Lucchino grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, went to Taylor Allderdice High School in the same city, and attended Princeton University as an undergraduate, where he was a member of the basketball team that went to the Final Four in 1965. Said experience in college sports makes him more qualified to make baseball decisions than Theo Epstein, according to expert scribe Dan Shaughnessy.
Career as a lawyer
Lucchino attended Yale Law School, earning his juris doctor in 1971. He, along with Hillary Rodham Clinton, worked with the US Congress on the Watergate impeachment trial after graduation, but unfortunately got thrown out of a job when President Nixon had the gall to resign on him. He then went to work for the law firm of Williams & Connolly in Washington, DC, where he was mentored by famed crotchety lawyer Edward Bennett Williams.
Start in sports
After a stint as general counsel for the Washington Redskins, Lucchino joined Williams with the Baltimore Orioles in 1988, remaining there until the team was sold in 1993. Lucchino's notable contributions to the Orioles include overseeing the construction of the widely lauded Oriole Park at Camden Yards, a stadium designed by Janet Marie Smith that started a trend of throwback ballparks, and becoming aware of the existence of Theo Epstein.
When Williams sold the team to Peter Angelos, Lucchino packed his bags and went west to work with the San Diego Padres.
Career with Padres
Lucchino's stint as CEO of the Padres is difficult to judge. While there, he worked with another current Red Sox owner, Tom Werner, and the men have been accused of slashing payroll to reduce the bottom line and leaving the team in shambles when they came to Boston in 2001. However, the Padres did make it to the World Series in 1998, although they lost to the New York Yankees rather handily.
Lucchino and Werner bailed on San Diego in 2001, joining in partnership with billionaire John W. Henry to buy the Red Sox.
Red Sox CEO
Lucchino's tenure with the Red Sox has been marred by controversy. Although the team has been very successful under his leadership, his indelicacy with the media and management style have frequently come under fire. Several foot-in-mouth moments have come during Lucchino's formerly weekly (now sporadic) radio appearance on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan morning show, after which he was criticized for making inopportune comments about the situations of Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez. His role in 2005's Fustercluck with the Colorado Rockies is unclear, but he has widely been accused of throwing former assistant GM Josh Byrnes under the proverbial bus, leading to Byrnes' departure to the Arizona Diamondbacks and to a build-up of hostility between baseball operations and upper management.
Lucchino's management style came under extreme fire in the wake of the departure of GM Theo Epstein on Halloween 2005. With his record of antagonizing the Alex Rodriguez negotiations and several other previously-mentioned situations preceding him, Lucchino was widely blamed for Epstein's resignation, thus possibly setting a record for "quickest wasting of goodwill toward ownership in the wake of a World Series championship." The situation was somehow rectified before the entire baseball operations department walked out the door, although Bill Lajoie and Peter Woodfork have since left and rumors circulated that Jed Hoyer had initially quit and been talked out of it. Epstein returned some months later, eliciting a region-wide sing-a-long of "Happy days are here again," but the fan base continues to be somewhat mistrustful.
Lucchino is also responsible for managing many of the successful revenue streams that have kept the Red Sox payroll as high as it is, thus ensuring that a)the team always has the resources to be competitive and b)ownership will be continually criticized as hypocrites whenever they complain about revenue sharing.
Along with architect Janet Marie Smith, Lucchino has also been credited with vastly improving the appearance and ambiance of Fenway Park. Special praise has been heaped upon the Green Monster seats in left field, which are really awesome.
- Lucchino has survived both non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and prostate cancer.
- His favorite pizzeria in New Haven, CT is Sally's.