More than 30 Central Florida Plumbing Academy students recently volunteered their time and skills to install all of the necessary plumbing at the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House under the guidance of instructors.
The students, enrolled in the State Indentured Program in conjunction with Hillsborough County Schools, are employed by local licensed plumbing companies. For students, the opportunity to install the museum’s plumbing provided on-the-job training hours, which are required to graduate from the four-year program. It was an excellent real-word teaching aid for instructors too. In addition to the students’ time and skills, all of the materials were donated by the Kohler Corporation and Bucks Plumbing Supply.
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Ybor City Museum Society president and CEO Chantal Hevia and curator Liz McCoy recently appeared on the “Tampa Bay Tomorrow” radio show. Chantal and Liz chatted with host Corey Dylan about the deep baseball traditions rooted in Tampa. They also shared how the idea for the Tampa Baseball Museum was developed and what visitors can expect to see when the museum opens. You can listen to the full show here.
The high school baseball coaches had more than 200 years of experience among them.
They recalled the big games and the players who would go on to make their mark — from Tino Martinez to Gary Sheffield and many more.
But for the six coaches, what they remembered most was guiding their own young players.
“The most important thing to me was developing the kids,” said Billy Reed, who coached for 24 years at Hillsborough High School. “We’re called coaches, but we’re not coaches, we’re teachers.”
Reed and five others — Frank Permuy from Gaither, Pop Cuesta from Jefferson, James Macaluso from King, John Crumbley from Steinbrenner and Jesuit, and Pete Mulry from Tampa Catholic — came together Tuesday night to talk baseball.
The panel was part of a fundraiser at St. Lawrence Catholic Church for the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House in Ybor City.
The museum, in the home where local baseball legend and Hall of Famer Al Lopez lived for years, is expected to open by the end of 2014.
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While the mid-season classic heated up in Minnesota Tuesday night, St. Lawrence Higgins Hall in Tampa hosted their own All-Star gala consisting of many local baseball greats.
Lou Piniella, Tino Martinez, Jody Reed, Sam Militello, and Jason Romano highlighted a list of former big leaguers in attendance. Meanwhile, high school coaching legends Pop Cuesta, Frank Permuy, John Crumbley, Billy Reed, Pete Mulry and Jim Macaluso took to the stage to share stories of some of the great moments and players of the past century.
The event celebrated the upcoming grand opening of the Tampa Baseball Museum, set to open at the Al Lopez House in Ybor City later this year. The event was organized by chairman Bob Gomez and gave a lifetime achievement award to Tony Saladino.
A silent auction and All-Star game watch party followed as all proceeds of the event were donated to the museum, located at 2003 N. 19th Street in Ybor City.
Go to BayNews9.com for a video interview with Tampa baseball greats like Lou Piniella.
Chantal Hevia, president and CEO of the Ybor City Museum Society, appeared on Good Day Tampa Bay to discuss the new Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House and to discuss Tampa’s rich baseball heritage. View the clip below.