Travel down 7th Avenue in Ybor City far enough, and eventually, you'll come to a rough-looking neighborhood by the train tracks. The warehouses in the area stand empty, and a few convenience stores pop up every couple of miles. The grass needs cutting, the bushes need trimming, and some low-slung buildings must either be demolished or rehabbed.
The West Tampa Police Department in 1919. Standing left to right: Frank Fernandez, A. Morjo, Charles Brown and T. Martinez. Seated, left to right are, Lorenzo Nales; R.A. Acosta, Chief of Police; and Juan Nales. Juan Nales was the only member of the West Tampa Police Department killed in the line of duty. The City of Tampa annexed West Tampa in 1925. Photo courtesy Arsenio Sanchez and La Gaceta Newspaper.
While flipping through a book detailing the history of the Tampa Police Department, something caught Vince Rabelo’s eye. It was a brief mention of Juan Nales, the only member of the West Tampa Police Department to be killed in the line of duty. But when he turned back a few pages to the section that listed officers who died while serving the community, Nales wasn’t listed. So, he went downtown to the Tampa Police Museum on Franklin Street. He scanned a wall bearing the photographs and names of Tampa’s fallen officers. Some of the photos date back to 1895. There was one problem: Juan Nales was nowhere to be found.
In the last days of January 1895, Gonzalo de Quesada boarded a train in New York City headed for Tampa, Florida. He carried with him a message whose impact would be felt around the world.
It's Saturday night, and everyone's waiting for the numbers to come in. Several little white balls will be selected, each ball bearing a number. A substantial monetary return is available if your ticket matches the selected ball. Sound familiar?
Pop Cuesta is standing in the middle of Jefferson High School's baseball field, just like he has for the past 37 years, watching about 20 first–and second-year students practice the hook slide, wondering what happened to the fundamentals. He shakes his head as one kid runs toward an imaginary second base and plows into the ground like a sleepy water buffalo. Pop shakes his head. He sends the young junior varsity players on a run around the outfield perimeter. "Let's go, son! Get moving," he shouts calmly. He gathers them around first base and asks, "Does anyone know what a one-way lead is?" He shakes his head again as only a few kids raise their hands. They listen closely as Pop–Coach Cuesta to them–goes over the fundamentals of base running. "Fundamentals," he will repeat repeatedly during the two-hour practice, "base running, bunting, sliding. Nobody taught them to you, so I'll have to teach you all."