Rays trade Abreu to start franchise, Phils' rebuilding

Posted: October 22, 2008

1998: The rebuilding Phillies and fledgling Rays found themselves linked that year. Before that season, the Phils traded shortstop Kevin Stocker to Tampa Bay for young outfielder Bobby Abreu, whom the Rays had taken from Houston in the expansion draft. Entering the league as an expansion team, the Rays needed an established shortstop. The trade was a steal for the Phils. Abreu blossomed into a tremendous talent over his 81/2 seasons in Philadelphia, but never helped the Phils get to the postseason.

2008: Ten years later, the building of the expansion Rays was completed with 97 wins, an AL East title, and a berth in the World Series. The Phillies' rebuilding process ended several seasons ago and now they are reaping the benefits with homegrown players such as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard and Brett Myers.

Jim Salisbury was the Phillies beat writer for The Inquirer in 1998.

Remembering 1998

Average price of a gallon of gas: $1.05

Phillies' record: 75-87, third place.

Phillies' attendance: 1,715,722.

Phillies' first-round pick: Pat Burrell, OF.

Remember this? The 5,000th episode of The Price is Right aired. (Bob Barker is exhumed for the occasion.)

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