Al Lopez

From BR Bullpen


Alfonso Ramon Lopez

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1977

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

140 pix

Catcher and manager Al Lopez is a Hall of Famer who was twice an All-Star and held the record for most games caught with 1,918 until Bob Boone broke it in 1987. He also, as manager, took two teams to the World Series in the 1950s.

Lopez started as a catcher in 1928 with the Brooklyn Robins when 37-year-old Dazzy Vance was the pitching star with 22 wins, and was still catching in 1947 when 28-year-old Bob Feller won 20 games. He hit over .300 in 1930, in 1933, and much later in 1946. In 1930, he hit the last "bounce home run" in major league history. After that season, home runs which bounced on a hop into the stands would be considered ground-rule doubles.

As a player, he never appeared in a World Series.

Lopez got his start as a manager in 1948 with the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association. He led the club to a league title in his first year and was the team's skipper for three seasons.

As a big league manager, Lopez led the Cleveland Indians to the World Series in 1954 and the Chicago White Sox to the Series in 1959. His clubs finished second to the New York Yankees every other year of the 1950s, but his 1954 Cleveland Indians had the most wins of the decade with 111. As a manager, he had a .584 winning percentage.

Al Lopez gives an interview to Ernie Harwell in the 1960's.

Ironically, shortly before his death in 2005, the White Sox returned to the World Series for the first time since 1959, this time winning the Series in a sweep with Ozzie Guillen as their manager. They swept the Houston Astros. It was the White Sox' first World Championship since 1917, when Pants Rowland was the manager. Lopez was the last living player who had played a game in the 1920s and the oldest living Hall of Famer at the time of his death.

"Lopez knows how he wants things run and he runs them that way. He's at his best with a club that acts and plays as intelligent professionals should. Yeah." Bill Veeck.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time NL All-Star (1934 & 1941)
  • AL Pennants: 2 (1954 & 1959)
  • 100 Wins Seasons as Manager: 1 (1954)
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1977

Preceded by
Lou Boudreau
Cleveland Indians Manager
Succeeded by
Kerby Farrell
Preceded by
Marty Marion
Chicago White Sox Manager
Succeeded by
Eddie Stanky
Preceded by
Les Moss
Chicago White Sox Manager
Succeeded by
Don Gutteridge

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1948 Indianapolis Indians American Association 100-54 1st Pittsburgh Pirates Lost in 1st round
1949 Indianapolis Indians American Association 92-61 2nd Pittsburgh Pirates League Champs Won Junior World Series
1950 Indianapolis Indians American Association 85-67 2nd Pittsburgh Pirates Lost League Finals
1951 Cleveland Indians American League 93-61 2nd Cleveland Indians
1952 Cleveland Indians American League 93-61 2nd Cleveland Indians
1953 Cleveland Indians American League 92-62 2nd Cleveland Indians
1954 Cleveland Indians American League 111-43 1st Cleveland Indians Lost World Series
1955 Cleveland Indians American League 93-61 2nd Cleveland Indians
1956 Cleveland Indians American League 88-66 2nd Cleveland Indians
1957 Chicago White Sox American League 90-64 2nd Chicago White Sox
1958 Chicago White Sox American League 82-72 2nd Chicago White Sox
1959 Chicago White Sox American League 94-60 1st Chicago White Sox Lost World Series
1960 Chicago White Sox American League 87-67 3rd Chicago White Sox
1961 Chicago White Sox American League 86-76 4th Chicago White Sox
1962 Chicago White Sox American League 85-77 5th Chicago White Sox
1963 Chicago White Sox American League 94-68 2nd Chicago White Sox
1964 Chicago White Sox American League 98-64 2nd Chicago White Sox
1965 Chicago White Sox American League 95-67 2nd Chicago White Sox
1968 Chicago White Sox American League 21-26 8th Chicago White Sox replaced Eddie Stanky (34-45) and Les Moss (0-2) on July 14 /
interim by Les Moss (12-22) from July 24 to August 23
1969 Chicago White Sox American League 8-9 -- Chicago White Sox replaced by Don Gutteridge on May 3

Further Reading[edit]

  • Wes Singletary: Al Lopez, the Life of Baseball's El Señor, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 1999.

Related Sites[edit]