Throwing a baseball is certainly not an inherent ability for a stag. Not like running and romping, skipping and jumping, butting heads with fellow-stags to defend their territory or mate in the wild, and grazing on grass, twigs and their favorites like pecans, apples, blueberries, blackberries. And after all, stags have hooves not equipped with fingers. No knuckleball here.
But this one Stag, that would be “Lucas the Stag” – the ever-popular Fairfield University mascot – well, he can outright pitch!
Either Lucas is a natural, or he learned his lessons well from Stags head baseball coach Bill Currier, head softball coach Julie Brzezinski, and the top hurlers on each squad – Kyle Dube and Lauren Falkganger – all who took Lucas under their tutelage.
Under the glaring big league lights of Citi Field before a crowd of nearly 18,000, Lucas the Stag threw out the first pitch before the Mets took on the Marlins. He was focused and determined as he waited in the on-deck circle.
Poised as strode to the Citi Field mount, Lucas eyed the target of Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud, took his wind-up and hurled a fast ball right into the catcher’s mitt.
Travis gave Lucas a hug on a job well-done as the roar erupted from the crowd of Fairfield supporters – 750 strong – sitting down the right field line. The group included Fairfield president Fr. Jeffrey von Arx, SJ, chairman of the board Frank Carroll, athletic director Gene Doris, the “Voice of Stags Basketball” Bob Heussler, sports information director Jack Jones – many Mets aficionados among them, joined by head men’s basketball coach Sydney Johnson, baseball coach and Lucas mentor Bill Currier, women’s soccer coach coach Jim O’Brien, and associate head coach of men’s lacrosse Andy Whitley. Kudos to associate athletic director of marketing Zachary Dayton, who coordinated the big day makeover of Lucas the Stag, that started at the crack of dawn at the NBC Today Show, and concluded with the Citi Field festivities.
And big thanks to the Metropolitans staff for their hospitality and professionalism!
The Showcase of the new “Lucas the Stag” on Fairfield University Night at Citi Field was a big hit!