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Lucchino’s influence went far and wide, even reaching here

By Tom King - Staff Writer | Apr 4, 2024

Here’s a few tids and bits while we endure yet another lousy weather day (whatever happened to sunny and 60?)

First, we’ll go ahead and say this: If there were no Larry Lucchino, there likely would have been no change in the Red Sox fortunes for a while in the 2000s, although given today’s baseball climate with the additional playoff teams, etc., the Curse of the Bambino would have eventually been lifted. The late former Sox team president’s aggressive approach simply changed the way the organization thought, and things went on from there.

But here’s the thing: His impact reached all the way up this way. He negotiated with Drew Weber and the Blue Jays in allowing – the Sox had territorial rights – the Fisher Cats to come into existance in Manchester. That deal, well, was the first nail in the coffin of the once beloved Nashua Pride.

And, of course, he’s likely hated in Pawtucket while loved in Worcester, which paid tribute to him on the WooSox opener the other day. He moved the Triple A Red Sox to Worcester a few years ago, and it has had more impact on Nashua. Would current Nashua Silver Knights owner John Creedon, Jr. have bought the Knights from Weber back in 2019 had Worcester not been getting a Triple A team with a brand new ballpark? Would he have sold the Bravehearts, leaving him with just the Silver Knights to possibly sink more resources into, as he did this past January? That could this time be to Nashua’s benefit.

And, of course, think of how Lucchino basically saved Fenway Park. Impacts everywhere just about in the game of baseball, including, as it turns out, here in Nashua.

—- A big change at Saint Anselm College as longtime men’s basketball coach Keith Dickson retired after an incredible 37 seasons as head coach, with 719 wins. Former Hawk Chris Santo, an assistant from 2016-20, takes over. Dickson had 20 or more wins in 19 seasons, 22 NCAA tourney appearances, and made the Final Four in 2019. He’s the all-time winningest coach in Northeast-10 history. Santo had been an assistant coach the last few years at the University of Vermont.

— Very sad to hear of the passing of Vermont Lake Monsters manager Pete Wilk, the former longtime Georgetown University head coach after about an 18 month battle with cancer. He was pure class and represented the Futures Collegiate League well. Wilk, despite his treatments, was bound and determined to manage at least home games last season, which he did for a time. We remember being next to the Vermont dugout in the photo pit during the Silver Knights title game win in August of 2022 and listening to him in the dugout, even chatting here and there. Great manager, and the league and the Burlington, Vt. Community will definitely miss him.

— It looks like former Silver Knight and Merrimack High School standout Mickey Gasper will start the 2024 season playing for the Portland Sea Dogs, one of three catchers on the roster.

Gasper, you may remember, was grabbed by the Sox in the Minor League version of the Rule V draft. It’s a fresh start for Gasper,who more than held his own in the Yankee organization but couldn’t get past the Double A hurdle, struggling at the start of last year in Triple A. But he held his own with Somerset, and hopefully will get plenty of playing time with Portland. In case you’re wondering, the Sea Dogs don’t come to Manchester to take on the Fisher Cats until July 4. New Hampshire opens its season Friday night at Binghamton.

— Think the Houston Texans are loading up? They grabbed Joe Mixon, and then Stefon Diggs. Old friend Nick Caserio has steered the Houston ship a long way in the last couple of years, from also rans to a potential offensive juggernaut. Should be interesing. See Patriot fans, it can be done. First big step comes in three weeks, just like it did a year ago for Caserio & Co.

Tom King can be reached at tking@nashuatelegraph.com, or on X, formerly twitter, @Telegraph _TomK.


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