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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Lou Munoz almost gave up on pros for police work, then got signed; Saw three seasons, made high-A

Passed over in the 1987 draft, Lou Munoz eventually signed as a pro, but not before starting on the path toward leaving the game behind for good, he told his hometown White Plains Journal News in December 1987.

A University of South Florida product, Munoz had started the process of becoming a police officer in Tampa, when the Red Sox called and invited him to spring training, The Journal News wrote.

"I had a feeling someone would take me to spring training," Munoz told The Journal News agreeing with the Red Sox. "That's all I wanted. I'm a little surprised that I got the call because I was just about ready to hang it up. I had almost given up hope."

Munoz eventually took that chance to three pro seasons. He topped out at high-A.

Munoz' career began late that year in 1987, signed by the Red Sox as an undrafted free agent out of South Florida. Munoz was also credited as Luis Munoz.

He started with the Red Sox at single-A Winter Haven and short-season Elmira. He hit .204 between them in 56 games. 

Munoz returned to Elmira for all of 1989. He hit .207 in 65 games. His season got a late start after he broke his ankle in the last exhibition game of the spring. That July, The Journal News noted he'd come back from his injury and settled in at shortstop.

"Defensively, I'm playing as well as I can," Munoz told The Journal News. "Offensively, I'm starting to come around. I feel a lot more comfortable this year. I know what to expect."

Munoz made high-A Winter Haven to start 1990. By that June, he'd seen 32 games and hit .129. He then retired. Munoz called retirement the hardest decision he'd had to make, he told The Journal News.

"I'm 24 and playing once a week just wasn't fun anymore," Munoz explained to The Journal News. "I figured I'd put in a few years and that it wasn't going to pan out. I gave it my best shot."

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,921
Made the Majors:1,307-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,614-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:530
10+ Seasons in the Minors:326

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