Aug 31, 2015

1999 N.L. Wild Card Mets Utility Infielder: Luis Lopez (1997-1999)

Luis Manuel López Santos was Born on September 4, 1970 in Cidra, Puerto Rico. The five foot eleven infielder, was signed as an amateur free agent by the San Diego Padres in 1997. After six years in the minors he made a brief appearance with the Padres playing in 17 games in 1993.

He spent two seasons in San Diego as a reserve infielder, getting traded to the Houston Astros in Spring Training 1997. Two weeks later he was traded to the New York Mets for Tim Bogar.

Lopez batted .330 with 4 HRs 19 RBIs in 48 games at AAA Norfolk, getting brought up to the Mets squad in June 1997. He would play a utility role at short stop (45 games) second base (20 games) & third base (4 games). On September 14th he hit his only HR of the season, scoring the only run in a 1-0 Mets win over the Montreal Expos. On the year he batted .270 with one HR 12 doubles & 19 RBIs.

Lopez would play in 117 games in 1998 behind Carlos Baerga at second (50 games) & Rey Ordonez at short (39 games) in the middle of the Mets infield. He was a valuable defensive player that also hit .252 at the plate.

That year he hit two HRs one at Fenway Park in Boston during interleague play & the other at Shea. It came against the Atlanta Braves' Bruce Chen in the second inning. He later doubled home two more runs, off Dennis Martinez.

In the Mets 1999 Wild Card season, Lopez played in 68 games on the year, 33 at short stop, 16 at second & 9 at third base. On April 11th he drove in two runs having a three hit day, in a 6-3 win in Montreal.

On May 10th he hit one of two HRs on the season, the other came against the Dodgers in a 10-3 Mets loss. On the year he hit .212 with a .309 on base % 2 HRs 4 doubles & 13 RBIs. He did not play in the post season and was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Bill Pulsipher in January 2000.

Lopez played two years in Milwaukee having his best year in 2000. He doubled home two runs in the Brewers 4-0 win over the Florida Marlins in early April. In May he hit a HR against the Braves & added another the next month.

At the end of August he found power hitting a HR on August 23rd & another on August 31st. That day he had a big three hit, three RBI day at Arizona. In September he hit two more HRs & had three multi RBI games. he finished the year batting .264 with 6 HRs 27 RBIs.

He spent two seasons there backing up Mark Loretta, Ronnie Beliard & Tyler Houston. He then moved on to the Baltimore Orioles (2002 /2004) & Cincinnati Reds (2005).

In a eleven year career, Lopez batted .241 with 390 hits 22 HRs 85 doubles 7 triples 10 stolen bases 151 RBIs & a .293 on base %.

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