The Atlanta Braves have announced the induction of 3 former players and personnel to the Braves Hall of Fame. Among the inductees are former trainer Dave Pursley, late Boston Braves shortstop Rabbit Maranville, and former fan favorite All-Star catcher and recent spring training guest instructor Javy Lopez.
Lopez, now 43, was signed by the Braves as an amateur free agent out of Puerto Rico in 1987. Lopez would make his Major League debut on September 18th, 1992, and would stay with the Braves through the 2003 season.
Lopez slashed .287/.337/.491 in Atlanta, blasting 214 homers in his 12 seasons with the Braves. He was selected to the All-Star team in 1997, 98, and 2003 and received MVP votes in the latter two seasons, alongside earning the National League Silver Slugger for catcher in 2003. Alongside his own offensive and defensive contributions to the Braves legendary run of division titles, Lopez also caught what is still the most recent franchise no-hitter, thrown by Kent Mercker on April 8th, 1994.
Reaching free agency after a monster 2003 (.328/.378/.687/.1065 with 43 homers and 109 RBI’s), Lopez signed a lucrative 3 year contract with the Baltimore Orioles. After bouncing around to Boston and Colorado in limited capacities, Lopez returned to the Braves prior to the 2008 season on a minor league deal with hopes of making the club as a backup catcher, but retired after being informed he would not make the Major League club. Lopez currently ranks 8th in Braves history in home runs as well as 5th in hits and RBI’s. Lopez, Pursley, and Maranville will be inducted on May 28th at Turner Field.