Stat-urday, 10/16/2021


Below are Hector Lopez’ career stats, courtesy of Baseball Reference.

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

YearTeamLevel/ LeagueGABHHRBAOBPSLGOPS
1951St. Hyacinthe SaintsC892597720.297 0.386 
1952St. Hyacinthe A’sC12849816480.329 0.458 
1953Williamsport A’sA14756715360.2700.3490.3440.693
1954Ottawa A’sAAA13245214380.3160.3890.4250.813
1955Columbus JetsAAA21812650.3210.3940.5310.924
1955Kansas City A’sAL128483140150.2900.3370.4220.759
1956Kansas City A’sAL151561153180.2730.3470.4280.775
1957Kansas City A’sAL121391115110.2940.3570.4480.805
1957-58Cerveza BalboaPanama Winter Lg. 1114350.387   
1958Kansas City A’sAL151564147170.2610.3170.4150.732
1958-59Cerveza BalboaPanama Winter Lg. 1425390.373   
1959Kansas City A’sAL351353860.2810.3240.5330.857
1959New York YankeesAL112406115160.2830.3360.4510.786
1960New York YankeesAL13140811690.2840.3610.4140.775
1961New York YankeesAL932435430.2220.2920.3050.596
1962New York YankeesAL1063359260.2750.3380.3910.729
1963New York YankeesAL130433108140.2490.3040.3950.699
1964New York YankeesAL12728574100.2600.3170.4180.735
1965New York YankeesAL1112837470.2610.3220.3920.714
1966New York YankeesAL541172540.2140.2680.3680.635
1967Hawaii IslandersAAA132457135130.2950.3820.4220.804
1968Buffalo BisonsAAA11735391130.2580.3190.4050.724
  MLB Total1450464412511360.2690.3300.4150.745

Héctor López


Did you know that Héctor López was the first Black manager in Class AAA baseball?

Hector Lopez’ 1966 Topps Baseball Card. Image courtesy of Baseball Reference.

In Tuesday’s post, I mentioned that Héctor López was a player manager in the 1963 Latino All-Star game. I’d honestly never heard of him before, though, so I did a little research – and found out he had a pretty impressive career. Lopez, known as the Panama Clipper, played 12 years in the Major Leagues, and was on two World Series-winning New York Yankees teams (1961 and 1962). In 1969, he became the manager of the Washington Senators’ triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, making him the first Black manager at that level.  

Héctor Headley López Swainson was born on July 8, 1929, in Colón, Panama. His father Manuel was a pitcher for Panama’s national baseball team. In high school, the younger López ran track and played baseball. After high school, he played in Panama’s amateur provincial league, until he signed with the Panama Professional League for the 1950-51 winter season. It was there that a scout discovered him and recommended him to the St. Hyacinthe Saints, an independent team located in Quebec, Canada, in the class-C Provincial League

Lopez signed with the Saints for the 1951 season, during which he hit .297 and played the infield. He returned to St. Hyacinthe for the 1952 season, when the team, now known as the St. Hyacinthe A’s, were affiliated with the Philadelphia A’s. The team won the league championship in 1952, no doubt thanks in part to Lopez’ .329 batting average.

Lopez subsequently signed with the A’s organization and was sent to the class-A Williamsport A’s for the 1953 season. In 1954 he was promoted to the triple-A Ottawa A’s. Although he was invited to spring training in 1955, he was initially assigned to the triple-A Columbus Jets. But he did not stay there for long. On May 12, 1955, Lopez made his Major League debut with the now-Kansas City A’s.

Lopez remained with Kansas City until late May in 1959, when he was traded to the New York Yankees (along with Ralph Terry, in exchange for Johnny Kucks, Tom Sturdivant, and Jerry Lumpe). Lopez played for the Yankees through the 1966 season, including the 1961 and 1962 World Series-winning teams.

After being released by the Yankees, Lopez signed with the Washington Senators and spent two season in the minors. He played for the triple-A Hawaii Islanders in 1967 and the triple-A Buffalo Bisons in 1968. In 1969 he was named the Bisons’ manager.

