TAMPA - "This bat here commemorates Wade Boggs 3,000th hit. He was the second person from Tampa to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame,” said Ybor City History Museum Society Curator Elizabeth McCoy.
The memorabilia on the table tells a unique story about Tampa's legacy.
"What we're looking at here is some of the first wave of donations," said McCoy.
These donations will help fill Tampa's Baseball Museum.
"Of course, it's something that's a great amount of pride to me and my family but I think also to the community," said Al Lopez, Junior.
His father was a baseball Hall of Famer and more importantly a hometown hero.
Born in 1908 to cigar maker and the youngest nine children, Lopez united our city under a pennant of pride as he rose to major league baseball stardom.
"Nobody ever thought that there would be a kid that would grow up in Tampa or Ybor City or West Tampa and go on to play Major League Baseball so that kind've blew everybody's mind,” explained Al Lopez, Junior.
Tampa boasts many more stars including Tino Martinez, Fred McGriff, Lou Piniella, Wade Boggs, Tony LaRussa, and Dwight Gooden.
You can find gloves, autographed baseballs and cards and more at the Ybor City Museum.
Soon these Tampa treasures will have a new home honoring 125-years of baseball culture.
"If anybody else has the material that deals with baseball or the history of baseball in Tampa including my father, I'm sure the museum would love to have that," said Lopez, Jr.
The museum's campaign to collect baseball artifacts from our community is in full swing.
Al Lopez's Ybor City home has been relocated to North 19th street. Workers are busy rehabbing the structure and renderings show what the museum will look like when it opens in in spring of 2014-- a place to honor America's favorite past time, Tampa style.
"It really cemented the passion of the people that lived in Ybor City and West Tampa,” said Lopez, Jr.If you are interested in making a donation, visit www.tampabaseballmuseum.org/contribute/ .
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