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A vote for baseball museum at Al Lang Field

The last spring training game at Al Lang Field was the Tampa Bay Rays vs. the Cincinnati Reds on March 28, 2008.

SCOTT KEELER | Times (2008)

The last spring training game at Al Lang Field was the Tampa Bay Rays vs. the Cincinnati Reds on March 28, 2008.

"Play ball" call could return | Jan. 13, story

Perfect place for telling baseball history

A museum of baseball at Al Lang Field is the perfect solution to what to do with this venerable St. Petersburg landmark.

Spring training is almost as old as the sport itself and our fair city has been intimately linked with the preseason games almost since the beginning. While spring training first came to Florida with pre-season games in Jacksonville in 1888, St. Petersburg made the "Grapefruit League" a reality. Our first baseball game was played on Feb. 27, 1914, after Mayor Al Lang persuaded the St. Louis Browns to train in St. Petersburg. On that day, the Browns lost to the Chicago Cubs, who were training in Tampa and made the trip across the bay by steamboat. Lang then lured the Philadelphia Phillies to St. Petersburg in 1915. No wonder civic leaders later named their first baseball stadium after the city's most famous baseball fan.

Since the history of baseball is so intertwined with spring training and St. Petersburg, this is the perfect place to create a museum to that beloved aspect of the sport. With the building of the new Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg's (heck, why not call it Florida's?) Museum of Spring Training could be the center of what would quickly be dubbed "The Museum Mile," further reinforcing St. Petersburg's blossoming cultural reputation.

The museum could quickly become a must-do stop for all the baseball fans who flock to Florida. Each team that practiced here could be invited to create its own display. Kids could enjoy practicing their batting in the same cage the big guys do. Families could walk the same paths that Babe Ruth once strolled.

The Preservation Society can create a whole new tour, "The History of Spring Training in St. Petersburg," which would start right at the museum.

With such a museum, our rich history of baseball is celebrated and the waterfront will be enhanced and preserved. For all of us. Forever.

Faith Andrews Bedford, St. Petersburg

Traffic problems

We need cameras, lower speed limits

Lack of planning and uncontrolled growth in Pinellas County have led to dangerous streets, not only for bicyclists and pedestrians, but also for motorists.

I have a solution that will not involve massive re-engineering and construction. First slow the speed limit in the most problematic areas by 10 mph. There is no need for two or three lanes of traffic to be traveling 45-55 mph, especially in a residential area. The volume of traffic on most streets makes the current speed limits dangerous because of the lack of reaction time.

No one seems to do the posted speed limit on certain roads and the Sheriff's Office knows where the problem areas are.

In the area I work and live, people routinely drive 10-15 mph above the posted speed limit. A good way to stop this is with cameras. It is efficient, effective, and an excellent revenue generator. I saw it work very effectively while I lived in Europe. It does not require a patrol officer to stop someone. Drivers get the ticket in the mail. That will free up officers to fight other crimes, and generate a lot more revenue for the county.

I have lived all over the United States and in Europe, and the drivers here are some of the most impatient, dangerous drivers I have seen. In general, people need to slow down, pay attention to their driving and stop tailgating.

Charles Kroblen, Seminole

School bus stops

Give children a cue: Don't be in a rush

Maybe the school district does need to re-examine the location of some of its stops. And certainly we have our share of maniac drivers who won't stop for stop signs, pedestrians or anything else.

But we need to remember that everyone in our society is in a big hurry and children take their cue from society. As a result, it is not that unusual to see children, even small children, running against the light and into the face of oncoming traffic. We all need to slow down.

John Royse, St. Petersburg

Just tear down the Pier and don't replace it | Jan. 17, letter

Pier is a place to share our heritage

I cannot understand why anyone would want to just tear down the Pier.

When I moved to St. Petersburg, I knew no one and had never been here before. On weekends I spent hours at the Pier taking in the stores and enjoying sitting in the sunshine and reading. I ate at the food court and enjoyed the restaurants. I met wonderful people and learned about the city.

The problem is the approach that must be fixed. I hope the powers that be do not even consider the option of tearing it down and not replacing it. It is part of St. Petersburg heritage .

Dolores Gevaza, St. Petersburg

Ferris wheel adds necessary spin | Jan. 13, letter

FAA not likely to allow the attraction

The letter writer suggested that the way to make the Pier in St. Petersburg a viable proposition was to build a big Ferris wheel and that would attract people. Seems like a good idea, until you examine the geographical facts.

Just to the south of the Pier is an airport, Albert Whitted. The approach to the north-south runway goes right by the Pier. Does the letter writer really think the Federal Aviation Administration will allow a big Ferris wheel to be built in the flight path of arriving or departing airplanes? Not very likely.

James Bardsley, St. Petersburg

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A vote for baseball museum at Al Lang Field 01/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 7:00pm]
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