Oct. 20, 2009
by FSU Sports Information Student Assistant, Ultima Rogers
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As the Florida State baseball team closes in on the final days of fall practice, Seminoles.com continues its fall focus with redshirt junior catcher Rafael Lopez.
Lopez recently sat down with student assistant Ultima Rogers about the upcoming season and his transition from playing shortstop to catcher since he arrived at Florida State last fall.
Q: Are you excited to get back into the season?
A: Yes very excited. I took the summer off so it’s great to get back into it.
Q: What did you do over the summer to prepare for the upcoming season?
A: I had to rehab my knee after surgery, so I rehabbed and worked out.
Q: What are you most looking forward to this season?
A: The spring!
Q: Is there anything in particular you are excited to showcase this year as far as personal performance?
A: Well now that it is my second year catching, I am feeling a lot more comfortable and confident about my work behind the plate for the upcoming season.
Q: How did you get started playing baseball?
A: We lived up north and my dad would throw a waffle ball to me when I was two, so I was a little guy.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you have received from a coach at any level?
A: Don’t ever let someone say you can’t do anything. I was always “too short” or “too small” but I never listened or allowed someone to tell me that.
Q: What is your biggest athletic accomplishment?
A: Playing for Florida State. I have not played on the greatest teams besides this team. This is the first field that ever had lights so this is such a huge accomplishment for me to be here.
: If you could tell the fans something interesting about yourself what would it be?
A: That I have a twin sister that goes to Baylor, and I do not speak any Spanish.
Q: Describe the transition from being an infielder to a catcher?
A: Last year was pretty rough. I had to learn the expectations and whatnot. I learned from a lot from my mistakes and learned to see the game from the complete opposite side of the field. The game from that angle (as a catcher) is totally different and you have to know what everyone else is doing.
Q: Did you ever foresee yourself as a catcher?
A: Yes and no. In ninth and tenth grade, I was really short and fat you could say. I was really slow and so they were thinking about making me catcher. I practiced throwing and lost some weight and made it happen.
GARNET AND GOLD SCRIMMAGE
The fall scrimmages will be held over two days beginning Thursday, October 22 at 3:00 p.m. with the upperclassman pitchers throwing on day one. The annual Garnet and Gold Scrimmage will take place inside Dick Howser Stadium at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, October 23 with first-year pitchers taking the mound on Friday. Batting practice for Friday’s scrimmage begins at 4:30 p.m. Admission to both scrimmages is free to the public.