St. Petersburg, Florida (October 10, 2003) Florida International Museum (FIM) announces a new exhibit, A Lifetime Love of the Game: The Jack Lake Collection, will be featured November 7, 2003 through April 25, 2004. The Jack Lake Collection is a compilation of baseball memorabilia personally collected by Jack Lake, former publisher of the St. Petersburg Times.
Through the collection, people see the depth of Jack’s love for the game of baseball - from a 1938 newspaper article about him traveling all night to see a game, to a rubbing from the appreciation plaque installed at Tropicana Field. An amazing array of baseballs originally started by Al Lang for the son of his best friend contains baseballs signed by American and National League World Series teams starting with the 1929 game between the Philadelphia A’s and Chicago Cubs. The collection includes stadium seats from Forbes Field where Lake saw his first game, and a program and scorecard from Don Larsen’s Perfect Game in the 1956 World Series.
It was Jack Lake who first suggested St. Petersburg pursue a Major League team. His contacts and influence in the sport led to the serious discussions which converted St. Petersburg from its decades-old renown home of Spring Training to a Major League city.
“ This collection truly documents a lifelong love of the game,” says Mary Anna Murphy, Exhibition Director at FIM. “The Jack Lake Collection, in conjunction with three other outstanding baseball-related displays, sets the stage for The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s exhibit in December.”
Baseball As America will be the featured exhibit December 13, 2003 through March 6, 2004. The exhibit is organized by The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. The St. Petersburg tour stop is the fifth of ten across the country. St. Petersburg has continually hosted major league spring training since 1914, with the exception of 1919, 1920 and the WWII years due to wartime travel restrictions. Over that time, nine major league teams have called St. Petersburg their spring training home.
The national tour of Baseball As America is sponsored by Ernst & Young.
For the first time ever, more than 500 artifacts from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are traveling to the home towns of fans across the nation. From the legendary “Abner Doubleday baseball” to a promotional ball rescued from the rubble of the World Trade Center, Baseball As America is packed with the stuff of history and legend.
In addition to The Jack Lake Collection, FIM is proud to announce three new baseball-related exhibits. Game Faces: Portraits of Baseball Players from the National Portrait Gallery. Sixteen images of baseball players in oils, photographs, and pen and ink serigraphs, demonstrate the depth of the National Portrait Gallery “Champions of American Sports Collection”. This exhibit includes an Andy Warhol of Pete Rose, magazine cover art, oil on canvas of Ty Cobb dating from 1916, and photos of Ted Williams (1958) and Sandy Koufax (1963).
Curated by John Vitale is PopArtPopFly: Baseball is Art. This exhibit features 10 St. Petersburg artists’ works created especially for this show developed around a “baseball/pop art” theme. The exhibit was conceived as a way to celebrate the Baseball As America exhibit and its’ original Andy Warhol painting of Tom Seaver. A companion exhibit from the national Portrait Gallery also contains a Warhol - of Pete Rose. Cause enough to celebrate Pop Art in St. Petersburg!
On display in conjunction with these remarkable exhibits is The St. Petersburg Times Newspaper Covers Gallery, a collection of reproduced baseball-related front pages which show the deep history and passion our hometown crowd had for baseball.
“ We are very proud of the long and storied history of baseball in the Tampa Bay area,” says Exhibition Director Murphy. “These exhibits will appeal to the entire family.”
Advanced tickets, gift certificates and membership brochures are now available for these sensational exhibitions. Single exhibition tickets for adults are $15. Combo tickets for Baseball As America and Russian Odyssey are $19. Discounts apply for children, seniors, military and college students. Memberships provide unlimited museum visits for one annual general admission fee. Special exhibitions may require a small additional charge. Group Tour Discounts and evening rentals are also available.
The Florida International Museum has extended hours during this exhibition. Join us Monday through Saturday - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Christmas and New Year’s Day. Last tickets are sold at 4 p.m., 7 p.m. on Friday. For general Museum information call 727.822.3693, or visit our website at www.floridamuseum.org.
# # #
The Florida International Museum is a non-profit educational institution supported, in part, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Florida Arts Council, State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the City of St. Petersburg. Other major sponsors include Progress Energy, Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, and St. Petersburg Times.