Ed Lucas with his son Christopher Lucas
Page Turner / Edited by Peter McDermott
Said the 14-year Yankees star and current Dodgers manager Don Mattingly: “For Ed Lucas to be able to do what he’s done on a daily basis for all of these years is amazing. I have an incredible amount of admiration for him, and am inspired by his story.”
Now, Ed Lucas tells that remarkable story himself, with assistance from his son Christopher, in “Seeing Home.” It begins in Jersey City in 1951 with a 12-year-old boy losing his sight when hit in the face by a baseball and then follows his journey through a decades-long, Emmy-winning career in broadcasting.
Today, Lucas has been inducted into three halls of fame, including -- on the same day in 2009 with Paul O’Neill, Walter O’Malley, Jim Joyce, Vin Scully and Steven Garvey – the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame.
He was told over the years that a blind person would never amount to anything besides begging in the streets and that a person with a guide dog had never graduated from Seton Hall. There would be many more “nevers” in his life.
“So many times,” writes Ed Lucas in his memoir, “I’d blown right past all of the ‘nevers,’ I had completely erased the word from my vocabulary.”
Date of birth: Jan. 3, 1939
Place of birth: Jersey City, N.J.
Children: Edward, 48 Christopher, 46
Residence: Union, N.J.
“Seeing Home: The Ed Lucas Story”; weekly column (“As I See It”) in the Jersey Journal.
What is your writing routine?
I am blessed to work with my son, Christopher, as my collaborator. We each bring a different viewpoint to the story at hand, which always sharpens and deepens the final result. Working together has also made our relationship stronger. I recommend it for every parent.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Read, read, and then read some more. Don’t just stick to stuff that interests you. If you want to grow as a writer, explore other worlds through the written word. Here’s a great experiment; go to a bookstore and pick a magazine from the rack that deals with a topic that you’ve never really had any interest in. Buy it and read it from cover to cover. I guarantee that you will find at least one article that will give you some fresh insight and a little more perspective as a writer.
Name three books that are memorable in terms of your reading pleasure.
“Wait Till Next Year” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. A great story about the everlasting bond between a parent and child, forged through an affinity for baseball. I love all of her books, but this one hits closest to home for me.
“’Tis” by Frank McCourt. The sense of wonder in McCourt’s storytelling always draws me right in, no matter how many times I experience it. Every writer should take lessons from his work.
“The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” by Stephen King. Not your typical Stephen King novel, this is my all-time favorite from his canon. Mr. King’s clever blend of suspense and baseball, through the tale of a little girl lost in the woods, and her reliance on memories of a Boston Red Sox star to help her survive the ordeal, makes it quite compelling.
What book are you currently reading?
“The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough. Another fine work from a master at his craft.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
The baseball rule book, so that I could add a passage allowing a 76-year-old blind man just one chance to pitch for the Yankees.
Name a book that you were pleasantly surprised by.
“Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty” by Charles Leerhsen. A new book that’s wonderfully researched and written. It dispels many of the myths that we all think we know about Ty Cobb.
If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be?
Saint Paul. His divinely inspired words helped to change and influence the whole world. Just to be in his presence and to feel the passion responsible for his writing, even for a few moments, would be a thrill.
What book changed your life?
The Holy Bible. It continues to shape my actions and change me for the better on a daily basis.
What is your favorite spot in Ireland?
My roots and family are on the west coast, so I’d have to say anywhere in Galway or Cork.
You're Irish if...
You can face any adversity in life with a chuckle. The ability to laugh, even in our darkest moments, is one of God’s greatest gifts to those of us with Irish blood in our veins. I thank Him every day for it.