Greg Lopez is a senior shortstop for Notre Dame who will contribute a weekly journal to in 2006. A native of Upper Arlington, Ohio, Lopez has been a mainstay on the Irish infield since he arrived in South Bend, starting 159 games and playing in 172 his first three years. Lopez, a two-time captain for Notre Dame, holds a 3.37 GPA as a double major in pre-professional studies and anthropology.




April 30, 2006

A Winning Streak and Shark Day


It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve checked in, and it has mainly been due to the fact that we are on a winning streak. There are a couple of things that I don’t do on winning streaks. First, I try not to change anything. It is not like I leave my jerseys and socks dirty, but I definitely try not to change too much of my daily routine. Since I had not written an entry since before the start of the streak, I was hesitant to write one now. 

Second, I do not talk about the winning streak. I can compare it to a dugout during a game in which the pitcher is throwing a no-hitter. When this is occurring, no one can mention the no-hitter is taking place - because usually the moment it happens, the other team gets a hit, and the no-hitter is over. But because over the last week the streak has been mentioned numerous times, I think mentioning it here will be OK. Right now, we are in the midst of a 22-game winning streak and after starting the season 2-5, we have since improved our record to 32-8.

What I have realized over the course of my four years here is to not panic at the beginning of the season. Being a Northern school, we are at a tremendous disadvantage. Our fall ball is actually in the fall and not in December, and when we step on the field to play our first game, we are actually fielding our first groundballs on clay and catching pop-ups for the first time since October. So, when we first start our schedule and lose to teams like Oklahoma and Arizona, I am not happy, but I know we are going to be OK.

I know I mentioned Jeff Samardzija in my last entry, but I have to mention him here again. First, I am not sure how many of you know this, but the media calls him “The Shark,” and they think it is because of his demeanor on the baseball and football field. How he actually received this nickname is from our former baseball teammate Chris Niesel, who gave Samardzija the nickname “Shark Face,” and that was because he looks like the shark from the movie Finding Nemo. And the original nickname is “Shark” not “The Shark” - a minor difference but one known by those of us associated with the baseball team.

Either way, the reason I am mentioning him is because the other day we had Shark Day at the field. The marketing department gave away 1,500 3-foot by 2-foot posters of Jeff in the old-school Bo Jackson pose, where he was wearing shoulder pads with no shirt and had his arms holding onto a baseball bat that was laid across the back of his shoulders. 

The pose was hilarious, but what it did to our game was something that I had never seen before at Frank Eck Stadium. A few thousand fans were lined up three hours before the game started to get into our stadium. Our field only seats about 2,800, and we sold 3,500 tickets. People were actually turned away from our field because we could not physically fit any more fans inside. It was incredible, and the atmosphere was electric from the first pitch to the last. Being able to see how our program has grown in popularity here over the past four years in the South Bend area has been fun to watch.

Until next week, this is Greg from South Bend.

Greg Lopez


Previous Entries

Greetings from Florida (4/7/06)

Playing in Front of the Family (3/23/06)

Opening Weekend and a Quick Day Trip (3/6/06)

Patiently Waiting (2/24/06)


(photo courtesy of Notre Dame Media Relations Office)