"Andy Sonnanstine's Tampa Bay Rays IQ is just like the Rays ... fun, fun, fun!"
- Dewayne Staats, Rays TV play-by-play announcer
About the Author
ANDREW MICHAEL (ANDY) SONNANSTINE
is currently in his fifth year in Major League Baseball, all with the Tampa Bay Rays. A 13th-round draft pick in 2004, he has become a valued member of the Rays pitching staff that has won two of the last three American League East titles. A native of Wadsworth, Ohio, Andy attended Kent State University and excelled on the diamond, setting single-season school records in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts as he led the Golden Flashes to the MAC Tournament title along with MVP honors in 2004. Andy had a brief but standout minor league career, leading all Rays' farmhands in wins and strikeouts in 2005, and was named the organization's Pitcher of the Year after posting a 15-8 record with a 2.67 ERA in 2006. He made his major league debut on June 5, 2007 and gained his first major league win in his next start, beating the Florida Marlins by the score of 9-4 while striking out ten (including seven in a row) and going 2 for 3 at the plate. For the season, he ranked fifth among AL rookies with 22 starts and 130.2 innings pitched. He had a breakout season in 2008, when he was a full-time starter on the Rays team that advanced to the World Series. During the regular season, he went 13-9 with a 4.38 ERA, and he made three starts in the playoffs, winning his first two, including the clinching Game 4 of the AL Division Series against the White Sox. He currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida with his golden retriever Murphy. TUCKER ELLIOT
is a former high school athletic director and baseball coach who now writes fulltime. A native of Georgia, he now resides in Tampa and is a diehard fan of both the Braves and Rays.