NEW YORK -- Fifty years after the Dodgers drafted him, Davey Lopes said on the Newsmakers podcast that he is retiring after 45 consecutive years in the Major Leagues."I'm not doing much. I'm retired, taking it easy," said Lopes, who last worked for the Nationals as a first-base coach in
NEW YORK -- Fifty years after the Dodgers drafted him, Davey Lopes said on the Newsmakers podcast that he is retiring after 45 consecutive years in the Major Leagues.
"I'm not doing much. I'm retired, taking it easy," said Lopes, who last worked for the Nationals as a first-base coach in 2017. "It was not a difficult decision to make, but one I was kind of hesitant to make. But it all works out. I got the opportunity to play, manage or coach for a long, long time. I'm extremely thankful. I was one of the lucky ones in the big leagues for 45 straight years. That's a long time. I have no complaints."
Lopes played in the Majors from 1972-87, including 10 seasons with the Dodgers. In '75, he swiped a Major League record 38 consecutive bases without getting caught, a mark which was broken by Vince Coleman in '88. Lopes recorded 557 career stolen bases.
The rest of his career was spent as either a manager or coach. Lopes managed the Brewers from 2000 to 2002 and had coaching stints with the Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Dodgers and Nationals.
The highlight of his coaching career came with the Phillies. Lopes was a first-base coach and outfield/baserunning instructor for the Phillies, appearing in the postseason all four years he was there and winning a World Series ring in 2008.
"I always liked what I was doing," Lopes said. "Once you have guys who will listen to certain things that you are trying to teach, like I did when I was in Philadelphia ... we had a lot of fun. We went to the World Series; we won it. We didn't quite win the second one. You have to have students and guys that love to play, want to learn and want to win. That's even more important. I had the opportunity to work with a lot of people. You don't do this thing alone."
Former Phillies and Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth once called Lopes the best coach he ever had.
"He was really good [when it came to] my overall mentality toward the game and how to play the game," Werth said. "He was very instrumental and kind of molded me into the player I became."
Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002 and does a podcast, Newsmakers. He also could be found on Twitter @ladsonbill24.