Tony Lucadello (MLB PROPERTIES)

Tony Lucadello

This article was written by Len Pasculli

Tony Lucadello, 1991 (MLB PROPERTIES)Tony Lucadello was one of the best “ivory hunters” of all time — a scout with a keen eye for talent and street-smart in the way he watched and signed players. He was generally a quiet man, never drank or swore, and always dressed sharply in jacket, tie, and hat — a “gentlemen’s gentleman.”1 But he was uber-competitive as well and “was not going to let the other scouts beat him.”2 Lucadello signed Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Ferguson Jenkins and several other All-Stars. He helped dozens of amateurs attain their dream of playing baseball professionally. However, in the end it was he who needed baseball the most.

Anthony Lucadello was the fourth of seven children born in Thurber, Texas, to Domenico Lucadello (1875-1949) and the former Maria Donesco (1884-1931). His date of birth was initially unclear, not a rarity in the early 1900s; however, it was certified as July 30, 1912, on a corrected birth certificate filed years later.3

In search of work in the late 1920s, Domenico, a coal miner, moved the family from Texas to Worden, Illinois, and shortly thereafter to southside Chicago’s Roseland area. Young Lucadello, who attended school only through eighth grade, played ball whenever and wherever he could: “I was with practically everyone but not for very long. They said I was too small.”4 He was 5-feet-7, 145 pounds.

In the early 1930s Lucadello was an all-star shortstop for three years with All-Nations, a local semipro team not to be confused with the barnstorming professional team from Des Moines with the same name.5 In 1936 — the heart of the decade when St Louis Cardinals general manager Branch Rickey expanded the number of his minor-league teams from three to 31 — Lucadello was signed by the newly-formed Fostoria Cardinals, one of two St. Louis farm clubs in the Ohio State League (Class D).

He played a full season as Fostoria’s shortstop in 1936, hitting .290 with 19 doubles and 13 stolen bases in 362 at-bats,6 but he was released at the beginning of the next season. He was immediately picked up by the Tiffin (Ohio) Mud Hens, a Detroit Tigers affiliate in the same league.7 Although he was batting .300 with 10 doubles, the 24-year-old veteran, the oldest player on the club, was released on June 29 to make room for a new 17-year-old shortstop by the name of Bruce Waldo.8

Lucadello first saw Virginia Moody when she performed in a play in Fostoria in 1936. “That’s the girl I’m gonna marry,” he said of the young actress with the beautiful singing voice.9 He was engaged before the year was out and they were married on May 14, 1938. Virginia’s parents, especially her mother, were reluctant at first about their 21-year-old daughter marrying this first-generation Italian ballplayer from Chicago. However, with time, they became endeared to their charming son-in-law. The newlyweds rented a small apartment in Virginia’s parents’ home until they could afford to buy a house of their own in 1954.10

After his run in pro ball, Lucadello played a few years for the semipro Keller News Indians in Norwalk, Ohio.11 (He was named their manager in 1941.12) In 1939 he was offered a contract to play for the Monett (Missouri) Red Birds, a Cardinals Class D affiliate in the Arkansas-Missouri League, but he did not think the salary would provide enough income for him and his new wife, so he declined.13 A shoulder injury, as claimed in various publications, may have been a factor in his quitting baseball playing when he did, but a more likely explanation is that he was not cut out for the big leagues.14

When he wasn’t playing ball, Lucadello was coaching ball. He assembled teams of young players to play against amateur and semipro clubs in the area and ran schools and clinics that would attract high-school players from the region. With these innovative techniques, he got a firsthand look at the local talent.

In the winter and between games during the season, Lucadello held small jobs at various manufacturing companies, but when the Chicago Cubs revamped their scouting and farm systems in the 1940s they came calling on Lucadello, who was then working for the Fostoria Screw Co.15 Their new farm director, Jack Sheehan, made him a part-time scout in 1942; owner Philip Wrigley and manager Charlie Grimm made him a full-time scout when the war ended, paying him $3,600 per year.16 His territory covered Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, and at times Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada.

As time went by, however, the Cubs still lagged the league in player development, so in 1957 Lucadello left to join the newly reorganized scouting department of the Philadelphia Phillies. He received a higher salary to cover a smaller territory. He saw the organization as “more progressive and willing to spend money for players.”17

As a scout, he looked for a good arm, speed, and lower-body control. “Eighty-seven percent of baseball is played from the waist down,” he’d say.18 His recruits were typically strong on defense: Mickey Morandini (.989 fielding percentage), Jim Essian (.984), Hank Edwards (.981), Terry Harmon (.977), Barry Bonnell (.976), Wayne Terwilliger (.974), Toby Harrah (.964), Mike Schmidt (.961 and 10 Gold Gloves).

