Tampa Bay fans heartbroken over Rays trading Longoria

Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria celebrates as he runs the bases after hitting a 12th-inning home run off New York Yankees relief pitcher Scott Proctor during a baseball game early Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays won 8-7 and clinched the AL wild card. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is a fan favorite and so much more.

For the past ten years, Longoria made more than just a positive impact on the baseball field — he’ll also long be remembered for his personal investments in the Tampa Bay area.

“It’s gonna’ be hard to lose him as a player and to lose him in the community,” Kimberly Marcin said.

Fans like Marcin are sad to hear about Longoria’s trade to the San Francisco Giants.

“I thought he was going to be in Tampa forever,” she said. “I thought he signed this really long contract.”

Another fan, Mike Nelson, was just as shocked at the news.

“I think it’s bad for Tampa Bay. I think that he was the cog in the wheel,” he said.

Despite the trade, 32-year-old Longoria says he’s not forgetting about his community commitments here in Tampa Bay, including his work with local animal shelters.

“I think that those things that we’ve committed to are still somehow going to be ongoing relationships whether it be with pet pals or someone with the restaurant,” he said. “You know, all of those things — I believe that those things that we’re passionate about in the area, we’ll try and stay committed to.”

Not long after the news of his trade, Longoria posted this message on his Instagram account: “Thank you for making the Tampa Bay area a community my family and I loved being a part of. We will never forget that.”

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