Tuesday, May 5, 2015
MEET THE BYB FAMILY: INTERVIEW WITH DAN LUCIA
We continue now with our last writer for BYB, Dan Lucia. Dan's still relatively new to the BYB family and has been with us alittle under 6 months. No matter. He 's a good dude who writes from the heart and that's what we love here at Bleeding Yankee Blue.
By the way, If you haven't gotten to know the other BYB writers, be sure to check them out by just clicking on them below. MEET THE BYB FAMILY is one of our most popular series of all time here and we appreciate it:
BYB: First off, did you play baseball? Were you always a baseball guy first?
Dan Lucia: I did play, ever since I can remember. We lived in a brick house as a kid and I drew a strike zone on the house and made a mound and would just pitch and pitch and pitch against the house even when I was alone.
I played in high school, American Legion and dabbled at a Division III college for a couple years as a catcher. I didn't hit enough in college, but always felt my biggest strength was my defensive ability. I compared myself to Joe Girardi in terms on how I played. Kind of a slap hitter who handled the pitching staff very well. The only year of my life I did not play or coach baseball was last summer.
BYB: Tell the audience what drew you to BYB. You were asking me quite a bit about wanting to write for us. I finally gave in, even though I wasn't going to take on any other writers. Fill in the audience.
Dan Lucia: It was kind of an easy decision. I had written for a couple NFL blogs and both folded. When the NFL season was ending this December, I wanted to get to my real passion; baseball and the Yankees. I had read some pieces over the years and went through several Yankees blogs reading articles and seeing what they were each about. I really enjoyed the free-style kind of writing that BYB offered and thought it would be a good fit! I'm opinionated and feel I'm knowledgeable and informed on the subject matter I write about. Thanks again for the opportunity and to the rest of the writers who welcomed me when I came on board. I really enjoy it!
BYB: Who is your favorite Yankee of all time and why?
Dan Lucia: Don Mattingly is my favorite Yankee of all time. My Don Mattingly poster from when I was a kid is now hanging in my six years old's room. I can't really remember "why" per say. But I know ever since I was a little guy, 3-4 years old in the mid 1980's, I've always been a Donnie Baseball fan! I was the bat boy for a team my dad coached when I was about four and wanted to be number 23. He and his buddy thought it'd be funny and made me number 2/3 instead since I was a little runt. Some of the players on that team will still call me 2/3 occasionally when I see them!
BYB: I find your occupation fascinating. Tell the audience what you do for a living.
Dan Lucia: It's a pretty good gig! I work on the Communications, Navigation and Electronic Countermeasures systems on the U.S. Air Force's C-5 cargo aircraft. I'm a reservist and work full time as a civilian for the Department of the Air Force. It's a pretty interesting and satisfying job. I get to do some traveling and have been to Europe a few times and spent a couple weeks in Alaska. It took nine months of training in Texas and Mississippi and several more years at my base to get fully qualified, but it was sure worth it. I'd make the decision to commit to this again in a heartbeat, plus I get to serve our country.
BYB: So how do you find the time to write for BYB?
Dan Lucia: Sometimes I barely do! Between juggling the family life with my wife, Angela, and two kids, Evan and Amelia, plus work, housework, coaching two teams and taking a college class, it's not easy! I try and utilize the few spare moments I have or will sit at the computer during my lunch break and scarf down some food while I try and throw something together. It's worth it though. It's a great hobby to have and it's terrific to be part of the BYB family.
BYB: You've been with us for nearly 6 months now and you've put together some terrific pieces for us. Which one of your pieces did you consider your favorite?
Dan Lucia: My favorite would have to be I ALMOST RUINED JIM ABBOTT'S NO HITTER. It was so much fun to reminisce about being at that game! A fun little side note, I'm a Green Bay Packers fan and was pretty disappointed after they lost to the Seahawks this January, but Jim Abbott reached out to me on Twitter about a half-hour after the game in response to the piece which helped soften the blow! It was good timing from him. He was the first player to ever respond to anything I had written. That was really neat!
BYB: If you could sit down with 3 people, a Yankee, a world famous writer and any other person for a pint, who would they be and why?
Dan Lucia: It would have to be the Babe. He was just so much better in his heyday than anyone else. I'd love to sit and talk with him about the game back in his playing days. Plus, rumor has it, he was pretty darn good at drinking!
As for a writer, that's a tough one. Probably Mark Twain. He lived in Hartford, CT just about 15 minutes from where I grew up, and who doesn't love The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I'd just like to talk about how and why he wrote that book.
The third one would be my grandfather, my Papa Gino. He got sick just prior to me leaving for Basic Training and he unfortunately passed away while I was there, so I never got to say good bye one last time. He was a Sergeant in the Army and I just wish I could speak with him one more time. That still kind of stings.
BYB: You and I are both coaches. Tell the audience about how important coaching kids is for you?
Dan Lucia: Next to my family, coaching is probably the most important part of my life. I coach a Babe Ruth team now and coached American Legion for eight years. I love the game, I love teaching the game and I want it to be played correctly. I've seen lots of kids who were just never really properly coached and need to be. Plus it's more than baseball. If I can make a positive impact on one kid, it's all worth it. We all come from different walks of life and some kids need a good influence or someone who will correct them when they're wrong and praise them when they're right. If I can teach them some lessons in discipline, respect, attitude and other things, it's a win for the both of us.
BYB: If the Yankees called you to get your advice for what to do with Masahiro Tanaka, what would you tell them?
Dan Lucia: This is another tough question! I'm not the one who invested $155 million dollars so I sure don't have as much to lose! It seems to me though that there is something that just isn't right. I was rooting for the PRP therapy to be effective, as we all were, but he just doesn't seem 100%. I'm going to defer my answer to the Yankees brass and physicians, but surgery should be an option if he reinjures the UCL at all.
BYB: What is your favorite BYB piece of all time... you know, the one that you started reading and said, hey, I really like these guys?
Dan Lucia: I don't think there was one piece. I followed the Yankees and many blogs over time but really enjoyed the style of writing here at BYB. It can be brass, opinionated and controversial but it can also be heartwarming. Plus the BYB team has done so many exclusive interviews! That's awesome that the Yankees players, wives, journalists and so on of the past and present take the time out to contribute to, and be part of, the BYB family. That was definitely a huge selling point over the last couple of years.
BYB: Finally, I run BYB and it can be a rough gig, but for the most part I try to allow all my readers to live their lives, but always make deadline. How am I doing at the Skip?
Dan Lucia: You do a great job! I'm not always able to get things done as I say I am going to with all my obligations and you respect that! But you're also not afraid to give me a hard time when I deserve it. I need that occasionally! I really enjoy the way we are able to discuss ideas and brainstorm. You allow the opportunity to write not only about the Yankees, but personal pieces in regards to baseball and that's awesome. It allows us writers to speak our minds on non-Yankees related subjects, like the Women's Professional League pieces that have been written recently. Those are cool! Thanks for the time and effort you put into it. I know we all appreciate it and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to join the BYB family.
Thanks for being here Dan, we appreciate your hard work.
Who's next? Me... Stay tuned.
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