A serendipitous series of events that unfolded at a recent Oakland A's baseball game enabled two Saint Mary's alums to share in the good fortune of a third, Rocky Lucia '78.
On April 14 at the McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, Lady Luck smiled on Lucia, a former student body president, in a way he never could have imagined. The veteran attorney came home from a baseball game between the Oakland A's and Texas Rangers the elated winner of a new Chevrolet Tahoe.
Fellow alumni Dick Callahan H98 and Jerry Fitzpatrick Sr. '40 played roles in the memorable evening for the Lucia family.
Lucia and wife Jill (Leal) '79, are parents of SMC alumnus Michael '06 and current students Joseph, a junior, and Justin, a freshman. As fate would have it, Justin's girlfriend, Annie Rubenstein, and her father, Don, invited Leal to the A's game.
At each Friday home game this season, the A's combine with General Motors to give away a vehicle to a fan. Leal was selected because of his seat location to be one of three finalists in a drawing for the SUV, and won.
Callahan, the current A's public address announcer and voice of the men's basketball Gaels for many seasons, heralded the win. The Leals called upon Fitzpatrick, the Chevrolet-Buick dealer in their hometown of Concord, to assist in getting the vehicle.
"The whole thing was too much," laughed Leal, whose other SMC/baseball connection comes from being a college roommate and longtime agent of former A's pitcher Tom Candiotti, now a broadcasting for the Arizona Diamondbacks. "I almost didn't have that seat, but Don (Rubenstein) encouraged me to sit there.
"I never had an inkling the winner might be me until a team representative came to my seat and started asking me questions. I only go to a couple of A's and Giants games a year," Lucia said.
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