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Dan Shaughnessy

Why we love Larry Lucchino

“Maybe to everybody we have something to prove,” said Sox president Larry Lucchino.

MATTHEW J. LEE/GLOBE STAFF

“Maybe to everybody we have something to prove,” said Sox president Larry Lucchino.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — How much do I love Larry Lucchino? Let me count the ways. I may not be able to come up with 100, but there’s a lot to love about the Red Sox CEO.

  He played basketball at Princeton with Bill Bradley.

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  He built Camden Yards, the ballpark that changed everything about the way ballparks are built over the last two decades.

  The late George Steinbrenner hated Lucchino.

  It was Lucchino who oversaw the spectacular renovation of Fenway Park.

  Lucchino dated Maria Shriver.

  Larry changed the Culture Of No at Fenway Park. He came to Boston in 2001 and announced that the Red Sox were “in the Yes Business.’’

  Larry was a star baseball player at Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh. It’s the same high school that produced Curtis Martin.

  Lucchino is the only man on the planet with a Final Four ring, a Super Bowl ring, and a World Series ring.

  If Mike Brown had hired Larry to teach the Princeton offense, Brown would still be coaching the Los Angeles Lakers.

  Larry’s mom, the late Rose Lucchino, was a member of a bowling league well into her 90s and kept score at every baseball game she attended in Box L-1 at Fenway.

  Larry called Scott Boras a liar. To his face.

  Lucchino built Petco Park in San Diego.

  His mentor, Edward Bennett Williams, went to Holy Cross and was perhaps the greatest trial lawyer of the 20th century.

  Lucchino was the only member of the Sox ownership trio who called Terry Francona after the Globe’s explosive story on the ex-manager in October of 2011.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Larry Lucchino offered “no comment” to two questions posed by Dan Shaughnessy on Thursday, but answered similar questions posed by other reporters.

  Larry got to hang out with Elizabeth Taylor on football Sundays at RFK Stadium when Williams owned the Redskins.

  He brought Janet Marie Smith to Boston.

  He gave Theo Epstein his first break in big league baseball.

  He beat cancer. Twice. And is a champion for the Jimmy Fund.

  As a Yale law student, Lucchino worked alongside classmate Hillary Rodham on the Senate Watergate impeachment committee.

  He invented the concept of ball club “roundtable” sessions where players could exchange ideas with ownership.

  It was Lucchino who brought maestro Dr. Charles Steinberg to Boston.

  Lucchino grew up near Forbes Field, a classic old ballpark. He borrowed from Forbes when he built Camden Yards and renovated Fenway.

  He is well-read. Lucchino said he is reading a Jefferson biography at the moment.

  His wife, Stacey Lucchino, rides in the Pan-Mass Challenge and works for multiple charities, including the YMCA of Greater Boston.

  The Lucchino family comes from Calabria, the toe of the boot in Italy. “Stubbornness is supposed to be a trait of the Calabrians,’’ Lucchino told the Globe in 2002.

  He was the first to refer to the Yankees as “the evil empire.’’

  He is exceptionally loyal. If you take a bullet for Larry, he takes care of you for the rest of your life.

  He looks a lot like Tommy Lee Jones.

  Lucchino engaged in a $20,000 bet to see if Francona could quit chewing tobacco in 2009. Francona lost the bet and Lucchino gave the money to Children’s Hospital.

  In Earl Weaver style, Lucchino loves a good argument, has thick skin, and doesn’t take things personally.

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com
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