Red Sox

Former Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo dies at 45, ESPN reports

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Julio Lugo (center) is mobbed by teammates Wily Mo Pena (left) and J.C. Romero during a May 2007 game, his first season with the Red Sox.


Julio Lugo, a former Red Sox shortstop, has died, according to ESPN. He was 45.

ESPN baseball writer Enrique Rojas shared on social media Monday that Lugo’s family informed him of Lugo’s passing and the probable cause, a heart attack.

Lugo played shortstop in the Red Sox’ 2007 World Series season, the first year of a four-year, $36 million contract he signed with the team as a free agent. Brought in to replace the defensively gifted Alex Gonzalez, Lugo was signed in part to provide more offense, particularly with his speed on the basepaths, in a position that had been filled on a long-term basis with no success since the 2004 trade of Nomar Garciaparra.

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In his debut season with the Red Sox, Lugo hit only .237 with a .294 on-base percentage but he did steal 33 bases.

In the postseason, his bat helped the Red Sox win their second championship in four years. Lugo hit .271 (13 for 48) over the Boston’s 14-game playoff campaign.

Lugo played one more full season with the Red Sox in 2008, before being traded to the Cardinals in July of 2009.

In his 12 major league seasons, Lugo also played for the Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, and Atlanta Braves.

Lugo was born in Barahona, Dominican Republic. His 46th birthday would have been Tuesday.

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