Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Stan Lopata 1925-2013

Last night during the Phillies broadcast I found out 1950s era Phillies catcher Stan Lopata has died.

1958 Topps #353 Stan Lopata

Lopata came up with the Phillies in 1948 and spent 11 seasons of his 13 year career with the club. He was a member of the 1950s Whiz Kids team, but only got 1 AB in the series as the back up to Andy Seminick. Stan Lopata's best season was 1956 when the two-time all-star hit 32 Homers and ifinished 20th in the MVP voting

Apparently mid-career Lopata got some advice from Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby regarding making more contact and also developed a crouch in his stance. This may have led to his mid-50s power surge. More info on this and the rest of Lopata's career can be found on his SABRBio 


1958 Topps #353 Stan Lopata (b-side)

I want to direct your attention to the last cartoon.  I am not sure how that image correlates to decorating baseballs - it looks like an Eiffel Tower of baseballs. Regardless it is true - he did decorate baseballs.

Stan Lopata Artist 

Game  Used Ball - 1952 07 02 - Phillies @ Dodgers Ebbets Field

Two years ago the Family of Robin Roberts auctioned off some of the Hall of Famers memorabilia. Among the items was a series of Game Used Baseball's that were creatively painted by Stan Lopata. To read more about the auction (now long closed) click here 

The Above ball is from 1952-07-02 Lopata was 1 for 5 in the game with an RBI single.

Robin Roberts won the game versus the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-3. The Dodgers lineup that Roberts defeated featured Jackie Robinson (who homered), Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, and Gil Hodges.  The Phils ran out Richie Ashburn batting leadoff and playing center field.  

Stan Lopata Obituary from Detroit Free Press
Stan Lopata Obituary from Phillies.com
SABR BioProject
Core Contrarian

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a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions