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Rays star Evan Longoria lands $1.5 million St. Petersburg waterfront home

ST. PETERSBURG

The Tampa Bay Rays' season may be over, but star third baseman Evan Longoria still has something to look forward to: his new bayfront home.

The three-time all-star plunked down $1.5 million in cash late last month for a home on one of the man-made fingers of Venetian Isles, the upscale enclave linked by bridge to Shore Acres.

Longoria, 28, who lives in Arizona during the offseason and recently rented a home in St. Petersburg, chose a four-bedroom home with little of the architectural grandeur flaunted by other baseball stars.

Built in 1971, the Mediterranean home is one of Venetian Isles' more than 500 homes fit onto just over a dozen narrow, ungated cul-de-sacs. But it's far from a hovel, boasting an outdoor kitchen, heated pool and half a football field of waterfront with unobstructed views of Tampa Bay.

Longoria's family trust closed on the home Sept. 27, when the Rays started their last series of the regular season against the Toronto Blue Jays. Karen Riffe, the founder of a St. Petersburg asset management firm, and her husband, Danny, bought the home in 2007 for $600,000 less than Longoria's sale price.

Still, the $1.485 million price tag is chump change for the star slugger, who in November signed a 10-year, $100 million contract extension. Proportionately, the mansion cost him about what it would cost the average Tampa Bay worker to buy a well-used car.

The home may have been an early birthday present for Longo, who on Oct. 7 became the second player in baseball history to hit a postseason birthday home run.

It was one of many gifts: Jaime Edmondson, his girlfriend and a 2010 Playboy Playmate, also gifted him a yellow guitar signed by Slash of Guns N' Roses, of which Longo tweeted, "Sweet new piece to add to the Man Cave!"

But the home buy may also mark another step toward domesticity for the star, who also owns a 14th floor Towers of Channelside condo near downtown Tampa, which he bought new in 2008 for $415,000. Edmondson gave birth to a daughter, Elle Leona, in February.

Times staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report. Contact Drew Harwell at (727) 893-8252 or dharwell@tampabay.com.

Rays star Evan Longoria lands $1.5 million St. Petersburg waterfront home 10/10/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 10, 2013 9:16pm]

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