Frank Lucchesi, who managed the Texas Rangers from 1975 to 1977, has died.
He was 92.
After managing in the minors for 20 years, Lucchesi was hired to manage the Philadelphia Phillies in 1970. He fired after a slow start in July 1972 and returned to minor league managing.
“Frank was No. 1, first and foremost a man who admired and loved his family,” former Rangers outfielder and general manager Tom Grieve said. “He was a baseball man through and through. He spent his whole life in baseball and always displayed a passion and a love for the game. As a manager, he loved his players and wanted them to succeed. He was the only manager who gave me a chance to play every day so I have a very special feeling for him.”
The Rangers hired him as a third base coach under Billy Martin in 1974. By July 1975, he took over after Martin was fired in July. During spring training in 1977 second baseman Lenny Randle got into an altercation with Lucchesi. Lucchesi was hospitalized with a broken jaw and concussion. Randle was suspended without pay for 30 days, fined $10,000 and later traded to the Mets.
A couple of months later, Lucchesi was fired with the Rangers floundering at 31-31. Eddie Stanky famously succeeded Lucchesi but resigned after winning his first game less than 24 hours later, deciding to return to coaching South Alabama.
He returned to the club as third base coach in 1979. He was the interim manager for the Chicago Cubs for the final month of the 1987 season after Gene Michael was fired.
He was 316-399 as a manager. He resided in Colleyville.
Lucchesi is survived by his wife Cathy, daughters Fran and Karen and son Bryan.