The Tampa Bay area is seeped in baseball history. From all the way back in 1913 when the Cubs moved from New Orleans to Tampa for spring training to 1997 when we finally got its own Major League Baseball team, baseball and the Tampa Bay area have a long a fruitful relationship.
Now, the Ybor City Museum Society wants to ask the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County if they can assist in making Hall of Famer Al Lopez's family home into a museum commemorating the history of the relationship between Tampa and baseball.
It's complicated, though. First, the Ybor City Museum Society wants to not only use, but move the house from its original location at 1210 E. 12 St. to Ninth Avenue and 19th Street across from Centennial Park in Ybor City. The Florida Department of Transportation acquired the original property (1210 E. 12th St.) to make room for the I-4 expansion. The county owns the new property (Ninth Avenue and 19th Street) where the Museum Society hopes to place the house. Got all that?
On Wednesday the Museum Society will ask the county to lease the land located at Ninth Avenue and 19th Street to the City of Tampa. The city would then sublet the land to the Ybor City Museum Society for them to move forward with the baseball museum project.
With the assistance of the Florida Department of Transportation, the Ybor City Museum Society hopes to move and restore the Al Lopez house within a year and half, approximately.
In the meantime, the Museum Society will prepare to open a baseball exhibit titled "For the Love of the Game" at the Ybor City Museum State Park in October.