Lopez later left baseball and worked in the parks department for the town of Hempstead, New York, for 20 years. He later scouted for both the Giants and Yankees and managed the rookie-level Gulf Coast Yankees in 1994 and 1995. In 2009, he managed the Panama national baseball team in the World Baseball Classic.

~ baseballrebecca

Sources:

Arizona Fall League Opening Day!


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Sloan Park, home of the Mesa Solar Sox. Photo by redlegsfan21 via Wikipedia.

Happy Opening Day! The Arizona Fall League season runs from today through November 20. Both the Fall Stars Game (scheduled for November 13) and the league championship game (to be held Nov. 20) will be televised on MLB Network (both airing at 7:00 pm, Eastern) and streaming live on MLB.com).

The league consists of six teams, each affiliated with several MLB teams:

TeamMLB AffiliatesPlayers You May Have Heard Of
Glendale Desert DogsWhite Sox, Astros, Angels, Dodgers, CardinalsJordan Hicks (Cardinals), Yoelqui Cespedes (White Sox)
Mesa Solar SoxOrioles, Cubs, Marlins, A’s, Blue SoxYusniel Diaz and Kyle Stowers (Orioles), Gabriel Moreno (Blue Jays)
Peoria JavelinasBraves, Phillies, Pirates, Padres, MarinersHans Crouse (Phillies), MacKenzie Gore (Padres), Ji-hwan Bae (Pirates)
Salt River RaftersDiamondbacks, Rockies, Tigers, Brewers, MetsBrett Baty (Mets), Jordan Sheffield (Rockies), Spencer Torkelson (Tigers)
Surprise SaguarosReds, Royals, Yankees, Rangers, NationalsSam Huff (Rangers), Asa Lacy (Royals)
Scottsdale ScorpionsRed Sox, Indians, Twins, Giants, RaysMarco Luciano (Giants), Triston Casas (Red Sox)

The Arizona Fall League gives MLB’s top prospects more opportunities to play the game, and gives fans a few more games to watch during the off-season. I caught a few AFL games a few years ago, and I highly recommend it!

~ baseballrebecca

The 1963 Latino All-Star Game


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Hecor Lopez with the Kansas City Athletics in 1955. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

On October 12, 1963, the Latino “All-Star” Game was held at the Polo Grounds (the last baseball game played there, as the Mets moved to Shea Stadium for the 1964 season). The exhibition game took place between Latino players from the American League and National League. It was a charity game, with proceeds benefiting a Latin American Hall of Fame. The NL won, 5-2.

The rosters of both teams included players from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, as well as two players from the United States and two from the U.S. Virgin Islands. The player-managers were Roberto Clemente for the National League team and Hector Lopez for the American League team.

Of the two players from the United States on the team, one, Cuno Barragan, from Sacramento, California, was the son of Mexican immigrants. The other, Joe Pignatano, was an Italian-American from Brooklyn, New York. However, because he was in Brooklyn during the off-season, he “was available on short notice,” according to SABR. In addition, he had played winter ball in the Dominican Republic with Felipe Alou and Manny Mota. SABR also noted that the two players from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Al McBean and Joe Christopher, although not Latino, were familiar with the Puerto Rican Winter League, had both married women from Puerto Rico, and knew Spanish.  SABR notes that the inclusion of U.S.-born players and players from the U.S. Virgin Islands “point out the lack of Latino depth back then.”

Check out the rosters below and check out a summary of the game and the box score here.

American League Players

Luis AparicioSSVenezuela
Vic Power1BPuerto Rico
Julio Becquer1BCuba
Tony OlivaRFCuba
Hector LopezLFPanama
Minnie MiñosoLFCuba
Jose AzcueCCuba
Roman MejiasCFCuba
Felix Mantilla3BPuerto Rico
Zolio Versailles2BCuba
Pedro RamosPCuba
Diego SeguiPCuba

National League Players

Leo CardenasSS-2BCuba
Tony Taylor3B-SSCuba
Felipe AlouLFDominican Republic
Orlando Cepeda1BPuerto Rico
Ruben Amaro1BMexico
Tony GonzalezCFCuba
Roberto ClementeRFPuerto Rico
Al McBeanPU.S. Virgin Islands
Joe PignatanoCFUnited States
Ed BautaPCuba
Julian Javier2BDominican Republic
Chico Fernandez2BCuba
Cuno BarraganCFUnited States
Juan MarichalPDominican Republic
Manny MotaRFDominican Republic

At the game, but did not play were: Mike de la Hoz, Aurelio Monteagudo, and Cookie Rojas from Cuba; Felix Torres from Puerto Rico; Joe Christopher from the U.S. Virgin Islands; and Vic Davalillo from Venezuela.

