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Al Lopez Field
Al Lopez Field.JPG
Location Tampa, Florida
Closed 1988
Demolished Spring 1989
Owner Tampa Sports Authority
Surface Grass
Construction cost $287,901
Field dimensions Left - 340 ft.

Center - 400 ft.

Right - 340 ft.
Tenants
Chicago White Sox (MLB) (spring training) (1955-1959)
Tampa Tarpons (FSL) (1957-1988)
Cincinnati Reds (MLB) (spring training) (1960-1987)

Al Lopez Field was a spring training and Minor League baseball park in Tampa, Florida, United States. It was named for Tampa native and Baseball Hall of Famer Al Lopez.

It was located east of Dale Mabry Highway (Highway US-92) and north of Tampa Bay Boulevard. It was dedicated to Lopez in 1954[1] and was the spring home of the Chicago White Sox and also the Cincinnati Reds. Lopez was the Sox manager at the time. The Sox moved elsewhere a few years later, but the Reds stayed for three decades.

The grandstand featured a high, curved roof with no obstructing columns, a design similar to but a little less dramatic than that of Miami Stadium.

In 1967, Tampa Stadium (later renamed Houlihan's Stadium) was built to the north of it. That stadium became the first home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976. The photo shown here was taken from a back row of that stadium.

After the spring session of 1987, the Reds abandoned the park for newer facilities in Plant City, Florida. While the Tampa Tarpons reached an affiliation agreement with the Chicago White Sox for the 1988 season, revenue from leasing the ballpark to the Tarpons did not cover expenses and the Tampa Sports Authority would not agree to a lease longer than one-year. This would also allow the TSA to move forward on redevelopment plans for the location.[2] Demolition on the ballpark began in March 1989 and was completed that May.

Instead, Raymond James Stadium, which opened in 1998, was constructed on the site. The northeast quadrant of the stadium occupies the site of Al Lopez Field's first base grandstand, and the rest of the old ballpark site is covered by the approach apron of the big stadium.

Al Lopez died at 97 on October 29, 2005, just three days after his Chicago White Sox had won the World Series. Some obituaries repeated a story he had often told on himself. Early in one Sox spring training session in Tampa, Lopez got into an argument with umpire John Stevens and was ejected. He said, "The umpire threw me out of my own ballpark!"[3]

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