Davey Lopes
Lopes coaching for the Nationals in 2017
Second baseman / Manager
Born: (1945-05-03) May 3, 1945 (age 79)
East Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 22, 1972, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 1987, for the Houston Astros
MLB statistics
Batting average.263
Home runs155
Runs batted in614
Stolen bases557
Managerial record144–195
Winning %.425
As player
As manager
As coach
Career highlights and awards

David Earl Lopes (/ˈlps/; born May 3, 1945) is an American former second baseman and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). He batted and threw right-handed. He played in MLB for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, and Houston Astros; he managed the Milwaukee Brewers.

Early years

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Lopes played in high school at La Salle Academy in Providence and in college for Iowa Wesleyan College and Washburn University in Kansas.

Lopes was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the eighth round of the 1967 MLB Draft but did not sign. He was taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second round of the 1968 MLB January Draft.



When Lopes started his career in the Dodger organization, he was an introvert, reserved and quiet. Tommy Lasorda encouraged him to assert himself more. According to Tommy John, "And as his confidence grew, Dave did just that, becoming outspoken, a catalyst, a leader. He was a guy whose blazing speed made things happen on the field and whose personality made things happen in the clubhouse. When something needed to be said to a teammate, even if it was critical, Lopes would be the guy to say it."[1] Lasorda was also responsible for converting Lopes from an outfielder into a second baseman.[1] He played three seasons in Triple-A, in Spokane (1970–71) and Albuquerque (1972), all with Lasorda as manager.

At age 27, Lopes made his major league debut for the Dodgers on September 22, 1972, against the rival Giants and was hitless in five at bats.[2] Two days later, he recorded his first hit on a single to right field off of the Giants' Jim Barr.[3] His first home run was hit on May 13, 1973, also against Barr.[4]

Lopes with the Dodgers

Lopes spent nine seasons with the Dodgers as their regular second baseman. Along with Steve Garvey (1B), Bill Russell (SS), and Ron Cey (3B), which stayed together for eight and a half seasons.[5]

Used in the leadoff role most of his career, Lopes was one of the most effective base stealers in baseball's modern era.[6] His 557 career stolen bases rank 26th all-time, but his success rate of 83.01% (557 steals in only 671 attempts) ranks 3rd-best all time among players with 400 or more career stolen bases (behind Tim Raines and Willie Wilson). In 1975, Lopes stole 38 consecutive bases without getting caught, breaking a 53-year-old record set by Max Carey.[7] Lopes' record was later broken by Vince Coleman in 1989. Lopes led the National League with 77 steals in 1975, and again with 63 the following season.

A rare blend of speed and power, Lopes hit a career-high 28 home runs in 1979, becoming one of only seven second basemen in NL history to have hit that many home runs in a season (Rogers Hornsby, Davey Johnson, Jeff Kent, Ryne Sandberg, Juan Samuel and Chase Utley are the others). He also hit 17 twice (1978 and 1983), appeared in four consecutive All-Star games from 1978 to 1981, played in one Division Series, six NLCS and four World Series, including as a member of the 1981 World Champion Dodgers. Arguably Lopes' best World Series was against the Yankees in 1978, when he hit three home runs and seven RBIs.

Before the 1982 season, the Dodgers sent Lopes to the Oakland Athletics (for minor leaguer Lance Hudson) to make room for rookie second baseman Steve Sax. With Oakland, Lopes teamed with Rickey Henderson to steal 158 bases, setting a new American League record for teammates. Henderson collected 130, Lopes 28.

The Athletics traded him to the Chicago Cubs on August 31, 1984, to complete an earlier deal for Chuck Rainey. He was then traded on July 21, 1986, to the Houston Astros for Frank DiPino. He stole 47 bases at the age of 40 and 25 at age 41, before retiring at the end of the 1987 season.

