Al Lopez Field seats pledged
A local baseball fan’s lifelong interest in baseball will become a key piece in the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House. Jill Literaty has pledged to donate three adjoined and signed seats from Al Lopez Field as a way to honor her late husband Dick.
A baseball and local history enthusiast, Dick was assigned to work with the Florida Suncoast Dome (now known as Tropicana Field) during its construction, and he became involved with the push to acquire the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. For his support and team spirit, Dick is recognized on the Rays Wall of Fame.
|Al Lopez Field was the home of the Tampa Tarpons, and served as spring training grounds. Photo credit: BallparkReviews.com
Demonstrating his love of the game and pride in local history, Dick collected items relating to baseball and the Tampa Bay community. The trio of seats from Al Lopez Field is just one piece from his extensive collection.
Al Lopez Field opened in March 1955 at the northeast corner of Dale Mabry Highway and Tampa Bay Boulevard in Tampa. It served as a spring training and Minor League ballpark for the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Tampa Tarpons.
After the White Sox and Reds moved to different spring training sites, the revenue from the Tampa Tarpons alone could not cover the ballpark’s operating expenses. Tampa Sports Authority closed the ballpark after the 1988 season, and demolition of the park in March 1989. Today, Raymond James Stadium sits where Al Lopez Field once was.
In remembrance of Lopez, a community park has been built across the street from the field’s original location.