Mike Schmidt is the best draft pick of all time
A scout who could keep a secret
Tony Lucadello was the kind of boy scout Hollywood turned into a punchline. He would have placed well in the early scenes of “Moneyball”, where grizzled scouts talk about “the good face” and the sound of the ball from the start. He worked without a radar gun or a stopwatch, and believed in the dubious but irreproachable craft theories that 87% of baseball is played below the waist and that no player with glasses should be signed.
Born in 1912, with a few years as a Class D infielder in the 1930s, Lucadello was 5-foot-7, if he was. “When you say Dr Fauci, that’s who Tony Lucadello reminds me of today,” Schmidt said of Lucadello, who had a dapper style: a coat and tie, a fedora and an ever-changing perch at the games.
Lucadello watched from the outfield or the end lines – even, at times, from a tree – to see prospects from different angles while keeping his distance from rival scouts. He didn’t drink, smoke, or socialize a lot.
“He was exchanging jokes, but he never gave you a scent of what was going on, not even a clue,” said Gillick. “You thought he was a little eccentric, but at the same time, the Boy Scouts recognized people who could assess talent, people who were successful, and Tony certainly was.”
By 1980, the year Schmidt carried the Phillies to their first World Series title, Lucadello had signed more major leagues than all the other scouts on the team combined. In total, he has signed 52 players who have reached the majors, including another Hall of Famer, pitcher Fergie Jenkins and eight other All-Stars: infielders Toby Harrah and Mickey Morandini, outfielder Larry Hisle and Alex Johnson. , and pitchers Don Elston, Grant Jackson, Mike Marshall and Bob Rush.
“Tony Lucadello was one of the greatest scouts I have ever known,” said Art Stewart, 94, senior advisor to the Kansas City Royals who met Lucadello in 1950. A great musician with an ear for music. I’ll never forget that, and it was Tony. Besides being so adept at evaluating, he was so eager to have in-depth knowledge about a player, to know all he could about his church priest, his girlfriend, his father.