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
Vegas Watch
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogMLB - Royals' Ned Yost keeps managing to win - ESPN
(12 - 6:15pm, Oct 25)
Last: Cat8

NewsblogOT:  October 2014 - College Football thread
(454 - 6:11pm, Oct 25)
Last: stanmvp48

NewsblogDave Dombrowski: Injury worse than expected, Miguel Cabrera 'is as tough as you can possibly be' | MLive.com
(24 - 6:10pm, Oct 25)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 4 OMNICHATTER
(16 - 6:08pm, Oct 25)
Last: Cat8

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(872 - 6:02pm, Oct 25)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(3791 - 5:58pm, Oct 25)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogGambling Bochy creature of habit when it comes to pitchers | CSN Bay Area
(4 - 5:54pm, Oct 25)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(395 - 5:49pm, Oct 25)
Last: NJ in DC (Now with Wife!)

NewsblogBoston Red Sox prospect Deven Marrero enjoying turnaround in Arizona Fall League | MiLB.com
(11 - 5:28pm, Oct 25)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogYost's managerial decisions make for extra-entertaining World Series | FOX Sports
(12 - 5:25pm, Oct 25)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogBuster Olney on Twitter: "Sources: Manager Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and is leaving the Tampa Bay Rays immediately."
(87 - 5:12pm, Oct 25)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogJohn McGrath: The Giants have become the Yankees — obnoxious | The News Tribune
(20 - 4:40pm, Oct 25)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(936 - 4:29pm, Oct 25)
Last: Howling John Shade

NewsblogPhils' philospophy beginning to evolve | phillies.com
(12 - 4:08pm, Oct 25)
Last: Textbook Editor

Newsblog9 reasons Hunter Pence is the most interesting man in the World (Series) | For The Win
(22 - 3:31pm, Oct 25)
Last: esseff

Page rendered in 0.1746 seconds
52 querie(s) executed