Al Lopez Field was located at the intersection of North Himes Avenue and West Woodlawn Avenue in Tampa, Florida.
From 1955 to 1959 it was the Spring Training home of the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox relocated to Payne Park in Sarasota, Florida, in 1960.
From 1960 until 1987 Al Lopez Field was the Spring Training home of the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds relocated their spring training home to Plant City, Florida, in 1988.
The minor league Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League called Al Lopez Field home from 1957 to 1988.
In 1966, the City of Tampa constructed Tampa Stadium just north of Al Lopez Field on West Ohio Avenue.
Tampa Stadium was primarily a soccer and football venue, with notable tenants including the North American Soccer League Tampa Bay Rowdies and the National Football League Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Stadium hosted Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984 (Los Angeles Raiders 38, Washington Redskins 9), and Super Bowl XXV on January 27, 1991 (New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19).
Al Lopez Field was demolished in 1989. In 1996 the City of Tampa began construction of Raymond James Stadium on the former site of Al Lopez Field. Al Lopez Field was located in what is now the Northeast quadrant Raymond James Stadium.
In the aerial photograph of Raymond James Stadium below (facing West), the site of Al Lopez Field is located in the bottom right quadrant of the stadium. The former site of Tampa Stadium, which was demolished in 1999, appears in the photograph below as the open grass field just to the right of Raymond James Stadium.
The right field corner of Al Lopez Field was located near the intersection of North Himes Avenue and West Woodlawn Avenue. Raymond James Stadium East Gate now marks the spot.
The former site of right field is now a parking area that parallels North Himes Avenue and Raymond James Stadium.
Center field was located near the intersection of North Himes Avenue and West Ohio Avenue.
A significant portion of the former site of center field is now an asphalt parking area just north of Raymond James Stadium.
A patch of grass that sits in the shadow of the Raymond James Stadium sign at the northern end of the stadium marks the former site of left field.
The former site of Al Lopez Field’s home plate sits in the north east corner of Raymond James Stadiums’ northern most end zone (the end zone near the pirate ship replica). Two Superbowls have been played at the former site of Al Lopez Field, Super Bowl XXXV on January 28, 2001 (Baltimore Ravens 34, New York Giants 7), and Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 (Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23).
Spring Training baseball, as well as minor league baseball, is still played just a long fly ball from the former site of Al Lopez Field. George Steinbrenner Field, Spring Training Home of the New York Yankees, is located just one block to the northwest of the former ballpark site.
The Florida State League Tampa Yankees play their home games at Steinbrenner Field.
In 1992, the City of Tampa honored Tampa resident Al Lopez with a statute located at the intersection of North Himes Avenue and West Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd, just a very long fly ball from the former site of Al Lopez Field.
A plaque at the base of the statue notes that Al Lopez was born in nearby Ybor City on August 20, 1908, and provides an overview of his accomplishments in baseball: “Distinguished himself as a professional baseball player with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Braves, and Pittsburgh Pirates as a catcher, setting the original all-time record for most games caught in the Major Leagues. He further distinguished himself in Major League history as manager of the pennant-wining Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox. For his admirable accomplishments in the Major Leagues as a player and Manager, he was Tampa’s first inductee into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1977.”
The statute of Al Lopez is appropriately positioned, with the long-time catcher facing toward the former site of the ballpark named in his honor.
The statute is located in the southwest corner of Al Lopez Park, also dedicated to the memory of the Tampa native.
The sign at the park entrance (4810 North Himes Avenue) recognizes Al Lopez as “one of Tampa’s favorite sons.”
Al Lopez Park includes a lake, picnic areas, walking trails, and a certified 5K running course.
Al Lopez lived much of his life in Tampa and nearby Ybor City. His former house in Ybor City was moved in 2013 from its original location at 1210 E 12th Avenue to 2003 N. 19th Street in Ybor City.
Located across the street from the Ybor City State Museum, Al Lopez’s former home now houses the Tampa Baseball Museum.
Tampa, Florida boast a rich baseball history. Should you find yourself in Tampa during Spring Training, be sure to take a moment to visit Al Lopez Park, with its statutory tribute to Al Lopez, as well as the Tampa Baseball Museum. And should you happen to find yourself attending a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game or a baseball game at nearby Steinbrenner Field, take a moment to appreciate the baseball history that once took place in the northern most end zone of Raymond James Stadium.