Feature: Baseball's Donny Lucy
March 1, 2002
For every freshman, the transition from high school to college poses a challenge. Away from home in a completely different environment and surrounded by a new group of individuals, the adjustment process is not always easy, and sometimes can present a long and bumpy road. However, for Stanford first baseman Donny Lucy, this transition has been a smooth ride, and he is finding himself right at home in all walks of life.
'It's definitely a new lifestyle,' says Lucy about his new college experience. 'The sports and school, all together that has been the biggest transition. You are on your own, and nobody is going to wake you up in the morning to go to class, nobody is going to do your laundry or make your bed, and nobody is going to make you study. You have to have a lot more self-discipline.'
After almost two terms, the Stanford lifestyle seems to be agreeing quite well with the freshman. 'Coming back from Christmas break, I feel a lot more at home. I love my dorm. I stay busy and interact a lot with my floor, and I have a great roommate. I definitely feel at home.'
In addition to fitting in on campus, the first baseman also has quickly transitioned from high school to collegiate athletics and has found his niche on the baseball diamond. With all eight position players returning from last year's national runner-up squad, the newcomers realized the challenge they would face in earning playing time during their rookie campaigns.
'All the freshman coming in knew what a great team was coming back,' quotes Lucy. 'Coming in for fall ball I was just going to work my hardest and do my best, and let the chips fall where they will. It was a nothing-to-lose situation.'
This work ethic and positive attitude soon paid off for the rookie as coach Mark Marquess gave Lucy his first collegiate start February 8 on the road against the perennial powerhouse Florida State. With his chips falling in the right place in only the fourth game of the season, the powerful swinging right-hander wasted no time in capitalizing on this opportunity. In his first at-bat, Lucy singled to center field and drove in two runs, setting the pace for a spectacular debut series. In three games, the freshman tagged Seminole pitchers, going 5-for-13 (.385) with a double, stolen bases, five runs scored and seven RBI.
Comparing high school and college baseball, Lucy believes that, 'All of the pitchers are much better than in high school. The level of play is a lot more intense, and you have to be that much more focused, and work that much harder just to compete with everyone else.'
Lucy is not just competing with the rest of the field, he is flourishing among it. His performance in Tallahassee earned him the starting job at first base, and the freshman has carried his offensive momentum into the rest of February's games. Lucy presently boasts a .333 average (14-for-42), leads the Cardinal lineup with 19 RBI and is tied with Ryan Garko and Carlos Quentin for the team lead in home runs (3). He also co-leads the team along with Brian Hall for the most stolen bases (3). These numbers speak for the immediate impact of the burly first baseman.
While comfortable on and off of the field, the freshman also is part of Stanford Baseball's San Diego connection. One of four players from this area, along with Chris O'Riordan, Carlos Quentin and Danny Putnam, Lucy enjoys the hometown company.
'There's a lot of San Diego pride on the team,' says Lucy. 'It's fun because a lot of us played together when we were younger. Carlos and I played together when we were 11 and 12, and Danny and I played together for a number of years. It's just fun to get a chance to play with guys that you grew up with.'
Thus, whether knocking in runners, sporting the San Diego pride or living the Cardinal lifestyle, freshman Donny Lucy is finding himself right at home at Stanford. The more comfortable and experienced he gets at the plate, the more dangerous he will be for opposing pitchers. We'll be hearing his name a lot this season.
by Christopher Curtis