Van Hyning: Javy Lopez’s walkoff ‘jonrón’ versus Team Cuba

From SABR member Thomas Van Hyning at Béisbol 101 on March 15, 2019:

The Cuban National Baseball Team won the November 1993 Central American and Caribbean Games Gold Medal in baseball, in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Arrangements were made for them to stay in Puerto Rico to play an exhibition game versus the 1993-94 San Juan Senators at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, Hato Rey part of San Juan. But first a persepctive on Cuba’s national baseball team, as well as background on Javier (Javy) López Torres, a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico.


Javy López, as a child, practiced baseball by hitting rocks off the metal roof of his Ponce home. He was an excellent volleyball player in high school before signing with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent in 1987. His two seasons of rookie ball (1988/1989) preceded Class A Burlington in 1990 (.265, 11 homers, 55 RBIs) and 1991 Durham Bulls, advanced Class A (.245, 11, 51). López caught the eye of Atlanta’s management in 1992, for the 100-44 Greenville (South Carolina) Braves in Class AA: .321, 16, 60, a .362 OBP and .507 SLG. Chipper Jones and Ryan Klesko were on this team, considered one of the best minor league teams ever.

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Originally published: March 18, 2019. Last Updated: March 18, 2019.