Happy Al Lopez’ Birthday! Lopez was born on this day in 1908 and made his major league debut at the age of 20 on September 27, 1928. In his career, Lopez played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Bees, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Cleveland Indians. He also managed the Indians and the Chicago White Sox. Lopez passed away on October 30, 2005, at the age of 97.
Lopez grew up in in Tampa, Florida; his parents had emigrated from Spain to Cuba, before settling in Tampa in 1906. A few years ago, I marveled at the legacy Lopez left behind in Tampa. Not only has his Tampa home been renovated to serve as a baseball museum, but a former Spring Training stadium as well as a park were named in his honor. Even the athletic center at his former high school, Jesuit High School, bears his name.
One of my favorite Lopez quotes still rings true for any generation:
“Do what you love to do and give it your very best. Whether it’s business or baseball, or the theater, or any field. 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.” – Al Lopez
Happy birthday, Al!