Ex-Red Sox president Larry Lucchino, who helped break 'Curse of the Bambino,' dead at 78

Ex-Red Sox president Larry Lucchino, who helped break ‘Curse of the Bambino,’ dead at 78

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Larry Lucchino, the former president of the Boston Red Sox who helped break the “Curse of the Bambino,” has died, the team announced Tuesday. He was 78.

The Red Sox posted about Lucchino’s death on X.

“The Red Sox & the sports world have lost a giant,” the team said. “Larry was a visionary whose competitive spirit & strong will took sports franchises to new heights, particularly ours.


Larry Lucchino at Fenway Park

Larry Lucchino is presented with the Red Sox Jimmy Fund Award before a game against the Houston Astros on Aug. 29, 2023, at Fenway Park in Boston. (Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

“He was a curse-breaker, ballpark-preserver & community champion. Thank you, Larry.”

Lucchino was a D.C. lawyer and worked with the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Orioles as the firm he worked at, Williams & Connolly, had an ownership stake in both of those teams. He served on the Redskins’ board of directors from 1979 to 1985 and was the president of the Baltimore Orioles from 1988 to 1993.

After his time with the Orioles, Lucchino was the president and CEO of the San Diego Padres from 1995 to 2001. The Padres made a World Series when he was an executive for the team.

Lucchino’s biggest claim to fame was revamping the Red Sox organization from the lovable No. 2 of the American League, always the bridesmaid and never the bride behind the New York Yankees, into a curse-breaking behemoth that went on to win titles in 2004, 2007 and 2013.

Before that, the Red Sox hadn’t won a World Series since 1918.

Larry Lucchino in August 2023

Former Red Sox president Larry Lucchino, current president Sam Kennedy, and former player David Ortiz walk off the field after a pregame ceremony at Fenway Park on Aug. 29, 2023, in Boston. (Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)


“Larry Lucchino was one of the most accomplished executives that our industry has ever had,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “He was deeply driven, he understood baseball’s place in our communities, and he had a keen eye for executive talent. Larry’s vision for Camden Yards played a vital role in advancing fan-friendly ballparks across the game. 

“He followed up by overseeing the construction of Petco Park, which remains a jewel of the San Diego community. Then Larry teamed with John Henry and Tom Werner to produce the most successful era in Red Sox history, which included historic World Series Championships on the field and a renewed commitment to Fenway Park. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my condolences to Larry’s family, his Red Sox colleagues and his many friends throughout our National Pastime.”

Red Sox team owner John Henry remembered the lasting legacy Lucchino left on the organization.

Larry Lucchino in June 2015

Larry Lucchino, of the Red Sox, watches batting practice before a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on June 12, 2015, in Boston.  (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

“Larry’s career unfolded like a playbook of triumphs, marked by transformative moments that reshaped ballpark design, enhanced the fan experience, and engineered the ideal conditions for championships wherever his path led him, and especially in Boston,” Henry said. “Yet, perhaps his most enduring legacy lies in the remarkable people he helped assemble at the Red Sox, all of whom are a testament to his training, wisdom, and mentorship. Many of them continue to shape the organization today, carrying forward the same vigor, vitality, and cherished sayings that were hallmarks of Larry’s personality.


“Larry was a formidable opponent in any arena, and while he battled hard, he always maintained the utmost respect for a worthy adversary and found genuine joy in sparring with people. I was lucky enough to have had him in my corner for 14 years and to have called him a close friend for even longer. He was truly irreplaceable and will be missed by all of us at the Red Sox.”

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