With pitching prospects, Lucadello looked for kids who could throw hard. In 1961 he signed Grant Jackson, a southpaw from Fostoria High School who threw hard but was bypassed by other scouts because he was wild.19 He signed right-hander Steve Arlin, the Phillies’ first-round draft pick in 1966. Arlin played six seasons in the big leagues, highlighted by his 1971 and 1972 seasons when he pitched over 200 innings with 150 strikeouts each year. Lefty Dave Roberts was a hard-thrower when Lucadello signed him but he became a finesse pitcher later. Probably the hardest thrower Lucadello signed, however, was Scott Service, who over his 12-year career logged 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings — even better than 1971 National League Cy Young Award winner and Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins (6.4 career K/9).

Among his most heralded pitching prospects was Tom Underwood, a star pitcher and quarterback at Kokomo High School. The Phillies drafted Underwood in the second round in 1972 on Lucadello’s recommendation even though no one else in the organization had ever seen him pitch.20

He hunted for quality, of course, but Phillies’ farm director Paul Owens wanted quantity as well. Lucadello used “bird dogs” — coaches with whom he would share the names of boys who could help their teams in exchange for names of prospects who might help the Phillies. With the advertised tryouts he ran in the big cities and later in Puerto Rico,21 he was not likely to find any sleepers. With bird dogs, however, he figured he “scouted” about 300 boys every time he asked, “Have you seen any talented players lately?” Two of his bird dogs delivered two of the best hitters he ever signed: Larry Hisle and Alex Johnson, both future American League All-Stars.

Once he locked in on a target with talent, Lucadello spent hours researching the boy’s “signability.” He talked to coaches, teammates, umpires, and newspaper reporters about the player. He inquired about career plans and girlfriends and family money matters and college. One case in point was Mike Marshall. As a shortstop and three-sport star in high school, he had good tools. However, Marshall wanted to attend college. Rather than lose him, Lucadello structured a deal that Marshall (who later earned not only his college degree, but also a Ph.D. in physiology) signed before he left for college with a bonus payable in parts whenever tuition came due. In 1974 Marshall won the National League Cy Young Award pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The percentage of players who sign a professional contract and eventually play in the major leagues varies by era and other criteria, but generally, during Lucadello’s career, fewer than 20 percent made it.22 Conversely, although the total number of players that he signed to professional contracts is not readily ascertainable, Lucadello reckoned that more than half the players he signed made it to the big leagues.23 One who did not make it was Jeff Kraus. In 1976 the Phillies drafted the high-school shortstop and all-state running back in the first round on Lucadello’s recommendation. “I’d put him among the first five I’ve ever signed,” he said.24 However, Kraus did not advance past Double A. Other times prospects impressed Lucadello but not his employer; in 1979 the Phillies allowed Bowling Green’s Orel Hershiser to be left on the board until the 17th round when he was selected by the Dodgers.25

Stories abound about players and their signing scouts who enjoy a strong friendship: Mickey Mantle and Tom Greenwade, Nolan Ryan and Red Murff, for instance. For Lucadello, it was Mike Schmidt. Bypassed by several scouts, Schmidt had a fierce loyalty to Lucadello for signing him. One such story involved Scott Service. When Service was called up in 1988, Lucadello asked Schmidt to take Service under his wing. One evening, Schmidt invited Service to join him and some teammates for dinner. The bill came and the players put their credit cards into a hat; whichever card the waitress pulled out of the hat would be used to pay the bill. Service panicked. “That bill has to be about $4,000, and I know I only have about $1,000 on my card,” the rookie told the veteran. Schmidt said not to worry: “I took your card out of the hat.”26

Not unlike most scouts, Lucadello loved to tell stories — or embellish them. For example, there was the time when he saw lightning strike a fly ball and split it into three pieces that were caught by three different fielders. As Lucadello told the story, the umpire called the ball a hit because the fielders did not catch “all of the ball” — Tony saw “a few fragments of that ball flying in the wind.”27 Or the time, as a boy in Chicago, he witnessed a man getting rubbed out by machine gun, Mafia-style, in a barber shop.28 His stories were either fiction or fact; the trouble was, the listener could not tell which was which.

