Former Padres executive Larry Lucchino, instrumental in Petco Park project, has died

Lucchino helped assemble two playoff clubs, including the 1998 National League champions, and was instrumental in Petco Park's development

NBC Universal, Inc.

Former San Diego Padres president Larry Lucchino, who who was inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame, has died, the MLB confirmed Tuesday. He was 78 years old.

"We mourn the passing of former Padres executive Larry Lucchino. Larry's passion and leadership was instrumental in the design and construction of Petco Park," the team said Tuesday on X.

Lucchino, who was the Padres president and CEO from 1995 to 2001, had been diagnosed with cancer.

The former CEO not only helped Kevin Towers and Bruce Bochy assemble two playoff clubs, including the 1998 National League champions, but he is given a lot of the credit for the existence of what's been repeatedly called the best ballpark in Major League Baseball. Lucchino was instrumental in the design and construction of Petco Park.

He then went on to Boston where he helped the Red Sox end their 86-year World Series drought. He most recently served as chairman and principal owner of the Worcester Red Sox. Before joining the Padres, Lucchino served as president of the Baltimore Orioles from 1988-1993. During that tenure, the team replaced Memorial Stadium with a downtown, old-style ballpark.

"To us, Larry was an exceptional person who combined a Hall of Fame life as a Major League Baseball executive with his passion for helping those people most in need," Lucchino's family said in a statement. "He brought the same passion, tenacity, and probing intelligence to all his endeavors, and his achievements speak for themselves."

Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. acknowledged the loss of one of baseball's great executives and sent his condolences in a statement Tuesday.

"Larry Lucchino was one of the most accomplished executives that our industry has ever had," the statement read. "He was deeply driven, he understood baseball’s place in our communities, and he had a keen eye for executive talent. Larry’s vision for Camden Yards played a vital role in advancing fan-friendly ballparks across the game. He followed up by overseeing the construction of Petco Park, which remains a jewel of the San Diego community. Then Larry teamed with John Henry and Tom Werner to produce the most successful era in Red Sox history, which included historic World Series Championships on the field and a renewed commitment to Fenway Park."

According to the Red Sox website, Lucchino was born in Pittsburgh, where he was was an All-City League basketball player and second baseman on the Pittsburgh city championship baseball team. He graduated with honors from Princeton University and then graduated from Yale Law School. At Princeton, he was a member of two Ivy League championship basketball teams. He held nine honorary degrees from Suffolk University, Boston University, Bryant University, New England School of Law, Anna Maria College, Palomar College, the University of Massachusetts Boston, Bentley University, and Assumption University.

Lucchino was inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame alongside Ted Leitner in 2022. He was also inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in May 2012, the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame and the Taylor Allderdice High School Hall of Fame in November 2013 and the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in May 2016,

He is survived by his brother Frank J. Lucchino, nephew F.J. Lucchino and niece Jennifer Lucchino, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as a younger nephew David L. Lucchino, who lives in Boston. He also is survived by seven grand-nieces and grand-nephews. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Larry Lucchino Family Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284, or online at

Contact Us