Baseball Gazette
April 2014
Welcome to the April 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: Tampa started hosting spring training back in 1913. Al Lopez Field, pictured above, hosted the Cincinnati Reds for three decades. Al Lopez managed the Chicago White Sox for spring training on the field during the 1950s. 

101 Years of Spring Training in Tampa

Another spring training season came to a close yesterday with opening day for many Major League Baseball teams. This year marked 101 years of Tampa serving as spring training host. 


A program from The Cincinnati Reds spring training season at Al Lopez Field in 1987.

Tampa’s first spring training team, the Chicago Cubs, played their first spring training game in 1913 at Plant Field, Tampa’s first major athletic venue. Plant Field was the spring training home for several different professional teams, including the Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds, until 1954 when Al Lopez Field opened.

Al Lopez Field hosted the Cincinnati Reds for three decades starting in 1955. The Chicago White Sox also spent several springs at the field in the 1950s, while Al Lopez managed the team.

Today, the Tampa Bay area still hosts several teams including the Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater), Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin), Pittsburgh Pirates (Bradenton), and the New York Yankees, who’ve played in Tampa since moving here from Ft. Lauderdale in 1996.

The Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House will chronicle the area’s spring training heritage as one part of Tampa’s illustrious baseball story.

New ways to support the museum
There are new ways for you to help preserve and honor Tampa’s rich baseball heritage. The Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House is offering two products to raise funds to develop the museum. 
Pay homage to the Cigar City’s influence on baseball with this limited edition cigar box.

Cigar aficionados can purchase a limited

edition cigar box that pays homage to the Cigar City’s influence on the game of baseball. A black lacquered wood cigar box is emblazoned with the Tampa Baseball Museum logo and includes 10 premium Rocky Patel cigars wrapped with the Tampa Baseball Museum label. Own one of only 500 limited-edition cigar boxes for $100.

Baseball fans can be permanent fixture near the Tampa Baseball Museum. Purchase a Home Plate Paver to be placed in front of the museum along the “Home Plate Walk.” Engrave your personal message or memory onto a 16″ cement paver in the shape of a home plate. Only 140 pavers will be installed and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Show your love of the game with
an engraved Home Plate Paver.


A home plate is a great way to memorialize family members and friends or to give as a unique gift for birthdays, anniversaries and other holidays and special occasions. Each home plate is $1,000 and can be inscribed with three lines of type at 15 characters per line. All proceeds from the pavers will help build the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House. Thank you to Coastal an Oldcastle Company for donating the pavers.


To purchase one of these products, call (813) 247-1434 or visit the website. 

Thank you to The Patio

Museum supporter Jamie Lowrance with capital campaign co-chairs Bob Gomez and Daniel Martinez at The Patio fundraiser.

We’d like to express our deepest appreciation to Russ Bruno and Jeff Single, owners of The Patio, for graciously hosting a successful fundraising event on February 27 to benefit the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House. 

Thank you to everyone who came out in support including the Tampa Bay Rays for donating raffle and silent auction items and Ciccio’s for donating food.

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

New Supporters
Thank you for supporting the Tampa Baseball Museum:
– Ferman
– The Bank of Tampa
– West Tampa Chamber of Commerce
– West Tampa Optimist Club
– Ybor City Rotary Club


Check out our “Build the Diamond” project on Power2Give, which will help us build a small-scale stadium in the middle of the museum. Thank you for your generous donations:
– Stephen M. Barbas
– Bob and Aida Calafell
– Rich and Holly Simmons  

Thank you to our supporters:
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.

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