Lucadello had other idiosyncrasies. He liked talking in terms of percentages for emphasis, such as “only 5 percent [of scouts] are projectors” (that is, scouts like himself who try to project how a player will do in the future).29 He was frugal with his employer’s dollars; he preferred to frequent pancake houses and restaurants where he received friendly service for a low price. He walked the grounds alongside the diamond and under the bleachers looking for coins that he donated to churches. When he watched a game, he arrived during the pregame practice and left by the third inning. He never used a stop watch or radar gun, nor did he watch a player from just one vantage point — he liked to move around. He never swore, smoked, or drank. With all the miles he drove, he got only one speeding ticket. His trademark was his jacket and tie and his ever-present fedora.

He was mostly poker-faced and secretive. Rather suddenly, however, in the later years of his career, Lucadello became more vocal and visible. It began in 1981. In an article that appeared in the Kokomo Tribune on August 26, Lucadello lamented that baseball skills had been on the decline for 20 years.30 The story was picked up by newswires across the country — his biggest news splash since 1959 when he recommended that adult coaches be eliminated from organized youth leagues so that kids could have fun again.31

The article explained that he invented a tool that would help young boys sharpen the fundamental skills of throwing and catching in a fun way so that they would learn to love the game of baseball and would stick with it longer. The tool is called the Lucadello Wall, a 4-foot-wide by 6-foot-high brick wall against which the youngster, whether alone in his backyard or in a group on his organized Little League team, would throw a baseball rapid-fire style. Throwing the ball against the Wall produces a groundball rebound; ricocheting the ball into the angled base produces a fly-ball rebound. One hundred throws per day, he advised.

He gathered all his notes, photos, and diagrams and gave them, gratis, to his friend Bruce Edwards, head baseball coach at Anthony Wayne High School in Whitehouse, Ohio, urging him to publish them for the good of baseball. The manual of drills for throwing, catching, fielding, swinging, bunting, and running is called The Lucadello Plan.32

After Dr. Bobby Brown became the American League president in 1984, he sent out a call for ideas to reverse the flagging interest in baseball. Lucadello’s idea to present his Plan as a video caught Brown’s attention, and in 1987 Major League Baseball’s film crew traveled to Ohio to produce “A Coaching Clinic,” a video featuring Brown, Lucadello, and Edwards as instructors. It was released in 1987 and was sold around the world by MLB.33

In May 1987 Mike Schmidt invited Lucadello to attend the ceremony celebrating Schmidt’s 500th home run. When Schmidt introduced Lucadello to reporters as the scout who signed him and nearly 50 other major leaguers, a star was born. “I’m the only scout that scouts the way I scout,” he told James McBride of the Washington Post.34

Lucadello was inducted into the Roseland-Pullman Area (Chicago) Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 and was named the 1986 Midwest Scout of the Year by the Scout of the Year Foundation.35 He was honored for dedicated service by the American Amateur Baseball Congress at the 1986 Stan Musial World Series.36 With his new-found celebrity, he was inducted into the Hancock Area (Ohio) Sports Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. His name likely appeared in more headlines in 1987, 1988, and 1989 than in all his previous years. He finally had the platform he needed to save baseball, he thought.

On the job, however, things were not going so well. Dallas Green, Philadelphia’s scouting director, resigned after the 1981 season to become the Cubs’ general manager; he took several buddies with him, but not Lucadello. When the player draft was instituted to create parity (and to eliminate bonus wars), a team could miss getting its top targets to another team with a higher draft slot. In the late 1980s, several of those top picks were prospects Lucadello had been following, including Kent Mercker in 1986, Ken Griffey Jr. in 1987, and Andy Benes in 1988. In that decade, home runs and stolen bases were up and complete games were down;37 pitchers who could eat up innings and hitters who could steal bases — that is, Lucadello’s bread-and-butter targets — were in high demand and had therefore become scarce. Finally, in an effort to reverse their plight of no postseason appearances since 1983, the Phillies restructured their approach: They joined the Major League Scouting Bureau and turned their scouting focus to warmer-climate states.38

From 1957 to 1964, 10 of the players Lucadello signed for the Phillies made it to the major leagues. Despite the draft, he maintained his success rate of more than one major-leaguer per year, signing 15 eventual major-leaguers from 1965 to 1977. However, in the 10 years from 1978 to 1987, whether because of a shortage of talent in the Midwest or changes in the organization’s draft strategy, the Phillies did not draft many players from Lucadello’s territory, and of those they did draft, none made it to the majors. Scott Service was the only Lucadello signee during that time who made it, and he was undrafted.39

