Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Classical: Callan: Consider The Umpire

“The late Ron Luciano wrote a comic memoir called “The Umpire Strikes Back” in 1982. Thirty years later, and 17 years after Luciano’s suicide, it’s a lot less funny.”

The success of Umpire led to four more anecdote-filled books and some commercial gigs for Luciano, but the end of the 1980s put his brand of Wacky Sports Humor (a brand he had all but pioneered) out of vogue. Luciano returned to his hometown of Endicott, living with relatives in relative seclusion for the rest of his days. He was found in his sister’s garage, dead of carbon monoxide poisoning, in January of 1995. A note he left behind contained funeral instructions but no explanation, though some theorized he was hit hard by his mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s Disease.

After Luciano’s death, friends described him as very different from his umpiring persona, a man uncomfortable in his own skin. David Fisher, who co-authored his books, said, “He was born in the wrong body,” a football physique wrapped around a gentler soul. “He was a terrific entertainer. But it was hard for him, because Ronnie was actually very shy. He never got out of Endicott. And he should have; he needed to.”

Luciano did get out, though, if seemingly never quite far enough. But Luciano did make it, for whatever that’s worth and whatever small comfort it might have given him in the moment. Go back to your old man’s library, and you’ll probably see Umpire in the same spot where it was left 20 years. Same creases in the cover, same cracks in the spine. There are copies moldering in bathrooms across America right now, untouched, silently falling apart, begging to be noticed, still very much there.

Repoz Posted: September 12, 2012 at 05:52 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, umpires

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Greg Franklin Posted: September 12, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4234204)
Never saw him ump.

Does anyone do Wacky Sports Humor(tm) now? Luciano's contemporary Bob Uecker is still around but has settled into an ordinary PBP announcer, nothing like the character he was in his prime.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
BarrysLazyBoy
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014
(232 - 12:01am, Apr 17)
Last: Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee

NewsblogGleeman: Mets minor league team is hosting “Seinfeld night”
(37 - 11:57pm, Apr 16)
Last: boteman digs the circuit clout

NewsblogVerducci: Overuse of young pitchers fueling MLB's Tommy John surgery problem
(41 - 11:56pm, Apr 16)
Last: zachtoma

NewsblogDoug Glanville: I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway
(179 - 11:54pm, Apr 16)
Last: Select Storage Device

Jim's Lab NotesWe're Moved! (And Burst.net can bite me!)
(95 - 11:42pm, Apr 16)
Last: base ball chick

NewsblogOMNICHATTER: Wednesday April 16, 2014
(99 - 11:31pm, Apr 16)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

NewsblogNightengale: Pujols nears 500 home runs...and no one seems to care
(65 - 11:30pm, Apr 16)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogPaine: Advanced Stats Love Jackie Robinson
(7 - 11:23pm, Apr 16)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2
(132 - 10:55pm, Apr 16)
Last: zack

NewsblogExposition:The Jonah Keri Mega Q&A
(6 - 10:50pm, Apr 16)
Last: God

NewsblogDaniel Bryan's 'YES!' chant has spread to the Pirates' dugout
(52 - 10:46pm, Apr 16)
Last: Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016

NewsblogMinuteman News Center: Giandurco: This means WAR
(60 - 10:30pm, Apr 16)
Last: I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape

NewsblogOTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments
(1393 - 10:15pm, Apr 16)
Last: Publius Publicola

NewsblogAstros To Promote George Springer
(40 - 9:20pm, Apr 16)
Last: base ball chick

NewsblogGothamist: Yankee Stadium Is Selling Nachos In A Helmet For $20
(72 - 9:04pm, Apr 16)
Last: puck

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.1972 seconds
52 querie(s) executed