The Laredo Broncos of the Texas-Louisiana United League Baseball have signed Israel Baseball League veteran Johnny Lopez for the 2008 season. Big "Johnny Lo-Lo," the first- and third baseman from the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, came highly recommended by his former manager Ron Blomberg as well as the failed IBL's Director of Baseball Operations (and former Red Sox GM) Dan Duquette.
The six-foot-three LoLo, a native Floridian who turns 27 next month, batted .370 with fourteen homers and 44 RBIs in Israel in the IBL's first and last season.
His signing to the Texan border town team in a league that's not affiliated with Major League Baseball or any minor leagues, was overshadowed by the announcement that the team had also grabbed Garry Templeton Jr., whose father, Garry Templeton Sr., played sixteen years with San Diego and the St. Louis Cardinals. Templeton Jr. was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels and spent three years in the Anaheim Angels farm system, and has played the last three years with the Fullerton Flyers of the Golden League-- managed by his dad.
Spring training begins on May 4th.