In 1988 the Phillies lured Lee Thomas, director of minor-league operations with the St. Louis Cardinals, a club Lucadello knew did not believe in part-time scouts, to be their general manager.40 Lucadello fought valiantly but without success to prevent the firings of two of his part-timers during the 1989 cost-cuts, and he split his slender $1,000 annual raise with a third, Hugh Higdon.41 The Phillies said they had no intention of firing Lucadello.42 However, mired in a signing slump and acknowledging the rigors of the road and his advancing age, Lucadello wondered if he should retire. On May 8, 1989, he removed all doubt.

He was found at Fostoria’s Meadowlark Park field 1 at 3 P.M., coincidentally (and unfortunately) by a high-school player he had been scouting, wounded by a single self-inflicted gunshot. He was flown by helicopter to St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, where he died at 7:03 P.M. He was 76 years old. It was six days before his 51st wedding anniversary and 21 days before Mike Schmidt, his most famous signing, announced his retirement as a player.

Lucadello loved baseball. The Philadelphia Inquirer presciently reported in a feature article in August 1986: “Without scouting, a big part of his being wouldn’t be there anymore.”43 “We were sad because we never knew the real depths of his despair,” his daughter said.44

Tony Lucadello’s legacy is not measured by the number of major leaguers he signed.45 Rather, it is measured by the wide range of people he impacted. Dallas Green, Philadelphia’s director of player development and scouting director from 1973 to 1979, had this to say: “[Lucadello] taught me more about scouting than any man in baseball.”46 In 1987 former Phillies owner Ruly Carpenter described him as “one of the great ambassadors of the game,” and Phillies President Bill Giles said, “He has the highest character of any baseball person I’ve ever known.”47 When Lucadello was inducted into the Hancock Sports Hall of Fame, Terry Harmon wrote to him: “As you know, my mom and dad thought the world of you. I think it was because the extra effort you took to get to know all of us as people, not prospects that made them feel that way. I thank you for that.”48

Matt Stone, the Fostorian high schooler featured in the last pages of Prophet of the Sandlots, whom Lucadello followed since Stone was a Little Leaguer, said it perhaps most poignantly: “I can see what Tony did for me and I can see a wisdom and a decency in what he did. Maybe the best thing you can say is that he cared. He cared about his job and he cared about other people, maybe even more than he cared for himself.”49

The enigmatic Lucadello is commemorated by a monument with a plaque inscribed “TONY LUCADELLO, PHILLIES SCOUT, BASEBALL’S FRIEND” and located at the field where he was found (which was renamed Lucadello Field); by a “Lucadello Wall” that still stands at another diamond in Fostoria’s Foundation Park complex; and by the once-popular annual Lucadello Invitational Amateur Baseball Tournament — all of which were initiated by former Fostoria Councilman and high-school baseball coach Paul Feasel. Lucadello and his wife, Virginia (1917-1999), are buried in Fountain Cemetery in Fostoria.

Postscript

Here is the complete list of players who appeared in at least one major-league game after they were signed by Lucadello:

The first was his younger brother Johnny. Tony and Johnny played in a charity game in Chicago in 1936; St. Louis Browns manager Rogers Hornsby, who was their guest manager that day, arranged to have Johnny signed by the Browns. Tony received a $200 check for the referral but they had to forge their father’s signature to make it happen.50 Johnny Lucadello — the only major leaguer to hit his first two home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game — debuted for the Browns in 1938 and played for six seasons in the big leagues.

The second was Henry “Hank” Edwards, a slugging outfielder who debuted for the Cleveland Indians in 1941 and played 11 seasons for six teams despite missing time to injuries and years to World War II service. It appears that Lucadello encouraged the 19-year-old to join his Keller News Indians team in 1938; their manager, former Cleveland Indian Elmer Smith, helped sign Edwards.

As a part-time scout during World War II, Lucadello brought two players to the Cubs’ attention. Ed Hanyzewski went from his Indiana semipro team straight to the big leagues in 1942; he pitched five years for the Cubs. Lucadello is probably responsible for bringing catcher Russ Kerns to the Tiffin Mud Hens in 1939 but he certainly arranged for him to be signed by the Cubs circa 1944; Kerns played 14 minor-league seasons but had only one major-league at-bat, in 1945.

