Baseball Gazette
January 2015

Dear Laura,

Welcome to the January edition of the Baseball Gazette, the e-newsletter of the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House. Each month, we deliver news and updates about our progress toward opening.

About the photo: Al Lopez is surrounded by Cleveland Indians fans during a parade honoring the 1954 team, which won the American League pennant that year. It was one of only two instances in the 1950s when the pennant was not won by the New York Yankees. The second instance was in 1959 when Al Lopez’s White Sox beat out the Yankees for first place.

Tony La Russa donates artifacts to museum

 

Tony La Russa signs a hat for each Major League baseball team he either managed or advised.

Tampa native and Major League Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Tony La Russa has stepped up to the plate to help preserve Tampa’s baseball heritage. 

He recorded an oral history for the museum with Ybor City Museum Society president Chantal Hevia and donated signed memorabilia and artifacts for the museum’s exhibits. 

 

During his oral history interview, La Russa shared how Tampa helped shape his baseball successes, and mentioned his time spent playing at Cuscaden Park, in West Tampa Little League and on the American Legion team. La Russa also talked about his coaches growing up, his success at Jefferson High School, the interactions he had with well-known players, and the support of his family.

 

Tony La Russa presents Ybor City Museum Society board member Mary Alvarez with a commemorative baseball bat.

After the interview, La Russa graciously donated several signed items for the Tampa Baseball Museum, including a commemorative bat issued by Cooperstown Bat Co. that recognizes his induction into the Hall of Fame; a signed copy of Hall of Fame magazine Memories and Dreams; a Tony La Russa Hall of Fame t-shirt; a signed baseball; and hats representing his time as a manager and advisor with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s, St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks. On the brim of each hat, La Russa handwrote the years he was associated with each organization.  

 

The artifacts will be on display and the interview, along with other baseball-related oral histories, will be available at the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House when it opens this year. 

Tampa native named Rays manager   

   

Tampa native Kevin Cash named Rays new manager. Photo credit: Tampa Bay Rays.

The Tampa Bay Rays named Kevin Cash as the club’s new manager, making him the youngest active manager in Major League Baseball and the sixth Tampa native to become a manager.

 

Growing up in Tampa, Cash played for Northside Little League and competed in the 1989 Little League World Series. While playing for Gaither High School, he was honored as an all-county and third-team all-state selection.

 

With this managerial role, Cash carries on Tampa’s rich baseball legacy of producing Major League talent. He joins Al Lopez, Tony La Russa and Lou Piniella on an impressive list of legendary managers from Tampa.

 

Al Lopez

Born and raised in Ybor City, Lopez started his extensive baseball career as a catcher with the Class D Tampa Smokers. After working his way up the baseball ranks, Lopez was a Major League manager for 15 seasons. None of his teams during his managing career ever had a losing record. Lopez was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.

 

Tony La Russa

Born in 1944, La Russa grew up on Tampa’s ball fields. Ybor City’s Optimist’s Club chose La Russa as a member of a youth all-star team that would travel to Cuba. He was named the team’s shortstop and co-captain at just nine years old. His 2,728 wins as a manager ranks third all-time in Major League history. La Russa joined Lopez in the Hall of Fame this past year.

 

Lou Piniella

Born and raised in West Tampa, Piniella played American Legion and PONY League baseball alongside La Russa. A Jesuit High School graduate, Piniella was named a College Division All-American in baseball while attending the University of Tampa. Piniella managed five teams, including the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, over a 24-year span. He was twice named AL Manager of the Year and the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series under his management in 1990.

 

The Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House will honor the nearly 100 players from Tampa who made it to the Major Leagues along with more than 125 years of rich Tampa baseball heritage. 

Golf Classic to benefit museum 

 

Over the past 65 years, the Ybor City Rotary Club has donated time and money to numerous admirable charities and causes that help make a difference in Ybor City and the surrounding community. This year, the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House was selected as an “adopted” nonprofit project for 2014-2015.

 

Part of the Ybor City Rotary Club’s support includes donating proceeds from its annual Golf Classic to the Tampa Baseball Museum. The 4th Annual Golf Classic will take place on Feb. 22, 2015 at the Bay Palms Golf Complex at MacDill Air Force Base.

 

For more information and to register for the Golf Classic, visit The Ybor City Rotary’s website

We appreciate your support and look forward to keeping you up-to-date about the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House.
In This Edition

Thank you to our supporters!

- The Saunders Foundation awarded a major grant for the design and fabrication of baseball exhibits.

Thank you to our supporters:



Read past editions:

-  October 2014  

-  Older editions

Preserving Heritage

The Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House is being developed by the Ybor City Museum Society, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that preserves and promotes Ybor City’s cultural heritage and supports the Ybor City Museum State Park.

Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House

2003 N. 19th Street | Tampa, Florida 33605

(813) 247-1434

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