Omar López, participant in HOU development

HOUSTON – Omar López is the definition of a “baseball lifer”, a person who has dedicated his life to baseball in the less glamorous aspects as an instructor and manager from the first levels of the minor leagues to the winter leagues and, now, as a coach third for the Astros.

The Venezuelan has 23 years in the Houston organization as a minor league coach / manager and now with the big team, after a short career as third baseman on the White Sox and Diamondbacks farms and a very brief stint in the Venezuelan Baseball League. Professional with Navegantes del Magallanes.

As a pilot at the minor league level, López had to direct or instruct current figures of the Siderales such as his compatriot José Altuve, Puerto Rican Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers Jr., among others. Now, with the big team, the Valencian enjoys seeing the nucleus he knows so much triumph at the highest level. Now, of course, that includes the 2021 World Series between the Astros and Braves.

“I’ve known this group of guys for quite a few years, obviously when they went through the minor leagues,” said Lopez, who has also been a champion manager twice with the Caribes de Anzoátegui in the LVBP. “But having this team is like a blessing that God has given me, because it is not easy to be next to a group of so many talented players.”

The 44-year-old Lopez was promoted to the big team as a first-round coach prior to the 2020 season. But after an ailment limited the mobility of third-grade instructor Gary Pettis, Lopez has taken on the responsibility of the third-tier coach. , and with good reviews.

“He’s been in the game long enough to bring a lot of things to this team,” Altuve said. “He’s a third-rate coach, so he’s a big part of this team.”

After briefly directing the Águilas Cibaeñas in the Dominican League in 2019-20 and dealing, like everyone else, with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic last winter, López affirms that his plans for this Major League offseason are just relax in your Orlando, Florida home. But before that, of course, he wants to be part of a champion Astros team, after watching the club’s fall triumphs in previous years from the stands as a guest of the organization.

“Happy, satisfied,” said López, twice Manager of the Year, once with Caribes in the LVBP (2015) and once with Double-A Corpus Christi in the Texas League (2018). “We keep working. We are not finished yet ”.

“We are trying to do our best, but I am very quite happy with the way things have turned out this year. It is a very talented team. It is quite special. Blessed by God for that opportunity to have so many talented players around me ”.

Altuve, in particular, knows how to appreciate where López has come from to be in this position.

“I love the way it came from Venezuela, all the way to the Major Leagues and now to the World Series,” said the star second baseman. “I am happy for him. He deserves everything he is getting right now ”.


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Omar López, participant in HOU development