Lucadello signed the remainder as a full-time employee of either the Cubs from 1945 to 1957 or the Phillies from 1957 to 1989 (the year signed, year debuted, and number of seasons in which they played major-league baseball appear in parentheses):

Thirteen right-handed pitchers: Bob Rush (1947, 1948, 13; two-time All-Star); Don Elston (1947, 1953, 9; two-time All-Star); Jim Brosnan (1946, 1954, 9); Dick Drott (1954, 1957, 7); Gene Fodge (1950, 1958, 1); Ed Donnelly (1956, 1959, 1); John Goetz (1955, 1960, 1); Ferguson Jenkins (1962, 1965, 19; National Baseball Hall of Fame, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Cy Young Award, three-time All-Star, seven 20-win seasons); Mike Marshall (1960, 1967, 14; Cy Young Award, two-time All-Star); Steve Arlin (1966, 1969, 6); Dyar Miller (1968, 1975, 7); Scott Munninghoff (1977, 1980, 1); Scott Service (1985, 1988, 12).

Three left-handed pitchers: Grant Jackson (1961, 1965, 18; All-Star); Dave Roberts (1963, 1969, 13); Tom Underwood (1972, 1974, 11).

Seven infielders: Wayne Terwilliger (1948, 1949, 9); Terry Harmon (1965, 1967, 10); Toby Harrah (1966, 1969, 17; four-time All-Star); Mike Schmidt (1971, 1972, 18; National Baseball Hall of Fame, three-time NL MVP, 12-time All-Star); Fred Andrews (1970, 1976, 2); Todd Cruz (1973, 1978, 6); Mickey Morandini (1988, 1990, 11; All-Star).

Four outfielders: Eddie Haas (1953, 1957, 3); Alex Johnson (1961, 1964, 13; All-Star); Larry Hisle (1965, 1968, 14; two-time All-Star); Tom Marsh (1988, 1992, 3).

Four catchers: Harry Chiti (1950, 1950, 10); Larry Cox (1966, 1973, 9); Jim Essian (1969, 1973, 12); Bill Nahorodny (1972, 1976, 9).

Five infielder-outfielders: Don Eaddy (1955, 1959, 1); George Williams (1957, 1961, 3); Billy Sorrell (1959, 1965, 3); Barry Bonnell (1975, 1977, 10); Len Matuszek (1976, 1981, 7).

Four first baseman-outfielders: Fred “Fuzzy” Richards (1946, 1951, 1); Richard “Footer” Johnson (1952, 1958, 1); John Herrnstein (1958, 1962, 5); Clarence Jones51 (1959, 1967, 2).

That leaves John Upham, the versatile, hard-throwing, good-hitting, speedy Canadian signed by Lucadello for the Phillies in 1959; in 1967 and 1968 Upham appeared in seven games as a relief pitcher, two games as an outfielder, nine as a pinch-hitter, and three as a pinch-runner for the Cubs.

 

Acknowledgments

The author wishes to especially acknowledge the following people for their generous contributions to this article: Toni Lucadello, Tony Lucadello’s daughter; Rod Nelson, chairperson of SABR’s Scouts Research Committee; and Cassidy Lent, manager of reference services at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The author acknowledges with thanks several other SABR and non-SABR friends of baseball and of Tony Lucadello for helpful information they provided: Scott Brown (president of the Mordecai Brown Legacy Foundation); Leonard Skonecki (Fostoria Area Historical Society); Paul Feasel and Paul Mora (former high-school coaches and Tony Lucadello’s friends); Malcolm Allen, Frederick Bush, Bill Nowlin, and Paul Riis (SABR).

This biography was reviewed by Darren Gibson and Len Levin and fact-checked by Steve Ferenchick.

 

Notes

1 Statement released by Philadelphia Phillies President Bill Giles upon Lucadello’s death.

2 Telephone interview with Toni Lucadello, November 30, 2020. Toni (b. 1944) is Tony and Virginia Lucadello’s only child. She lives in Fostoria, Ohio, and was a teacher and artist during her work career. In 2009 she donated her father’s collection of papers that survived a basement flood to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The author’s telephone interviews with Toni Lucadello took place on November 30 and December 1, 2020, with several follow-up e-communications (hereafter, Lucadello-Pasculli Interview).

