Baseball Gazette
August 2014

Dear Missy,

Welcome to the August 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: Six of Tampa’s winningest high school baseball coaches – James Macaluso, Pop Cuesta, Frank Permuy, Pete Mulry, John Crumbley, and Billy Reed – shared fond memories and stories with more than 400 Tampa baseball fans on July 15 at “A Night to Celebrate Tampa Baseball.” Photo credit: Joe Photo Tampa.

Turning a House into a Home for Baseball Heritage


Any historic preservation project can be a challenge, but when you’re turning a 100-year-old home previously inhabited by Hall of Fame honoree Al Lopez into a museum for public use, the standards are even higher.


Steel beams were added to the floor of the Al Lopez house to reinforce the foundation.

Changing the structural system of the inside of the former home into a museum, while restoring the historical integrity of its exterior, has been particularly tricky. The wood framing and flooring have to be reinforced to withstand the foot traffic of visitors and the weight of the exhibits being added to the interior.


The condition of the Al Lopez house appeared to be in fair shape during the move to 19th Street, however, as construction began, the team discovered extensive termite damage to the foundation. Steel beams were installed in the floor to reinforce the foundation.  


Columns not original to the house were removed. Next the siding will be restored.

With the infrastructure secured, the building’s exterior can begin to be restored. One of the most important requirements of most historic preservation projects is maintaining the historic integrity of the building’s exterior. Columns that were not original to the house, but were added over the years, were removed in order to bring the house back to its original state. Much of the original siding was preserved, and custom siding designed to match up seamlessly with the original will be added shortly.  


A rendering of what the Tampa Baseball Museum will look like once complete.

After the exterior rehabilitation is complete, the Diaz Fritz construction team will complete the interior so that exhibits, designed and fabricated by Creative Arts and under the direction of curator Elizabeth McCoy, can be installed.


Currently, a $1 million capital campaign is underway to further rehabilitate the Lopez house, create the exhibits, develop educational programming and manage operations once the museum opens. The Ybor City Museum Society is nearing the halfway mark towards meeting that goal.


To find out how you or your company can contribute to the capital campaign, please contact Chantal Hevia at (813) 247-1434.

Home Run for “A Night to Celebrate Tampa Baseball”  


More than 400 people gathered at Higgins Hall on July 15 to celebrate Tampa’s baseball heritage and to support the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House.


Lou Piniella and other former Major League players from Tampa signed autographs. Photo credit: Joe Photo.

The evening was a reunion of old friends, players and coaches. The night started with a sports memorabilia silent auction and autograph signing with local players who made it to the Major Leagues: Lou Piniella, Tino Martinez, Lenny Faedo, Sammy Ellis, Rich Thompson, Ty Griffin, Jason Romano, and more.


Six of Tampa Bay’s winningest high school coaches – Frank Permuy, Pop Cuesta, Billy Reed, James Macaluso, John Crumbley and Pete Mulry – gathered for a panel discussion emceed by Jack Harris. They shared fond memories of winning state championships, raising their families, watching their players grow up, and even confessed which players were the fiercest competitors over the years.


The event raised nearly $10,000 for the Tampa Baseball Museum, which will help rehabilitate the Al Lopez house. Extensive media coverage helped increase awareness about the museum among the local community. To see some of the coverage of the event, click here.


Thank you to everyone who came out to the event, and those who donated items for the silent auction. We are also thankful to the coaches and players for their participation at the event. 

The Tampa Baseball Museum would like to personally thank the following people and sponsors for knocking it of the park on this event:
  • Event committee members: Bob Gomez (chair), Daniel Martinez (co-chair), Mary Alvarez, Diana Almeida, Heidi Hess, Shari Middleton, and Joe Caro
  • Sports organizations: National Sports Performance Institute, New York Yankees Foundation, Peter J. Mulry Foundation, Southeastern Fishing and Tackle, Sports Club of Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Rays, and West Coast Umpires Association
  • Corporate Sponsors: AVI/SPL, AutoSave, B2 Communications, Bank of Tampa, New York Life, Sagicor, TECO, Travel by Appointment, USAmeriBank, and Western & Southern Life
  • Table Sponsors: Diana Almeida & Friends, Mary & Manny Alvarez Family, Cookie Garcia & Friends, Al Lopez, Jr. & Friends, and Danny Martinez Family
  • Food & Beverage Sponsors: Catering by the Family, Bay Food Brokerage, Vince Scanio, Ron Barcena, and Ace Vending
  • Special thanks to: Higgins Hall, Jack Harris, John Osterweil, Joe Photo, Levy Awards, Universal Business Systems, Memorabilia Magic, Simon Canasi, and Anthony and Mark Scaglione
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

Another Tampa native reaches Cooperstown

Tony La Russa, who grew up in Ybor City and graduated from Jefferson High School, was enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 27. 


He’s honored for his illustrious career as a manager, spending 33 years among the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s, and St. Louis Cardinals. He won three World Series Champion-ships and has the third most wins of any manager at 2,728. La Russa joins fellow Tampa Hall of Famers Al Lopez and Wade Boggs.


Read more on Tony’s career and Hall of Fame induction from the Tampa Bay Times and Tampa Tribune. See photos from the Hall of Fame ceremony at

Cigar Boxes

Own a piece of Cigar City’s baseball heritage with a commemorative box of cigars

Thank you to our supporters:

Read past editions:

–  July 2014
–  June 2014
–  May 2014  
–  Older editions

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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