Larry Lucchino, former Red Sox President, Dies at 78

Larry Lucchino, the former president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, who played a pivotal role in guiding the team to three World Series triumphs, passed away at the age of 78, as announced by the organization on Tuesday.

Upon the acquisition of the Red Sox by the ownership consortium led by John Henry and Tom Werner in February 2002, Lucchino assumed the role of CEO. Although he held a lesser financial stake, his leadership was instrumental. He relinquished his position in 2015 after an illustrious tenure. Prior to his tenure with the Red Sox, Lucchino served as president/CEO of the Baltimore Orioles from 1989 to 1993 and the San Diego Padres from 1995 to 2001.

Lucchino’s remarkable career was marked by success across multiple franchises. He witnessed the Orioles’ World Series victory in 1983 and guided the Padres to the National League Pennant in 1998. Notably, he presided over the Red Sox’s historic 2004 World Series win, breaking an 86-year championship drought — and subsequently led the team to triumphs in 2007 and 2013.

During his tenure as CEO of the Red Sox, Lucchino found himself in notable contention with the late George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees. Lucchino’s characterization of the Yankees as “the Evil Empire” in an interview with The New York Times remains a memorable moment in their storied rivalry.

“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 in a statement. “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.”