In a 16-season career, Lopes posted a .263 batting average with 155 home runs and 614 runs batted in in 1,812 games played. He played in four All-Star Games and four World Series.[8]


Following his retirement as a player, Lopes served as the bench coach for the Texas Rangers from 1989 to 1991. After leaving the Rangers, he coached first base for the Baltimore Orioles from 1992 to 1994 and the San Diego Padres from 1995 to 1999. Lopes was hired as the Milwaukee Brewers manager in 2000 following Bud Selig's recommendation to hire a manager with a minority background.[8]

In 2001 Lopes was the target of controversy following statements he made regarding stolen-base king Rickey Henderson. Managing a game for the Milwaukee Brewers, Lopes was enraged that Henderson had stolen second base in the seventh inning, while Henderson's Padres held a seven-run lead. Lopes said that this violated an unwritten rule against "showing up" the opposing team. Lopes was quoted, "He was going on his ass. We were going to drill him."[9] However, Henderson was removed from the game. Afterwards, Lopes said "Somebody might not be as lenient as I was, and drill the hitter that's next to him [in the lineup]." The day after, the Elias Sports Bureau produced a list of the seven times in Davey Lopes' playing career that he had stolen a base while his team was leading by seven or more runs.[10]

Tired of the Brewers' continued poor performance and Lopes' media and field antics, club management fired him as manager fifteen games into the 2002 season.[11] He was 144-195 in 3 seasons with the Brewers.[12]

Lopes rejoined the Padres as first base coach from 2003 to 2005 and then held the same position with the Washington Nationals in 2006 and the Philadelphia Phillies from 2007 to 2010.

In each of his Lopes' three seasons with the Phillies, the team led the majors in stolen base percentage, including the best in MLB history in 2007 – 87.9% (138-for-157). They finished second or third in total steals each of those seasons.[13]

On November 22, 2010, he was named the first base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a position he held through the 2015 season. On November 5, 2015, he was named the first base coach of the Washington Nationals. His contract expired after the 2017 season.[14]

Lopes decided to retire from coaching after the 2017 season.[15]


Playing career

Career hitting[16]
1,812 6,354 1,671 232 50 155 1,023 614 557 833 852 .263 .349 .388 .737

Defensively, Lopes recorded an overall .977 fielding percentage. His primary position was second base, but also played all three outfield positions, third base and shortstop. In 50 postseason games, he posted a .238 batting average (43-for-181) with 29 runs, 3 doubles, 3 triples, 6 home runs, 22 RBI, 19 stolen bases and 25 walks.

Managerial record

Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
W L Win % W L Win %
Milwaukee Brewers 2000 2002 144 195 .425

Personal life

Lopes was diagnosed with prostate cancer following a routine physical in February 2008.[17]

Lopes is of Cape Verdean descent. He has a recreation center named after him in Providence, Rhode Island.



See also


  1. ^ a b John, Tommy; Valenti, Dan (1991). TJ: My Twenty-Six Years in Baseball. New York: Bantam. p. 133. ISBN 0-553-07184-X.
  2. ^ "September 22, 1972 Dodgers vs. Giants box score". Baseball-Reference.com. 2014. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  3. ^ "September 24, 1972 Dodgers vs. Giants box score". Baseball-Reference.com. 2014. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  4. ^ "May 13, 1973 Dodgers vs. Giants box score". Baseball-Reference.com. 2014. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  5. ^ Bloom, Barry M. (February 7, 2006). "Dodgers infield recalls glory days". MLB.com. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  6. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (November 23, 2010). "Dodgers hoping new first base coach Davey Lopes can work his magic on Matt Kemp". NBC Sports. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  7. ^ Brener, Steve (March 1976). "Dave Lopes, New Champion of Major League Base Stealers". Baseball Digest: 58. Retrieved November 23, 2010. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Report: Davey Lopes to be named Brewers manager". ESPN. November 4, 1999. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  9. ^ "Rickey's taking extra base draws Lopes' ire". ESPN. Associated Press. July 29, 2001. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  10. ^ Arizona Daily Star, 26 Aug 2001, pg. 47
  11. ^ "Lopes fired, Jerry Royster named interim manager". MLB.com. April 18, 2002. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Davey Lopes". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  13. ^ White, Paul (October 29, 2009). "First-base coach Lopes steals an edge for Phillies". USA Today. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
  14. ^ Adams, Steve (October 20, 2017). "Dusty Baker Will Not Return As Nationals' Manager In 2018". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  15. ^ Ladson, Bill (January 30, 2018). "Lopes 'taking it easy' after calling it quits". mlb.com. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  16. ^ "Davey Lopes Player Page". Baseball-Reference.com. 2014.
  17. ^ "Phils say Lopes expected to make full recovery from prostate cancer". ESPN. Associated Press. March 3, 2008. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
Sporting positions
Preceded by Baltimore Orioles First Base coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by San Diego Padres First Base coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by San Diego Padres First Base coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by Washington Nationals First Base coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by Philadelphia Phillies First Base coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by Los Angeles Dodgers First Base Coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by Washington Nationals First Base coach
Succeeded by