Javy Lopez Breaks Home Run Record For Catchers

Lopez Hits 42nd Homer Saturday To Pass Todd Hundley

Sunday, September 28, 2003 - by Tim Evearitt
Brave fans hope Javy Lopez returns next year. He is a free-agent after this season is over. <i>Click to enlarge photo.</i>
Brave fans hope Javy Lopez returns next year. He is a free-agent after this season is over. Click to enlarge photo.
- photo by Tim Evearitt (file photo)

When Javy Lopez drilled a 2-2, one-out homer in the second inning Saturday at Veterans Stadium, he broke Todd Hundley's Major League record for homers hit by a catcher in one season.

"It's just been a great season for me," Lopez said. "I just want this to continue wherever I am next year."

Lopez, who will be a free agent at the end of this season, has hit a career-best 43 homers this year, with one coming in a pinch-hit role.

The only home runs that are counted are when the player is in the lineup as a catcher. Because Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench played a number of positions when he hit 45 homers in 1970, he is not credited with the record. Hundley set the record with 41 homers in 1996 for the Mets.

Lopez has been able to accomplish this one year after hitting .233 with 11 homers and 52 RBIs.

After setting the record, Lopez was removed from the game to rest for the postseason.

Lopez should enjoy opening the playoffs at home. He has batted .376 with 26 homers and posted a .834 slugging percentage at Turner Field this year.

* * *

The Braves open Division Series play on Tuesday night in Atlanta against the Chicago Cubs who clinched the Central Division spot beating Pittsburgh twice Saturday.

____________
Adapted from article on the MLB.com website.

Javy Lopez <i>Click to enlarge photo.</i>
Javy Lopez Click to enlarge photo.
- photo by Tim Evearit (file photo)

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