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Ed Lucas ‘04: Talent and Grit

Ed Lucas Comp.jpgBelieving in oneself is a characteristic shared by heroes and fools, and in his decade-long sojourn through the minor leagues, Ed Lucas ‘04 must have wondered on more than a few occasions which category was his. After Dartmouth, he played for the Idaho Falls Chukars, the Burlington Bees, the High Desert Mavericks, the Wichita Wranglers, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the Omaha Royals, the Gwinnett Braves, the Mississippi Braves, the Salt Lake Bees, and the New Orleans Zephyrs. That’s a lot of long bus rides, cheap hotels and run-down ballparks.

At the College Ed made First Team All-Ivy three times, and in 2004 he was Ivy League Player of the Year. The head coaches of the men’s teams voted him the Alfred E. Watson Trophy as a senior — Dartmouth’s award for the outstanding male varsity athlete of the year.

But nobody gave Ed a shot in the bigs until the Miami Marlins called him up at the end of May. He was 31 years old. As probably only a few people expected, but Ed was surely among them, he has done better than well. Through yesterday, after 27 MLB games, he was batting .282 with 29 hits in 103 at bats. He’s also doing a good job at third base, and showing Ivy League articulateness with the press. Let’s hope that Ed is in the majors to stay.

Here’s a video of his first big league home run. The Marlins’ play-by-play announcer notes that Lucas, “ten years in the minor leagues,” is “out of Dartmouth.” But when Ed goes into his trot, and as his educated man’s enduring doubt about his most important life choice evaporates for good, one can imagine him thinking something else: “I’m no fool, I’m no fool.”

Addendum: Bruce Wood at the Big Green Alert blog keeps close tabs on Ed’s progress.

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