The Al Lopez Park is comprised of about 132 acres of Florida wildlife. If it is not the land that may interest you, maybe the ponds will. There are actually two ponds that fall within the boundaries of the park. The pond located north offers fishing, and most people believe that fishing is what makes Al Lopez Park better and unique compared to other parks in the area.
Back then, the Al Lopez Field was a spring training and Minor League baseball park. It was name for the Tampa native and Baseball Hall of Famer, Al Lopez. The park is located east of Dale Mabry Highway (now known as the Highway US-92) and north of Tampa Bay Boulevard. It was dedicated to Lopez in the year 1954 and opened for spring training by March of 1955. One of the first tenants were the Chicago White Sox, managed by Lopez at the time. But the White Sox moved to a different location by 1960 and were replaced by the Cincinnati Reds who were known to use the park for about 30 years.
The Cincinnati Reds hosted the New York Yankees at the park on March 17, 1978. And in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, the general manager of the Reds, Dick Wagner, had green versions of the uniforms for the team. This was the first time that a major league team wore green uniforms. The practice was then adopted in the following years during St. Patrick’s Day.
The said land was used for Tampa Stadium parking until the year 1998. The Raymond James Stadium was built on the site of the old ballpark. On the northeast quadrant of the stadium is the site for Al Lopez Field’s first base grandstand.
Al Lopez died at the age of 97 last October 29, 2005, three days after the Chicago White Sox won the World Series.
Location: 4810 N. Himes Avenue, Tampa, Florida
Contact No.: 813-348-1172
Hours of Operation: From sunrise to sunset
Pets should be kept on-leash in most areas of the park. But they can also be off-leash on one of the two fenced dog parks.
Hunt Community Center: The center is located in Al Lopez park, a venue for the City of Tampa’s After School Activity Program or ASAP for children aging from 5 to 17 years old.
Ball Fields: The ball fields are somewhat the highlight of the park since it was a training ground for professional baseball players. These fields are where the legends started, where children learn how to bat their first baseball.
Grills: Nothing is better than watching a game of baseball while grilling some good meat, burgers, and anything else you can think of.
Playground: The park is a suitable place for children as well. There is a huge play area dedicated to the lovely kids.
Dog parks: The Al Lopez Park is one of the few parks that provides a space for the dogs. That is why you will see a number of people walking and playing with their dogs here.