Lopez, at the time of his death, was the only living player who had played in the 1920s. He was a catcher, who by the time he retired, had played in the most games behind the plate with 1918 until Bob Boone surpassed that total in 1987.
As a manager, he led two teams to AL Pennants in the 1950s, leading the Indians, a team he played for, in 1954.
His accomplishments got him a long awaited place in baseball's Hall of Fame, an honor he should have gotten years before.
Two thing make Lopez a no doubt Hall of Famer. First, what he did as a catcher. While guys like Bill Dickey and Mickey Cochrane had more prominent offensive stats, Lopez accomplished much with his longevity and ability to call a game. He was highly regarded as a receiver from great pitchers such as Dizzy Vance and Bob Feller. The fact that his games caught record stood for 40 years says enough.
When he managed in Cleveland and Chicago, he never had a losing season. Between his two AL Pennants in '54 and '59, his teams finished second place to the New York Yankees every other season. Add in his three second places from 1951-1953, his run was up there with guys like Bobby Cox and Joe Torre. Had the playoff system been different, Lopez would have been more known and respected for what he did as a manager. Once again, first or second place in the American League every year in from 1951-1959. From 1951-1964, he led every team to a winning record. Glad he finally got his well deserved honor of a Baseball Hall of Fame induction in 1977, long overdue.