Somerset Patriots first baseman Luis Lopez announces his retirement

June 4, 2004 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Somerset Patriots News Release

Bridgewater, NJ- The Atlantic League Champion Somerset Patriots have announced the retirement of first baseman/ designated hitter Luis Lopez and the signing of first baseman Christopher Lemonis.

Lopez was struggling during the 2004 season after finishing 2003 with a .296 batting average, 83 hits, 14 doubles, eight home runs, and 49 RBI in 82 games played.

Lopez also played for Somerset during the 1999 season and had a .329 average with 84 hits, 14 doubles, 15 home runs, and 60 RBI in 72 games for Somerset. He returned for the first part of the 2000 season and had a .385 average with a home run and eight RBI for Somerset in ten games played before signing to play in Japan.

Lopez spent four years playing in the Japanese Major Leagues and became one of the most recognizable foreign players in the league. His numbers in Japan were comparable to current New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui’s stats overseas, where Lopez finished his four seasons with 589 hits, 107 home runs, and 409 RBI

Lopez has Major League experience with 41 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians. He finishes his career with a .310 batting average, 233 home runs, 1,260 RBI in over 1,600 games.

“The entire Somerset Patriots organization would like to thank Luis for his years of service and great play for the team. He is a great player who showcased amazing power, while hitting for a high average. Luis is a class act who will certainly be missed in the clubhouse and by our fans and we wish him and his family the best in their lives after baseball,” said Patrick McVerry, President/ General Manager of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club.

Lemonis has four seasons of Triple-A experience in the Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Baltimore Orioles organizations. He is a career .266 hitter with 619 hits, 131 doubles, and 331 RBI in 663 games. Lemonis began the 2004 season with the Sioux City Explorers of the Northern League.

The 2004 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford will continue at home on Sunday, June 6th with a 1:35 pm game against the Pennsylvania Road Warriors. Sunday’s game includes AAA Baseballs for the first 2,000 fans in attendance. Great seats are still available by calling (908) 252-0700, by stopping by the Patriots Ticket Office located at the ballpark, or on-line at

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