Ron Luciano

From BR Bullpen

Ronald Michael Luciano

Biographical Information[edit]

Ron Luciano was an American League umpire in the 1970s who later became a television commentator and best-selling author.

After attending Syracuse University on a football scholarship, he was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1959 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. He was an offensive lineman and blocked for two legendary running backs, Jim Brown and Ernie Davis. He spent two seasons on the Lions' injured reserve list, never playing a meaningful down, the signed with the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League, who released before the start of he 1961 season, bringing his football career to an end. He tried teaching for a while but did not like it, decided to try his hand at baseball in order to keep working in sports.

After attending umpire school, he umpired in the Florida State League (1966), the Southern League (1967-1968), and American League from 1969 to 1979. He worked three League Championship Series and the 1974 World Series. He worked Nolan Ryan's second career no-hitter on July 15, 1973. After Norm Cash had struck out his first three times in the game, he came to bat with a piano leg. Luciano forced him to return with a regular bat. He was known for his flamboyant style as an umpire. He frequently got into conflicts with Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver.

After retiring as an umpire, he became a commentator on NBC baseball telecasts in the 1980s. He is the author of four books, including The Umpire Strikes Back (1982), Strike Two (1984), and The Fall of the Roman Umpire (1986).

He died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his home in 1995. It was deemed a suicide.

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