“Everybody’s got a different journey to the big leagues,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “Everybody’s had the same goal of getting to the big leagues, and there’s another story that’s unique.”
The 31-year-old Lucas was playing for the Marlins Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League when he got the call. The infielder was enjoying a fine season with a .304 average in 181 at-bats with 12 doubles, five homers, 26 runs and 14 RBIs. In his 10-year minor league career, Lucas has hit .278 in over 3,700 plate appearances with 66 homers and 418 RBIs.
At Dartmouth, Lucas hit .357 in 131 games and 482 at-bats over his four years, including .405 as a senior shortstop when he was named the Ivy League Player of the Year. He registered 37 doubles, five triples, and eight home runs, scoring 101 runs and driving in 93 while posting a .416 on-base percentage and a .504 slugging percentage.
“It’s been a long time,” Lucas said. “You kind of stop expecting it. You always hope for it, but you kind of need to put that hope somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of your brain. After 10 years, you’re always hopeful, but you’re never expecting.”
Lucas, who has yet to see action in a game with the Marlins, is expected to fill a utility role with the big club as he can play any of the four infield positions as well as the corner outfield spots.
Lucas is the first Dartmouth alumnus to be on a major league roster since Brad Ausmus ’91 hung up his spikes in 2010 after an 18-year career. But the last player that suited up for the Big Green and played in the major leagues was left-hander Mike Remlinger ’88, who enjoyed a 14-year career before his final game on June 22, 2006. And the last position player that played for the Big Green before going on to a big-league career was first baseman Mark Johnson ’90 whose last game came on June 2, 2002 after seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Anaheim Angels and New York Mets.
Miami hosts the Tampa Bay Rays this evening at 7:10 p.m. (EDT).
Quotes from Redmond and Lucas provided by MLB.com