3 His marriage registration, 1940 census survey, and military registration card, all presumably filed by Tony Lucadello himself in or around 1938-1941, give “July 30, 1915” or “abt 1916” as his date of birth. The corrected birth certificate was not filed until January 12, 1942. His daughter said that his not knowing, or not accurately disclosing, his exact date of birth had become “sort of a family joke.” Lucadello-Pasculli Interview.

4 Jim Shanahan, “Sports Eye-Lites,” News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan), July 27, 1960: 20.

5 “Former Worden Youth to Get Tryout with Browns,” Edwardsville (Illinois) Intelligencer, November 18, 1933: 6; see also Hancock Sports Hall of Fame Banquet program, April 11, 1987 (Courtesy of National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum).

6 “Ohio State Batters Distanced by Babe Zipay’s Mark of .419,” The Sporting News, January 21, 1937: 6.

7 Mark Warren, “Feud,” News-Messenger (Fremont, Ohio), May 17, 1937: 11.

8 “Tiffin Gets Rookie Michigan Shortstop,” Sandusky (Ohio) Register, June 30, 1937: 10.

9 Mark Winegardner, Prophet of the Sandlots: Journeys with a Major League Scout (New York: Prentice Hall Press, 1990), 271.

10 Lucadello’s mother-in-law, Ethel, did not want her daughters to have the hard-working life she had. During the Depression, she made clothes, ran the local soup kitchen, trained and shoed horses, and ran the family farm while her husband, Oscar, worked as a laborer. Lucadello-Pasculli Interview.

11 Various articles in the Sandusky (Ohio) Register – e.g., “Toledo Mud Hens Annex Win at Norwalk, 13 to 7,” September 20, 1938: 6; and “Norwalk Team Performs Today and on Sunday,” May 27, 1939: 6.

12 “Lucadello Named Norwalk Manager; Contest Tonight,” Sandusky (Ohio) Register, June 22, 1941: 12.

13 “Baseball Team Meets Tuesday to Make Plans,” Sandusky (Ohio) Register, March 24, 1939: 10.

14 His daughter believes an injury is plausible because she thought his military deferment was for a fitness reason, but she was not sure. Lucadello-Pasculli Interview. Lucadello himself said he regretted having not served his country in World War II but no reason was given. Winegardner, Prophet of the Sandlots, 30.

15 James McBride, “En Route with the Old Scout,” Washington Post, August 9, 1987. Accessed January 16, 2021, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1987/08/09/en-route-with-the-old-scout/80dbfa59-f100-4132-b30a-f9149a9fe8d8. This was the article that inspired Winegardner to interview Lucadello and to write Prophet of the Sandlots. According to various sources and the Lucadello-Pasculli Interview, Lucadello worked at Fostoria Screw Company, Fostoria Pressed Steel Corporation, and Bersted Manufacturing Company, and probably other jobs as well, before scouting full-time.

16 McBride, “En Route with the Old Scout.”

17 Shanahan, “Sports Eye-Lites,” July 27, 1960: 20

18 McBride, “En Route with the Old Scout.”

19 Fostoria High School’s Jackson Field is named after him.

20 Ray Kelly, “Righty or Lefty? Underwood Dazzles Phil Brass,” The Sporting News, March 22, 1975: 44.

21 “Phils Slate 2-Day Clinics for Boys in Puerto Rico,” The Sporting News, August 29, 1970: 23.

22 The number was 8 percent when Kevin Kerrane’s Dollar Sign on the Muscle: The World of Baseball Scouting (New York & Toronto: Beaufort Books, 1984) was written (p.1).

23 David V. Hanneman, Diamonds in the Rough: The Legend and Legacy of Tony Lucadello (Austin, Texas: Diamond Books, 1989), 103.

24 Associated Press, “Phillies Are High on 1st Draft Pick,” Delaware County Daily Times (Chester, Pennsylvania), June 9, 1976: 16.

25 Hershiser told his parents that “if the Phillies or the Dodgers draft me, I think I want to turn pro.” Orel Hershiser with Jerry B. Jenkins, Out of the Blue (New York: Jove Books,1989), 74.

26 Scott Service, Pasculli telephone interview, October 22, 2020.

27 Winegardner, Prophet of the Sandlots, 73.

28 Lucadello-Pasculli Interview.

29 Winegardner, Prophet of the Sandlots, 97.

30 Dave Kitchell “Scout Says Baseball Talent on Slide; Offers Idea,” Kokomo (Indiana) Tribune, August 26, 1981: 9.

31 Bill Henry, “Fostoria to Try New Junior Baseball Idea,” Marysville (Ohio) Journal Tribune, April 7 1959: 7; “Baseball Scout Discusses Better Youth Programs,” New Castle (Pennsylvania) News, June 14, 1963: 14.

