Lew Fonseca is born in Oakland, California.
Fonseca spent a dozen years in the Majors, including parts of five years in Cleveland with the Indians. A part time player for the Cincinnati Reds in his first four seasons, he played in 126 games with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1925 before joining the Indians after a season with the Newark Bears of the International League.
Fonseca played with the Indians in parts of the 1927 through 1931 seasons. His best big league season was a surprise breakout year in 1929, when he led the league with a .369 batting average and drove in 103 runs. After playing 26 games at the beginning of the 1931 season in Cleveland, he was selected off of waivers by the Chicago White Sox, where he spent parts of two seasons as a player-manager.