Monday Baseball Motivation


Juan Soto sets up with two men on and no outs in the bottom of the ninth from Nationals vs. Braves at Nationals Park, April 6th, 2021 (All-Pro Reels Photography) (51101670597) (cropped).png
Juan Soto, 2021. Photo by All-Pro Reels via Wikipedia.

“I say it every time: If I did it, you can do it. Everybody can do it. You just got to be disciplined and be focused on one thing. Play hard, work hard every day. Come to field positive. Try to work the hardest you can and give it your 100 percent and you are going to make it.” – Juan Soto

Best of the Week: 10/3/2021 – 10/9/2021


On Wednesday, former Washington Nationals players Max Scherzer and Trea Turner won the National League Wild Card game with their new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. On hand to help them celebrate were their former teammates, Juan Soto and Kevin Long (the Nationals’ hitting coach):

Stat-urday, 10/9/2021


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Adley Rutschman at Camden Yards in 2019, after being selected the overall #1 draft pick that year. Photo by Keith Allison via Wikipedia.

No matter how you look at it, the Baltimore Orioles were just plain bad this year. How bad? Worst in the American League and tied for dead last in all of Major League Baseball (apparently the Arizona Diamondbacks were just as bad). The O’s won just 52 games. (Check out the 2021 standings below.)

Last year, a mercifully short year for the Orioles, they were 25-35, a win-loss percentage of .417, which was better than this year’s W-L% of .321. In 2020, they ended up in 25th place, an improvement over 2019, when they came in 29th (out of the 30 MLB teams). Their W-L% was .333 in 2019 — which was still better than this year.

It makes you wonder – are they trying to lose?

Going back to 2018 – the year they traded Manny Machado and broke my heart – the Orioles ended up in last place, with a record of 47-115, a W-L% of .290. The very next year they drafted Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, Kyle Stowers, and Zach Watson – and that was just in the first few rounds of the draft. All four of those players ended up in double-A Bowie this year, and Rutschman and Stowers were promoted to triple-A Norfolk before the end of the season. And all we ever hear is “Rutschman, Rutschman, Rutschman.” (Although, I still remember “Machado, Machado, Machado.”)

So, I suppose the Orioles are looking forward to for the 2022 draft. As for me, I’m just looking forward to the 2022 Norfolk Tides and Bowie Baysox seasons. At least the Baysox made the playoffs this year.

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

2021 Season Standings

TeamLeagueWLW-L%Games BackRuns ScoredRuns Allowed
GiantsNL107550.660804594
DodgersNL106560.6541830561
RaysAL100620.617857651
AstrosAL95670.5865863658
BrewersNL95670.58612738623
White SoxAL93690.5747796636
Red SoxAL92700.5688829749
YankeesAL92700.5688711669
Blue JaysAL91710.5629846663
MarinersAL90720.55610697748
CardinalsNL90720.55617706672
BravesNL88730.54718.5790656
A’sAL86760.53114743687
RedsNL83790.51224786760
PhilliesNL82800.50625734745
IndiansAL80820.49420717727
PadresNL79830.48828729708
TigersAL77850.47523697756
AngelsAL77850.47523723804
MetsNL77850.47530636668
RockiesNL74870.46032.5739796
RoyalsAL74880.45726686788
TwinsAL73890.45127729834
CubsNL71910.43836705839
MarlinsNL67950.41440623701
NationalsNL65970.40142724820
PiratesNL611010.37746609833
RangersAL601020.37040625815
OriolesAL521100.32148659956
D’BacksNL521100.32155679893

Films on Friday: Camden Yards Mural


Check out the video below about the Negro Leagues baseball mural at Camden Yards:

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

Mexican Pacific League, 2021-22 Season


The Mexican Pacific League got underway on Tuesday! Here are a few links to help navigate the season: