Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oriole #732- Javy Lopez

Javy Lopez played with the Orioles from 2004-06, near the end of his fifteen season MLB career. He is best known for the twelve seasons he spent with the Braves from 1992-2003, during which time he was a key member of their perennially contending roster. During his time in Atlanta, he was a member of their 1995 World Series Championship team and was selected to three All-Star teams (1997-98, 2003). He was also behind the plate for Kent Mercker's no-hitter on April 8, 1994.

2003 was the best season of his career as he mashed 43 home runs, and had an OPS of 1.065 which is pretty insane for a catcher. His 43 homers are an MLB most all-time by a catcher during a single season. He was fifth in the N.L. MVP voting and earned himself a Silver Slugger award for his efforts.

Javy debuted for the Orioles on Opening Day 2004, April 4th, and his time in Baltimore started pretty well when he smashed 23 homers over that season. Now that was obviously well down from the 43 he hit the previous season but still solid for a catcher. Unfortunately, he declined in 2005 and even more so in 2006 and the O's flipped him to the Red Sox in August 2006 for Adam Stern and cash. It was a fairly precipitous fall for Javy.

Before I end the post, I want to comment on Javy's autograph. While I'm quite sure that my Orioles card up top is authentic even though I purchased it online, it is a pretty crappy signature. On top of the overall chicken-scratchedness of it, is the fact that his gigantic J is smudged. Overall, I like the card and I'm happy to have it signed but check out this example I have of his autograph near the start of his career. 

Can you say upgrade? Or downgrade if you're talking about my O's card.


Ryan H said...

I liked Javy as an Oriole. It's a shame that he declined so quickly.

Core Contrarian said...

I was thinking the exact same thing. Every time I think of Javy Lopez, I think "Man, did he fall off a cliff." Like Dale Murphy.

Ryan said...

Yep, I was always a fan, but his production just smacked into a wall. I didn't want to include it in my post because I've never heard it confirmed but due to the era in which he played and the fast drop-off at a time when more extensive drug testing was put in place, there will always be whispers about P.E.D.s.