Al Lopez, a Hall of Fame catcher and manager who led the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox to American League pennants in the 1950s, died yesterday. He was 97.
Lopez had been hospitalized in Tampa since Friday, when he suffered a heart attack at his son's home, Al Lopez Jr. said.
Lopez was the oldest living Hall of Fame member, said Jeff Idelson, spokesman for the Hall.
Lopez hit .261 with 51 homers and 652 RBI during a 19-year career in which he was one of baseball's most durable catchers and set the record for most games caught in the majors at 1,918. The record was later broken by Bob Boone, then Carlton Fisk.
Lopez was best known for being the only AL manager to lead teams that finished ahead of the New York Yankees between 1949 and '64. He helped the Indians to the 1954 pennant and, until last week, was the last manager to lead the White Sox to the World Series -- their 1959 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"We're saddened by the news," White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said through a spokesman. "Al lived a long and good life. We're so pleased we were able to win the World Series this year and that he was able to see it before he died."
* COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Maryland quarterback Sam Hollenbach's back likely will be X-rayed today, and if the results are encouraging he could be on the field when the Terps resume practicing on Thursday, Coach Ralph Friedgen said. Hollenbach did not start in Saturday's loss to Florida State because of a sore left shoulder. He then hurt his back on a run early in the second quarter. His shoulder is no worse, Friedgen said, and the X-ray would be used to make sure the back problem is merely muscular.
Safety Milton Harris, who lost consciousness for about 25 seconds after a hard block in Saturday's game, will probably be held out of practice this week but should be ready for the Nov. 12 game at North Carolina, Friedgen said. Wide receiver Derrick Fenner might be limited in practice this week by a thigh bruise, while linebacker Rick Costa -- a transfer from Temple -- had shoulder surgery that will sideline him for six months, Friedgen said.
* GOLF: Carl Pettersson steadied his nerves and his swing down the stretch, saving par with a tough chip on the 15th and a clutch putt on the 16th for an even-par 71 to win the Chrysler Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla., his first PGA Tour victory. . . .
Paul McGinley of Ireland closed with a 4-under-par 67 at Valderrama in Spain for a two-shot victory over Sergio Garcia in the Volvo Masters, his first victory this year. He finished at 10-under 274. . . .
Jee Young Lee of South Korea won her first LPGA Tour title, closing with a 1-over-par 73 for a three-shot victory in the CJ Nine Bridges Classic in Cheju, South Korea.
* TENNIS: Andre Agassi qualified for the Tennis Masters Cup in China, leaving two spots open in the season-ending showcase.
Agassi made the eight-player field for the Nov. 7-13 event in Shanghai when David Nalbandian lost Saturday in the Swiss Indoors semifinals.
Already in the field are Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin. The final two spots, as well as an alternate, will be determined at this week's Paris Masters.
The 35-year-old Agassi is the oldest player to qualify for the circuit-ending championships since Jimmy Connors did so at the same age in 1987. Agassi last played the Masters Cup in 2003 in Houston, where he finished runner-up to Federer. . . .
Top-seeded Roddick beat France's Gael Monfils, 6-3, 6-2, to win the Lyon (France) Grand Prix, completing the tournament without dropping serve.
Roddick, who now has 20 career ATP titles, defeated a 19-year-old opponent appearing in his third career ATP final. . . .
Russia's Nadia Petrova captured her first WTA title, defeating Switzerland's Patty Schnyder, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, in the Generali Ladies final in Linz, Austria. . . .
Kim Clijsters won before a home crowd for her ninth title this year, defeating Italy's Francesca Schiavone, 6-2, 6-3, in the Gaz de France Stars final in Hasselt, Belgium, winning her 30th career title.
-- From News Services and Staff Reports