Originally posted on Clubhouse GM  |  Last updated 2/1/12
Luis Lopez was born on October 5th, 1973 in New York.  He attended High School in Florida and played his college ball at Coastal Carolina University (Conway, SC).  2012 will mark his 18th year playing professional baseball, which includes playing for two different MLB teams, the Toronto Blue Jays in 2001 and the Montreal Expos in 2004.  He started his professional career in 1995 at age 21, playing third base for Ogden of the Pioneer League.  On June 15th, 1996 he signed a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and after working his way up through the ranks made his MLB debut on April 29th 2001 against the Anaheim Angels.  His talents have allowed him to travel the world playing baseball, including Japan (Nippon Professional Baseball League) and Mexico (Mexican League).  He has spent the last four years playing for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League and recently signed with them for the 2012 season.  Here are some of his career stats; 1888 games played; 6975 at bats; 1010 runs; 2076 hits; 154 home runs; 1109 RBI; .299 batting average; .803 OPS. We at ClubHouseGM would like to thank Luis for participating in interview and wish him and his team the best in 2012 and beyond!
ClubHouseGM: How closely does the average ballplayer pay attention to his stats?

Lopez: You look at your numbers cause you want to contribute to help the team win. There's nothing like winning!

ClubHouseGM: What is the best thing about traveling to away games? The worst?

Lopez: In the Bigs you fly chartered planes. In Japan you fly and tke the bullet train so that was cool. The worst is in the minors cause its by bus and for long hours. Then to play when you get there.

ClubHouseGM: What is your Favorite Road City to play at (nightlife/restaurants/hotels/ballpark)? Least favorite?

Lopez: Its gotta be NY! There's everything you want here. Good restaurants, nitelife and attractions. My fav hotel has to be San Fran cause that was my 1st road trip and the view was great from the 37th floor. The stadium gotta be Yankee stadium. Growing up there and the tradition. Plus I always had a ton of family and friends in attendance. Least fav probably Scranton when I was in Triple A. Old city. Nothing to do. The only plus it was close to the city.

ClubHouseGM: Do you have any unusual traditions/superstitions? What is the most unusual tradition/superstition you have seen while playing?

Lopez: Oh yeah. A lot of players do. If I have a good game the next day I will eat at the same restaurant. Haha. The craziest thing I've seen is
someone using the same socks or underwear without a washing! Sorry I can't do that.

ClubHouseGM: Favorite Baseball Movie and what baseball movie is the most realistic?

Lopez: Field of Dreams is my fav. The Natural was kinda realistic.

ClubHouseGM: If you weren't playing baseball what would be your dream job and why?

Lopez: I would be managing or in the front office in baseball.

ClubHouseGM: What is your favorite clubhouse activity pregame/postgame/in between double headers?

Lopez: Music, music and mor music!! Haha

ClubHouseGM: Who is the 'funny man' in your clubhouse?

Lopez: Gotta be me and our catcher Luis "Machete" Rodriguez.

ClubHouseGM: What is your favorite memory of a 'fan situation' (asking for autographs, crazy signs, etc.)?

Lopez: Probably in Japan. Pictures and billboards of me everywhere. Everybody knew who you were. It was crazy!

ClubHouseGM: What do you do for fun outside of baseball?

Lopez: Play video games. I love to travel. Teach kids the game I've known all my life.

ClubHouseGM: Is your family able to make it to many of your games?

Lopez: My whole career I've been supported by them. Without them following me everywhere I don't know how it all would be possible. I love them dearly for always being there til this day.

ClubHouseGM: Do you play Fantasy Baseball?

Lopez: No. Never have.

ClubHouseGM: What is your favorite Major League team today?

Lopez: Yankess. But not when I play against them. Hahahaha

ClubHouseGM: Who were the players you looked up to growing up?

Lopez: Edgar Martinez. Juan Gonzalez. Ruben Sierra. Roberto Alomar. Cal Ripken. And I got to play against all of them.

ClubHouseGM:  Where did you play your college ball and do you still have any ties to your Alma Mater?

Lopez: Coastal Carolina University. I still keep in touch especially since I was inducted to their Hall of Fame and the conference's as well.

ClubHouseGM: If you could improve one part of your game, what would it be and why?

Lopez: My speed. Haha. To have another weapon. I used to be fast but when I was a kid I broke my ankle and its never been the same.

ClubHouseGM: What kind of input (if any) is asked of you by your Manager/Coach?

Lopez: My manager Willie Upshaw have a great relationship. He has known me since my days in the minors with Toronto. We are always talking baseball during the season and in the off season.

ClubHouseGM: If you could pick one manager to play for (besides your current manager) who would it be and why?

Lopez: Ozzie Guillen. I think he would love my style. I play hard every day! Thats what I was taught from my dad.

ClubHouseGM: What was it like playing in your first major league game (April 29, 2001)?  What was the result of your first at bat?

Lopez: The best feeling! That I was thinking when I 1st signed for a pair of spikes and 2 gloves. I had finally made it! 1st AB was against the Angels. I pinch hit. My friend Bengie Molina was catching. He said to me congrats! And relax cause your gonna hit tomorrow. I said what? Relax we're putting you on. I said for real? I got intentionally walked and as they were doing that all I could think was I will be a trivia question! Hahaha.

ClubHouseGM: What’s your greatest career accomplishment to date?

Lopez: Definitly when I was called up to the bigs. But I have 6 MVP's, 7 all star games, over 2000 hits, over 1000 RBI's all in the minors but not bad for a guy who didn't get drafted. I also have 4 championships.

ClubHouseGM: What's the one thing you'd most like to accomplish before your career ends?

Lopez: I would love to get back to the bigs. Julio Franco who I respect made it back at like age 45 or older. I'm alot younger and I know I can hit still. Just need a chance. Cummon Ozzie I'm ready! Hahahaha

ClubHouseGM: Are you still in contact with the guys you played with earlier in your career?  If so, how often?

Lopez: Yes I talk to alot of guys still. I always tell everybody I have made lifelong friends thru baseball.

ClubHouseGM: What do you do in the baseball offseason?

Lopez: I work out. Travel with my family. I give lessons all winter as well.

ClubHouseGM: You had a good season in 2011 and recently signed on with Bridgeport for another season, what can we expect in 2012?

Lopez: Yes 2011 was great personally. I got my 2000th hit in front of about 20 family members. Went to another all star game. But unforntunatly we didn't make the playoffs after being in the championship the year before. So it was a let down.

ClubHouseGM: What are your favorite things to do in and around the city of Bridgeport?

Lopez: What I love the most is that I'm home with my family every night we play home. Its a close drive to go to NY and see things there. Its great!!!

ClubHouseGM: I’m not a math major, but it looks to me like the Bluefish had a better winning percentage (and more wins) then the Blue Crabs last season, but missed out on the playoffs.  That had to be disappointing.  What can the team do differently to overtake them again this season?

Lopez: Continue to play hard and learn from your mistakes. Its a game of failure but you gotta have confidence in yourself.

ClubHouseGM: You’ve gone back and forth with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs the past couple season in the Liberty Division of the Atlantic League.  Is there a little bit of a rivalry building?

Lopez: Our main rival is Long Island but you can see we have been battling Southern Maryland the past few years so yeah a rivalry is brewing. Hahaha
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