Charles Fred "Red" Lucas (April 28, 1902 – July 9, 1986) was an American professional baseball pitcher and pinch hitter. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1923 to 1938 for the New York Giants, Boston Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Red Lucas
Pitcher / Pinch hitter
Born: (1902-05-23)May 23, 1902
Columbia, Tennessee
Died: July 9, 1986(1986-07-09) (aged 84)
Nashville, Tennessee
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 19, 1923, for the New York Giants
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1938, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB statistics
Win–loss record157–135
Earned run average3.72
Batting average.281
Home runs3
Runs batted in190
Career highlights and awards

He was a pitcher who contributed to his teams in several positions over the years. Red Lucas was one of the most recent two-way players, serving as a prolific pinch hitter throughout his career.[1] He helped the Giants win the 1923 National League Pennant. Lucas finished 11th in voting for the 1927 National League MVP. That year, he had a won-loss record of 18–11, with 19 complete games, 4 shutouts, 2 saves, 239 ⅔ Innings pitched, and a 3.38 ERA.

Lucas was 6th in voting for the 1929 NL MVP for leading the league in WHIP (1.204), hits allowed per 9 innings pitched (8.90), and 28 completed games. He had a 19–12 won–loss record, with 2 shutouts and a 3.60 ERA. Lucas finished 14th in voting for the 1931 NL MVP. While Lucas led the National League in shutouts with 4 in 1928, completing 28 games in 1932 and walks/9IP (1.33) in 1936. He appeared in 19 games as a fielder, mostly at second base, but occasionally at third base, shortstop, or the outfield.

Lucas pinch hit 505 times over his 16 seasons; his 114 base hits as a pinch hitter rank him among the most prolific pinch hitters in Major League Baseball history. His total was, by far, the most ever for a player whose primary position was pitcher.[2]

As a pitcher, Lucas batted seventh in the lineup for the Reds on September 7, 1933, and was the last Reds pitcher to bat higher than ninth until Jason Marquis batted eighth in May 2015.[3]

He posted a .281 batting average with 155 runs, 3 home runs and 190 RBI in his major league career.

After his major league career, Lucas spent several seasons managing and occasional pitching in the minor leagues. He served as a minor league manager in 1941 with Grand Rapids (Michigan State League) and in 1942 Newport (Tenn.) of the Appalachian League. Lucas was a player/coach for the Nashville Vols in 1944 and 1945. He managed the Class D Lumberton Cubs of the Tobacco State League in 1947.[4] In 1948, Lucas was the manager of the Decatur Ill. club in the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League.

His nickname, "The Nashville Narcissus," was coined by Colonel Bob Newhall, a reporter for the old Cincinnati Tribune, who may have thought the young pitcher was a blooming star.[5] He died in Nashville, Tennessee on July 9, 1986.[1]


  1. ^ a b Votano, Paul (July 27, 2010). Stand and Deliver: A History of Pinch-Hitting. McFarland. ISBN 9780786484515.
  2. ^ Red Lucas article by Al Quimby. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on December 26, 2018.
  3. ^ "Jason Marquis bats 8th for Reds". May 25, 2015.
  4. ^ Holaday, Chris (2016). "The Tobacco State League; A North Carolina Baseball History, 1946–1950".. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 978-1-4766-6670-9.
  5. ^ Melley, Ken (July 19, 2018). The Anatomy of Baseball Nicknames. Page Publishing Inc. ISBN 9781642143782.

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