Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Larry Lucchino, former Red Sox president, remembered for his impact on Major League Baseball

Rachel Choi
Illustration Rachel Choi

Larry Lucchino, the former president of the Boston Red Sox, died peacefully early Tuesday morning at the age of 78. 

From 1988 to 1993, Lucchino served as the Baltimore Orioles’ president, followed by a stint as the president of the San Diego Padres from 1995 to 2001. Under Lucchino’s leadership, the Orioles and Padres built new stadiums at Camden Yards and Petco Park, respectively. 

Lucchino joined the Boston Red Sox as president and CEO when John Henry purchased the team in December 2001. He was part of the leadership team that signed David Ortiz, also known as “Big Papi,” and the two maintained a strong relationship throughout their careers. 

Lucchino was also part of the Red Sox organization in 2004 when the team broke its 86-year “curse” of not winning a single World Series title. The team won subsequent titles during Lucchino’s tenure in 2007 and 2013. 

He went on to serve as Chairman and Principal Owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox and held the same role when the team made the move to Worcester, Massachusetts ahead of the 2021 baseball season as the Worcester Red Sox

Dr. Charles Steinberg, president of the Worcester Red Sox and affiliated professor in Emerson’s Communication Studies department, worked with Lucchino for 45 years and reflected on the mark he left on baseball and professional sports in an interview with WBZ News. 

“When we moved to New England, I think Larry felt that was the pinnacle,” said Steinberg. “He adored New England … and I think he really felt at home.”

Steinberg recalled that Lucchino loved winning and always looked for ways for the Red Sox to improve. 

“He loved winning and he loved going up against the Yankees,” said Steinberg. “He was a relentless coach and he wanted to win in all aspects of his professional life and his personal life.”

“Larry was an exceptional person who combined a Hall of Fame life as a Major League Baseball executive with his passion for helping those people most in need,” according to a statement released by the Lucchino family. “He brought the same passion, tenacity, and probing intelligence to all his endeavors, and his achievements speak for themselves.” 

The statement went on to note that Lucchino established the “San Diego Padres Scholars” program, a first-of-its-kind in professional sports at the time. Additionally, he was a co-founder of the Boston Red Sox Foundation, the team’s philanthropic arm. 

A survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Lucchino was named chairman of The Jimmy Fund in 2016, the philanthropic charitable arm of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. According to the Jimmy Fund’s website, the organization “has raised millions of dollars through thousands of grassroots efforts to help save lives and give hope to cancer patients everywhere.” 

Statements of support and sympathy came in from across the professional sports world. 

“The Red Sox and the sports world have lost a giant,” a statement from the Boston Red Sox read. “Larry was a visionary whose competitive spirit and strong will took sports franchises to new heights … He was a curse-breaker, ballpark-preserver, and community champion.” 

The Oakland Athletics honored Lucchino with a tribute on the video boards before the Boston Red Sox took the field at the Oakland Coliseum. The San Diego Padres also honored Lucchino with a moment of silence before they played the St. Louis Cardinals at Petco Park. 

The Worcester Red Sox honored Lucchino during their Opening Day pregame ceremonies Tuesday afternoon with a moment of silence and by stitching the letters “LL” on all jerseys worn on the field.  

Steinberg noted that Lucchino’s death occurring on the WooSox’s opening day was “appropriate.” 

“We probably just didn’t have a big enough role in the script for him, and so he was like, ‘I’ll show you,’” Steinberg said. “I know that he was going to be at home on his couch today because he had been in declining health, and I think he wanted a better seat.”

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DJ Mara
DJ Mara, Kasteel Well Bureau Co-Editor

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