32 The Lucadello Plan is available at https://cdn1.sportngin.com/attachments/document/ab82-2085585/3-Lucadello_Plan.pdf.

33 The video is a fascinating look at all of Lucadello’s training techniques as well as the man himself, perhaps the most video or film of Lucadello available anywhere. It is available to watch on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_137Y0JGtP4.

34 McBride, “En Route with the Old Scout.”

35 https://www.baseball-almanac.com/awards/Scout_of_the_Year_Award.shtml.

36 “In Memorium[sic],” Amateur Baseball News (Marshall, Michigan), June 1989 (Courtesy of National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum).

37 Bill James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (New York: Free Press, 2001), 296.

38 Bill Conlin, “A Baseball Life Ends in Suicide,” Philadelphia Daily News,” May 10, 1989: 85; Winegardner, Prophet of the Sandlots, 138.

39 The drought was broken when Mickey Morandini and Tom Marsh (the Phillies’ fifth- and 16th-round picks in 1988, respectively) donned Philadelphia Phillies uniforms (Morandini in 1990 and Marsh in 1992).

40 Winegardner, Prophet of the Sandlots, 218-219.

41 Winegardner, Prophet of the Sandlots, 264, 267.

42 Conlin, “A Baseball Life Ends in Suicide.”

43 Bruce E. Beans, “The Best Scout in Baseball,” Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, August 24, 1986: 30.

44 Lucadello-Pasculli Interview.

45 Counting the players that baseball scouts sign is an imprecise and inconstant exercise. The Appendix in Prophet of the Sandlots listed 50 players who played major-league baseball whom Lucadello claimed he signed. Two more players (Morandini and Marsh) debuted after Prophet was released. Years later, in preparing the Diamond Mines exhibit for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a display of scouting reports and memorabilia honoring baseball’s best scouts including Lucadello, SABR’s Scouts Research Committee established comprehensive lists of “who signed whom.” Consequently, SABR’s list does not include the 52 players that Lucadello’s list includes. Bob Richmond (Phillies) is not included because he was never on a major-league roster. Bob Anderson, Lou Johnson, Bob Kelly, Gordon Massa, Tom Simpson, and Bob Speake (all Cubs) are not included because the SABR Scouts Committee obtained information identifying their signing scout as someone other than Lucadello. Hank Edwards and Dick “Footer” Johnson remain on the list of 45 because, although Lucadello has not been confirmed as their signing scout, no better information has disproved it. Moreover, although several articles reported that Lucadello signed more major-league players than any other scout, the research for the Diamond Mines exhibit showed otherwise. The James McBride article referenced here in several endnotes also claims that Lucadello “signed Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks out of the old Negro Leagues,” a claim repeated on ESPN.com (http://www.espn.com/espn/eticket/story?page=lucadello). Sports Illustrated explained that claim as such: “Ernie Banks … certainly counted himself as a Lucadello signing. (Lucadello didn’t consider him a signing since he was already playing professionally in the Negro Leagues when he brought Banks to the Cubs.)” (https://www.si.com/mlb/whitesox/features/prophet-of-the-sandlots).

46 McBride, “En Route with the Old Scout.”

47 “En Route with the Old Scout.”

48 Letter from Harmon to Lucadello dated April 6, 1987. (Courtesy of National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum).

49 Gare Joyce, Future Greats and Heart-Breaks (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2007), 143. Accessed January 15, 2021, from https://books.google.com/books?id=iHCKNoJWklYC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.

50 Bob Maney, “Signature Doesn’t Stop Scout from Signing Prospect,” The Messenger (Athens, Ohio), March 16, 1975: C-7.

51 Clarence Jones is the best player signed by Lucadello who is never mentioned except when the entire list is published. He played a total of 19 seasons (but only parts of two seasons for the Chicago Cubs) and hit 467 home runs in the minor, winter rookie, major, Japanese, and Mexican leagues.

Full Name

Anthony Lucadello

Born

July 30, 1912 at Thurber, TX (USA)

Died

May 8, 1989 at Fostoria, OH (USA)

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Tags

Scouts ·

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