Tampa is about to get its own baseball museum, but it's going to take a monumental move. Crews with Above All Structural in Pinellas, led by Mark Roesch, are actually moving two homes on giant flatbeds.
One of them will become the museum, which is also the historic home of Al Lopez, Tampa's first Major League Baseball player and first Hall of Famer.
The homes are both making a journey of seven blocks from 12th Street to 19th Street, where they will land, be renovated and repurposed, and eventually become a permanent home for the region's baseball history.
The second house will become a museum for law enforcement and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The hope is to have them open by next spring.
Tampa has a rich baseball history and a lot of it is already on display at the Ybor City Museum Society.
The move began early Thursday morning. Both houses will be placed in spots at 2003 and 2005 North 19th Street. These particular houses are #61 and #62 of the 64 houses being relocated as part of FDOT's Interstate Historic Mitigation plan.
"The Rays weren't the first gig in town as it were," said Elizabeth McCoy with The Ybor City Museum Society. "There's been a lot of baseball history almost 125 years of baseball history in the area. The Cubans that were the first immigrants to Ybor City were huge baseball fans and they were instrumental in bringing the sport sort of, to the other ethnics groups, the Italians, the Spaniards, the Germans, the Jews that had moved into the area."
You can also watch this special on Al Lopez, FOX13 Special Projects Producer Steve Geiger produced back in the 90's. An exclusive look inside the life and times of Al Lopez.
FOX 13's April Kellogg contributed to this report.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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