly had the stuff to follow in the footsteps of other Texan fireballers. More »
One of only 35 Hawaiians to have played in the bigs, Shane Victorino chose baseball bats over surfboards at an early age. More »
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has helped turn a young underdog franchise into one of Major League Baseball's top forces. More »
From first-base coach Davey Lopes to the late Tug McGraw, the tightly knit Phillies family has done its part to "Stand Up To Cancer." More »
Like millions around the world, several members of the Rays have been affected by the struggles and heartaches of cancer. More »
Sox sock cancer
Pitcher Jon Lester and third baseman Mike Lowell are among Boston's cancer survivors who inspire Red Sox Nation. More »
Cancer has touched every level of the Dodgers, from Joe Torre to Derek Lowe to ticket operations manager Desiree Sanchez. More »
B.J. Upton and James Shields are only now drawing national attention, but they are familiar faces to the fans of the Rays' Triple-A club. More »
The Phils' 2008 World Series team was stocked with players who honed their craft while with the organization's Double-A affiliate. More »
Although the Biscuits haven't been around for long, the Double-A team has created a groundswell of Rays fandom in Alabama. More »
Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels are among the Phillies who developed their skills at the northeast post of the South Atlantic League. More »
Hudson Valley Traces
Rookie third baseman Evan Longoria is one of the many talented Rays who wowed the fans during his stop at Class A Hudson Valley. More »
Rhode Island Traces
The nation's smallest state has delivered some big-time Major League talent like Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli. More »
Though the Nats and O's didn't qualify for the 2008 postseason, the Mid-Atlantic region was well represented in October play. More »
Los Angeles Traces
With year-round sunshine, parks aplenty and a rich baseball history, the Southland is a proven ground for grooming big league talent. More »
Bay Area Traces
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins headlines a long list of Bay Area natives who shined on baseball's biggest stage in 2008. More »
Pacific NW Traces
Red Sox players Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie are among a slew of big league stars from the Pacific Northwest. More »
Managers Terry Francona and Joe Maddon are among the 2008 postseason participants who honed their baseball chops in Arizona. More »
San Diego Traces
America's "Baseball Factory" continues to produce top-flight Major League talent like Phillies ace left-hander Cole Hamels. More »
Why did Houston care about October baseball in 2008? Because 14 baseball figures involved in the World Series have ties to the city. More »
Tampa Bay Rays
The American League champs emerged as lovable underdogs in 2008, garnering support from many Major League players. More »
The Red Sox's truest "dirt dog," versatile infielder Kevin Youkilis fits seamlessly into the blue-collar Boston baseball mold. More »
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein has stayed true to his roots, successfully living out his childhood dream in his own backyard. More »
Making a very good habit of defying the odds, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia speaks loudly and carries a big stick. More »
Baseball is a family affair for Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, whose younger brothers hope to follow in his footsteps. More »
A native New Yorker, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner is a son of the game, as his love for baseball was cultivated by his father. More »
Growing up in Oregon, Jacoby Ellsbury learned a sense of humility and a sense of pride in his Navajo roots from his family. More »
Born in a small town in Georgia, J.D. Drew and brothers Tim and Stephen became the only sibling trio to be drafted in the first round. More »
Growing up with a boxing father and a track-and-field mother, Boston's Coco Crisp was destined for athletic success. More »
Boston gave Manny Delcarmen Sr. a life outside of baseball, and it was Boston that would give the younger Manny a life within it. More »
Veteran Dodgers infielder Nomar Garciaparra and his wife, U.S. soccer legend Mia Hamm, form a winning team. More »
More than just an emerging star on the baseball diamond, Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier moonlights as a food critic. More »
Las Vegas resident Greg Maddux has many things in common with his older brother Mike other than the game of baseball. More »
As the longtime voice of the Dodgers, broadcaster Vin Scully has seen more than his share of historic baseball moments. More »
Russell Martin Sr. taught his son more than just the game of baseball while raising the future All-Star catcher in Montreal. More »
Before Manny Ramirez was "being Manny" in Boston and L.A., he was Manny being a high school baseball phenom in Manhattan. More »
L.A. manager Joe Torre grew up in New York rooting against the Yankees and Dodgers while cheering for the Giants. More »