Baseball Gazette
November 2014
Dear Laura,

Welcome to the November 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: One of Tampa’s first organized baseball leagues was the Municipal League. Pictured above are the members of the Universal Ball Club, which won the 1941 Municipal League Championship.
  


Construction milestone for the Al Lopez House  

 

Construction on the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House reached a major milestone. Last week, the house received fresh paint, which adds a touch of color and protects its wooden exterior. In addition, bricks are also being installed along the front ramp this week. 

 

Interior construction is underway to allow for the installation of exhibits. A custom front door, sidewalk pavers and landscaping, generously funded by the Davis Islands Garden Club, will be added to complete the project.  

 

For the latest developments, be sure to follow us on Facebook and twitter. Please contact Chantal Hevia at (813) 247-1434 to find out how you can support the development of the Tampa Baseball Museum.

 

The Al Lopez House reached a major milestone as a fresh coat of paint was added to its wooden exterior. Painters are adding the final touches now.


Exhibits take shape 

 

The Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House will celebrate more than 125 years of local baseball heritage and honor Tampa’s passion for the game. Exhibits will cover Tampa’s first baseball league to Major League Baseball – and everything in between.

 

We’re giving you a sneak peek at two of the exhibits celebrating Tampa’s baseball heritage. 

 

Joe Benito was an infielder who played for one of Tampa’s earliest baseball leagues, the Intersocial League.
Tampa’s First Leagues

This exhibit chronicles the early years of Tampa’s love of the game. Tampa’s first baseball team was founded in 1878, a time when the city’s population was a mere 700 people. The founding of the cigar industry in 1886 brought an influx of immigrants to the area, and soon after, baseball became Tampa’s favorite pastime. It was a way for people of different cultures and languages to come together over a shared passion.

 

Cigar factories sponsored baseball teams to play one another. In 1910, these informal games became Tampa’s first local baseball league, the Cigar City League. Many others would follow, including the Municipal League, American Legion League and Inter-social League.

 

The Majors

Tampa’s history with Major League Baseball dates to 1899 when Plant Field, Tampa’s first major sports venue, was completed. It was just a few years after MLB teams started travelling to warmer climates like New Orleans and Hot Springs, Ark. to train before the start of the season.

 

Plant Field was Tampa’s first major sports venue. Over the years it was the spring training home to several MLB teams.
In 1913, Plant Field became the spring training location for the Chicago Cubs – one of the first teams to travel to Florida for training. Since then, seven teams have selected Tampa as their spring training location. 

 

Tampa hit another Major League milestone in 1995 when the region was selected for the 13th expansion team in MLB history. Three years later, the Devil Rays (now Tampa Bay Rays) played their inaugural game on March 31, 1998.

 

In addition to the teams who have called Tampa home, nearly 90 players from Tampa have played Major League Baseball. Each one will be recognized in the Tampa Baseball Museum’s Major League exhibit.

 

These exhibits, and others, will start moving in to their permanent home in the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House once construction is complete.
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:

Read past editions:
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Preserving Heritage

The Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House is being developed by the Ybor City Museum Society, a 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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