Al Lopez

The 5’1″ 165-lb Lopez had a long and distinguished career as a catcher and manager and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1977.

Not much of an offensive threat, Lopez hit higher than .275 only three times in his 19-year career. His career high in home runs was eight (1936 and 1939) and in RBI was 57 (1930). His great value was as an extremely durable receiver. For many years he held the record for most games caught in the major leagues (1,918) and the NL (1,861), and for most years in the NL catching 100 or more games (12). These endurance marks were somewhat inflated by the fact that he was largely a defensive replacement the last two and a half seasons of his career. He tied the record for most games caught in the NL without a passed ball (114 games in 1941) and led NL catchers in assists three times (1932-33, 1936) and fielding average three times (1940, 1943-44).

Lopez also left his mark as a manager. He led the Indians from 1951 to 1956 and the White Sox from 1957 to 1965 and 1968 to 1969. He was the only AL manager to finish ahead of the Yankees in the 1950s, winning pennants with the Indians in 1954 and the White Sox in 1959. He finished second every other year that decade, and nine times overall. His record as a manager was 1,422-1,026, with a .581 winning percentage that is ninth on the all-time list.

In a poll taken among retired major leaguers in the mid-1980s, Lopez was rated the seventh-best defensive catcher as well as the seventh-best manager of all time.