|Born: January 12, 1982|
|June 14, 2005, for the Baltimore Orioles|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 29, 2011, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Earned run average||4.10|
Christopher Thomas Ray (born January 12, 1982) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, and Seattle Mariners.
Early life and career
Ray graduated from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Florida, and attended The College of William and Mary, where he started on their baseball team. In 2002, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League. He was selected by the Orioles in the third round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft.
In 2005, Ray allowed only two earned runs in just under 20 innings. However, during the month of August, Ray was optioned to the Orioles' Double-A affiliate, the Bowie Baysox. His stint at Bowie was brief, as he was called up again in late August. The second stint with the Orioles saw Ray allow 4 earned runs in 16 innings. Ray finished 2005 with a 2.66 ERA in 40 innings pitched over 41 games, compiling a record of 1-3 with 8 holds. Ray also compiled a 1.28 WHIP.
The Orioles coaching staff had been so impressed by Ray's 2005 season that they were considering him their closer of the future. But, since the Orioles have had little success with rushing prospects into big league roles, they planned to ease Ray into the closer role sometime in 2007. However, closer B.J. Ryan left the Orioles as a free agent to the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Orioles were unable to sign a closer on the free agent market to serve as a short term solution, causing Ray to be the Orioles' de facto closer.
Ray became the full-time closer of Baltimore Orioles for the start of the 2006 season. Ray had a very successful first season as the closer for the O's. Ray compiled 33 saves with a 2.73 ERA and 51 strikeouts and allowed an opponent batting average of just .193. Given his success, the Orioles stuck with Ray as their closer for the 2007 regular season. However, his success would not carry over, resulting in a sub par year. During the 2007 season Ray's numbers dropped to 16 saves with a 4.43 ERA and 44 strikeouts.
Ray underwent Tommy John surgery on August 17, 2007. In August 2008 he made nine rehabilitation appearances in the minor leagues, but did not pitch for the Orioles during the season. In 2009, he made the opening day roster but posted an era of 7.27.
San Francisco Giants
Ray was traded to the San Francisco Giants, along with pitching prospect Michael Main, for Bengie Molina on June 30, 2010. Sportswriter Andy Baggarly referred to him as the "fifth inning, runners on second and third with two outs" member of the bullpen.
On December 2, 2010, the Giants non-tendered Ray, making him a free agent.
Ray signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners on January 25, 2011. The deal included an invite to spring training. On August 1, 2011, Ray was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder latissimus dorsi. He was released on August 16.
Ray attended spring training in 2012 with the Cleveland Indians as a non-roster invitee. Reassigned to minor-league camp on March 30, 2012, Ray began the season pitching in the Triple-A Columbus Clippers opening game on April 5, 2012. Ray was released by the Indians on July 7.
Chris and his wife Alice have two children, Virginia and Thomas. Chris stated in a March 2013 interview he was now retired from baseball.
Ray is an avid homebrewer and released a collaborative charity beer with Fremont Brewing Company in July 2011, benefiting Operation Homefront. Named Homefront IPA, it was sold at Safeco Field, Fremont Brewing Company and various retail stores in the Seattle area. In 2013 Homefront IPA was collaboratively produced by nine breweries from all over the country, including Center of the Universe Brewing. In 2014 eleven breweries were involved.
- Encina, Eduardo A. (September 19, 2006). "Home offers no respite for Rays". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on November 18, 2006.
- "Major League Baseball Players From the Cape Cod League" (PDF). capecodbaseball.org. Cape Cod Baseball League. May 11, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
- "Chris Ray Stats". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
- "Orioles' Ray likely out for '08 after elbow surgery". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 17, 2007.
- Bollinger, Rhett (July 1, 2010). "Texas trades for San Fran catcher Molina". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Archived from the original on July 4, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Baggarly, Andy (October 7, 2010). "Updated:Giants release Division Series roster — and Jose Guillen isn't on it". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
- Spratt, Gerry (January 25, 2011). "Mariners sign right-hander Ray with spring invite". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Hearst Corporation. Archived from the original on January 29, 2011.
- "Mariners place Ray on DL". 9news.com. August 1, 2011. Archived from the original on July 14, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- Nicholson-Smith, Ben (August 15, 2011). "Mariners Release Chris Ray". MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
- Bastian, Jordan (March 15, 2012). "Final bullpen spots still to be hashed out". Indians.com. MLB.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- Hoynes, Paul (March 30, 2012). "Jeanmar Gomez is latest Cleveland Indians pitcher to be injured". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland, Ohio. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- Massie, Jim (April 5, 2012). "Janish home runs lift Bats past Clippers in opener". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- Axisa, Mike (May 22, 2013). "Former big leaguer Chris Ray now co-owns a brewery with his brother". CBSSports.com. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
Ray, 31, pitched in Triple-A last summer before deciding to retire from the game over the winter.
- Graves, Lee (March 22, 2013). "The Brew: On the business of brotherly love". Richmond BizSense. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
- Glassner, Greg (March 16, 2012). "Baseball pitcher, brother to open brewery in Ashland". The Herald-Progress. Ashland, Virginia: Lakeway Publishers, Inc. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- "10K After Party at Center of the Universe Brewing Company with Richmond.com". Richmond Times-Dispatch. April 10, 2013. Archived from the original on August 26, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "A Relief Pitcher of Beer". Washington Beer Blog. June 13, 2011. Archived from the original on August 1, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
- "Homefront IPA". Fremont Brewing. Archived from the original on October 18, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
- Somerville, Maella (March 27, 2013). "Homefront IPA: A Drink That Gives Back". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "Homefront IPA beer sales support military veterans". WTOP-FM. Washington, D.C. May 22, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2014.