Former major league infielder/outfielder Héctor López has passed away at the age of 93, according to a report from Julia Kreuz of MLB.com (Twitter link). A two-time World Series champion, López played in parts of 11 major league seasons.
A native of Panama, López began his professional career in 1952. He played three years in the Athletics farm system before reaching the big leagues in May 1955. That marked the first of four-plus seasons with the franchise back when it played in Kansas City. López saw most of his early action at third base, but he also logged time at second base, shortstop and in center field. He was a solid hitter immediately, hitting at least .273 in each of his first three MLB seasons and getting into double digits in homers for five straight years.
Over his time with the A’s, López hit .278/.337/.433 with 67 longballs and 99 doubles. The Yankees acquired him midway through the ’59 campaign, and he spent the second half of his career in the Bronx. López topped 100 games in six of the next seven seasons, increasingly seeing more time in the corner outfield later in his career. López often shared an outfield with Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in the early 1960’s, contributing to a team that claimed five consecutive pennants between 1960-64. New York won back-to-back titles in 1961-62, with López collecting a homer and a triple in four games during the former season’s World Series.
Over parts of eight years in pinstripes, López hit .262/.324/.399 with 69 homers. He finished with the Yankees in 1966. After playing two more minor league seasons but failing to return to the majors, he retired. López finished his playing career with a .269/.330/.415 line in 1450 big league games. He collected 1251 hits, 136 home runs, drove in 591 runs and scored 623 times. Once his playing time wrapped up, he kicked off lengthy career as a minor league manager. He worked in affiliated ball for a few decades and managed the Panamanian team at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
MLBTR sends our condolences to López’s family, friends, former teammates and loved ones.
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