Historic Home to be moved, transformed into Tampa Baseball Museum

Move is milestone in creating new museum to celebrate local baseball’s past, present and future
What:

Two homes slated to become museums will be relocated by the Florida Department of Transportation on May 15 and16. The former home of Al Lopez – the first Major League baseball player from Tampa, and first hall-of-famer from Tampa – will ultimately become the Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House, an Ybor City-based home for celebrating our community’s importance to baseball, and baseball’s importance to our community.

The second home will be renovated and repurposed by the Sheriff’s Office of Hillsborough County as a law enforcement museum. The houses are two of 64 relocated as part of the FDOT’s Interstate Historic Mitigation Plan.

When:

Wednesday, May 15, starting at 10 p.m.
until Thursday, May 16, around 4 a.m.

Where:

2003 North 19th Street in historic Ybor City
(map of route available upon request).
Media Staging Area: Ybor City Museum Store, 1820 East 9th Avenue, Tampa, 33605

Why:

The Tampa Baseball Museum at the Al Lopez House will be a home for celebration, preservation, and education of local baseball culture – from Little League to Major League, and everything in between, including: factory, inter-social, municipal, Cigar City, and Negro leagues. The concentration of Latino players and other cultures contributed to the development of both the city and the game of baseball within it. The museum will cover more than 125 years of baseball heritage with permanent and rotating exhibits. It is planned to open in Spring 2014.

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. It is the second time the Society has partnered with the FDOT and the City of Tampa on repurposing historic structures; the first partnership created a historic streetscape of former cigar workers’ homes along 9th Avenue and 19th Street in Ybor City, which are now shops: Tre Amici at the Bunker, Arnold Martinez Gallery, Singing Stone Gallery, Rudely Elegant and Tea Rose Cottage.

Interview Opportunities:
Ybor City Museum Society president Chantal Hevia; former Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Alvarez; Al Lopez, Jr., house mover Mark Rousch (advance only), officials, dignitaries, key players in making this museum happen, and of course baseball fans. Scheduling in advance will help ensure interviewee availability and knowledge on particular topics.