Julio Lugo, former shortstop and World Series champ, dies at 45

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BOSTON, MA - JULY 30: Former Boston Red Sox player Julio Lugo is introduced during a 2007 World Series Champion team reunion before a game against the Kansas City Royals on July 30, 2017 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Julio Lugo, former MLB shortstop and World Series champ with the Red Sox, died on Monday at age 45. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Julio Lugo, a former MLB shortstop who retired in 2011, has died of an apparent heart attack. Lugo's family told ESPN's Enrique Rojas of the ballplayer's passing. 

Lugo was 45, and would have turned 46 on Nov. 16. 

Over his 12-year career, Lugo played for seven teams: the Houston Astros (the team that drafted him in 1994), Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, St. Lous Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves. He spent the most time (four seasons) with the Astros and Devil Rays, but is most remembered for his three years with the Red Sox, during which he played a major role in helping Boston win the 2007 World Series. 

After hitting just .237 during the 2007 regular season and .200 in the American League Championship Series, Lugo busted out in the World Series, hitting .385 with five hits in 13 at bats, one double, and three walks against the Colorado Rockies. Boston swept Colorado in four games. 

When he retired, Lugo had a lifetime triple slash of .269/.333/.384. 

Former clubs, teammates pay tribute to Lugo

Several former MLB players paid tribute to Lugo on social media, as did the some of the clubs he played with during his time in the majors. 

Fans also warmly remembered some of Lugo's best MLB moments, like when he hit two home runs in one inning against the Orioles in 2006.

Or on May 13, 2007 — Mother's Day — when Lugo tapped the winning hit to cap off a six-run ninth-inning rally, which was also against the Orioles.