Sunday, October 30, 2005
RIP Al Lopez
The last Sox manager to get the team to a World Series, Al Lopez, has died. It's wonderful that Lopez made it to see the first White Sox World Championship since 1917.
Lopez was a player first, playing in 1950 games over 19 seasons with Brooklyn, the Boston Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians. He spent 1918 of those games behind the plate as a catcher, and was an All-Star in 1934 and 1941.
Lopez will be remembered for his managerial career, however. He managed in 2425 games for the White Sox and Indians, taking each of those teams to the World Series in an era dominated by the Yankees. Indeed, his 111-win 1954 Cleveland team and the 1959 White Sox were the only teams to break up a long stretch of Yankee pennants. If there had been a three-division plus wild card set up as there is today, his teams would likely have gone to the playoffs 12 times, instead of only twice.
Here's to a Sox legend.