Tuesday, May 4, 2021

1981 Topps Aurelio Lopez


The front: Looks more like a '61 Topps card with a simple photo of the player, minimal background, facial expression, etc. Even the cap can't be seen, like Topps hedging their bets that he would be traded.

The back: Lopez was called "Señor Smoke" in reference to his blazing fastball and Mexican heritage. In 2005 the Electric Six, a rock band from Detroit, recorded an album called Señor Smoke.

The player: Lopez pitched eleven seasons in the major leagues, seven of them for the Tigers, for whom he won 53 games and saved 85. His best season was 1984, when he went 10-1 with 14 saves and a 2.94 ERA, and threw six scoreless innings in the postseason, winning a game in both the ALCS and World Series.

The man: The popular Lopez served as mayor of his home city of Tecamachalco, Mexico from 1990 until his tragic death in 1992 in a car accident, the same cause of death of the only other MLB players named Aurelio (Monteagudo in 1990, Rodriguez in 2000).

My collection: I have 20 of his cards, from 1979 to 1987. I would be interested in trading for 1981 Topps Coca-Cola Tigers #5.


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  2. When listing the all-time great nicknames in baseball, "Senior Smoke" does not get the love it deserves.

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