Frank Lucchesi, former Texas Rangers manager, has passed away at the age of 92, the team announced this morning.
Lucchesi began playing minor league baseball in 1945 at the age of 18. He first was named manager of Medford of the Far West League in 1951, at the age of 24, and managed in the minors for almost 20 years before getting his shot in the majors, when the Philadelphia Phillies hired him to manage their team in 1970. He was let go late in the 1972 season, and after managing Oklahoma City in 1973,
In 1974 Lucchesi was hired to be the third base coach for the Billy Martin-managed Texas Rangers. When Martin was fired halfway through the 1975 season, Lucchesi took over as manager, until he was let go halfway through the 1977 season. He worked as a scout for the Rangers until returning to the coaching staff in 1979 under manager Pat Corrales, but was fired, along with Corrales and the rest of the coaches, after the 1980 season.
Lucchesi is best known for an altercation with infielder Lenny Randle in spring training, 1977. Randle was unhappy that his second base job was seemingly being handled to rookie Bump Wills, and after vocalizing his displeasure, Lucchesi was quoted as saying, “I’m sick and tired of punks making $80,000 a year moaning and groaning about their situation.” Randle confronted him later near the batting cages and sucker-punched Lucchesi, breaking his jaw and drawing a 30 day suspension.
Lucchesi continued to work in baseball but made his home in Arlington, and was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.