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Joey Lucchesi, a recent graduate of Newark Memorial High School, has been named the Tri-City Voice Male Athlete of the Month for July 2011 based on his performance last month. Lucchesi was the main reason the 2011 Little League District 14 Big League Giants won the Big League Division (16-18 year olds) Championship this year. He threw a complete game, two-hit shutout against an undefeated, in tournament play, Mission San Jose powerhouse team that had defeated the Giants the day before to force the winner-take-all championship game.
All season long Lucchesi proved to be in a zone of which most pitchers only dream. In five starts this year, the crafty southpaw went 5-0 with an incredibly low season ERA of 1.64 while averaging eight strikeouts per game. Lucchesi went on to be the ace of the staff for the District 14 Big League All Star Team in the Section 3 All Star Tournament held at Sequoia High School in Redwood City.
When the TCV caught up with Lucchesi to advise him of his award, following are his answers to our questions:
Tri-City Voice: How did you get interested in playing baseball?
Joey Lucchesi: My Dad signed me up for Little League when I was about five years old. I learned a lot and year by year really enjoyed the game.
TCV: When did you play baseball at Newark Memorial High School?
JL: I have played baseball through out my high school years.
TCV: Do you play any other sports besides baseball and if so, which ones?
JL: I like playing basketball, mostly for fun with friends.
TCV: Did you graduate from Newark Memorial High School this year?
JL: Yes, I graduated from Newark Memorial June 11, 2011.
TCV: What are your favorite subject(s) in school?
JL: I really liked science and history.
TCV: After graduation do you want to play pro baseball, go to a JC or four year
college or do something else?
JL: My plan for now is to go to a JC, Chabot College, in the fall and play for the Gladiators. But my life's dream would be to play professional baseball.
TCV: Do you know yet in what field you want to major?
JL: My major is still undecided.
TCV: After your baseball playing days are over, what would you like to do?
JL: I would hopefully have a degree and later in life a family. I just want to enjoy my life.
TCV: What do you like to do when not playing baseball or doing school work?
JL: In my spare time, I like listening to music, hang out with my friends and family.
TCV: What are your parents names and do they play any sports now or did they when they were younger and which sport(s)?
JL: My Dad's name is Ken Lucchesi. He also played a lot of sports as a teenager. His sport mainly was football. My Mother, Michelle, played softball and I had two uncles who played through the Newark National (Little League) System, Mark and Jimi Lasquete. They both were pitchers and have also been an influence to me and encouraging me to continue to pursue my dreams in pitching.
TCV: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
JL: My younger brother, Matt, age 15, also plays baseball. He also likes football.
TCV: Who has influenced you the most growing up in your young life?
JL: I think the one person who has greatly impacted my life in baseball was my Newark Memorial coach, (Coach Lemas). He is the one person who has mentored me since I was very young (8-years old). He has watched me grow and has been very patient with me and I have learned so much from him about baseball and life in general. Most of what I know today about pitching is because of him. My Dad has also played a major role in this. He has spent so many hours practicing with me and helping me always to strive to be the best I can be.
TCV: To what athlete did you admire the most during your growth?
JL: Randy Johnson. He is also a left handed pitcher and proven a lot.
TCV: What type of music do you enjoy?
JL: I enjoy many types of music, but mainly hip hop.
TCV: What is your favorite food?
JL: My favorite food is steak and pepperoni pizza.
TCV: Do you have any superstitions you do before or after a game?
JL: I do not really have any superstitions. I just like to listen to music before a game.
TCV: Anything else you would like to add?
JL: I just really enjoy pitching and it has been a life long dream for me to maybe someday pitch in the “Big League-MLB”. Hopefully, some day that will happen.