Al Lopez, Hall of Fame catcher and manager

Alfonso Ramon Lopez was born August 20, 1908 in Tampa, Florida. After a brief stint with the major league club in 1928, he was called up for good in 1930.

The youngsters coming up now just go through the motions necessary to make the play. They should bounce around a little, show some life and zip.

Al's rookie year was one of his best, as he topped .300 (.309) and clubbed 6 home runs for the Dodgers. Over the next five years he gave the team a steady catcher with a solid arm, if a somewhat unspectacular bat, though he batted .301 in 1933. Al was primarily known as a pitcher's catcher, an intelligent player who studied opposing batters constantly.

In 1936 Al was shipped to the Boston Bees, where he once again stood out as the slick-fielding starting catcher for the team. Two years later Casey Stengel, who had traded Al to Boston, arrived to manage the Bees, and two years later, Al was shipped off again, this time to Pittsburgh. By now Al's hitting skills had gone down the drain, but his catching skills were beyond reproach, and he once again earned the starting job for the team. In 1947 he signed on to play with the Cleveland Indians, and retired after one season there.

Al's consistency at the plate (he was a lifetime .261 hitter) and genius behind it allowed him to play well past the normal prime for a major league catcher. By the time he retired, he had played 1,918 games at catcher, a record that stood for over 40 years.

When you're a manager all the worries of the team become your worries.

For his years of service as a catcher and a manager, Al was put into Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1977.

If you don't love what you're doing and you can't give it your best, get out of it. Life is too short. You'll be an old man before you know it.

Career Statistics

Batting:


YEAR TEAM G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA 1928 BRO NL 3 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 1930 BRO NL 128 421 60 130 20 4 6 57 3 33 35 .309 1931 BRO NL 111 360 38 97 13 4 0 40 1 28 33 .269 1932 BRO NL 126 404 44 111 18 6 1 43 3 34 35 .275 1933 BRO NL 126 372 39 112 11 4 3 41 10 21 39 .301 1934 BRO NL 140 439 58 120 23 2 7 54 2 49 44 .273 1935 BRO NL 128 379 50 95 12 4 3 39 2 35 36 .251 1936 BSN NL 128 426 46 103 12 5 7 50 1 41 41 .242 1937 BSN NL 105 334 31 68 11 1 3 38 3 35 57 .204 1938 BSN NL 71 236 19 63 6 1 1 14 5 11 24 .267 1939 BSN NL 131 412 32 104 22 1 8 49 1 40 45 .252 1940 BSN NL 36 119 20 35 3 1 2 17 1 6 8 .294 PIT NL 59 174 15 45 6 2 1 24 5 13 13 .259 TOT NL 95 293 35 80 9 3 3 41 6 19 21 .273 1941 PIT NL 114 317 33 84 9 1 5 43 0 31 23 .265 1942 PIT NL 103 289 17 74 8 2 1 26 0 34 17 .256 1943 PIT NL 118 372 40 98 9 4 1 39 2 44 25 .263 1944 PIT NL 115 331 27 76 12 1 1 34 4 34 24 .230 1945 PIT NL 91 243 22 53 8 0 0 18 1 35 12 .218 1946 PIT NL 56 150 13 46 2 0 1 12 1 23 14 .307 1947 CLE AL 61 126 9 33 1 0 0 14 1 9 13 .262 CAREER 1950 5916 613 1547 206 43 51 652 46 556 538 .261

Managing:

YEAR   TEAM    G    W    L  PCT FINISH
1951 CLE AL  155   93   61 .604      2
1952 CLE AL  155   93   61 .604      2
1953 CLE AL  155   92   62 .597      2
1954 CLE AL  156  111   43 .721   AL 1
1955 CLE AL  154   93   61 .604      2
1956 CLE AL  155   88   66 .571      2
1957 CHW AL  155   90   64 .584      2
1958 CHW AL  155   82   72 .532      2
1959 CHW AL  156   94   60 .610   AL 1
1960 CHW AL  154   87   67 .565      3
1961 CHW AL  163   86   76 .531      4
1962 CHW AL  162   85   77 .525      5
1963 CHW AL  162   94   68 .580      2
1964 CHW AL  162   98   64 .605      2
1965 CHW AL  162   95   67 .586      2
1968 CHW AL   47   21   26 .447      8
1969 CHW AL   17    8    9 .471      5
     CAREER 2425 1410 1004 .584

Hall of Fame Index
Ernie Lombardi | Ted Lyons

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