Irwin William Lukas: 1924-2009

pop self-portrait.jpg

You may have noticed that some of my entries have been a bit shorter lately, and I’ve been participating much less in the comments section. That’s because I’ve been spending a lot of time and energy dealing with my father, who’s been in declining health for the past two months. He passed away over the weekend.

That’s him shown above — a self-portrait he took when he was 15 or 16. I see a lot of myself in that photo, in a way I never saw myself in his adult countenance.

My father was not a conventional guy. His tastes and sensibilities — and my Mom’s, too — were far, far from the mainstream, which could be a real drag when I was a kid. They only listened to classical music, watched a lot of Masterpiece Theater, and thought a day at the Guggenheim was a great way to spend an afternoon (which it is, of course, but not when you’re an 11-year-old). With one exception, they had zero feel for anything even vaguely pop-cultural. Fortunately for me, the exception was that my father liked sports.

He took me to my first ballgame when I was seven. The Mets won, 7-6, but the main thing I remember from that day involves a bag of peanuts he bought for me. “Where should I put the shells?” I asked. “Oh, just toss them anywhere,” he replied.

That didn’t sound right — he and my Mom kept such a fastidious house. Was he really telling me to make a mess? I tentatively dropped a few shells on the ground. “Like this?” I asked.

“That’s right, someone will clean it up later,” he said. “It’s OK — you’re allowed to make a mess at the ballpark.” In retrospect, this seems unfair to the custodial staff, but at the time I thought it was just about the coolest thing ever, and for a long time I counted it among the most important life lessons my father ever taught me. To this day, I always leave behind a peanut shell or some other small piece of trash when attending a ballgame.

Two years later I got the bright idea of “treating” him to Father’s Day at the ballpark, which was no treat at all, because he still had to pay for parking, deal with holiday traffic, and so on. To his credit, he didn’t complain one bit.

My father was older than my friends’ fathers (he was 40 when I was born) and wasn’t particularly athletic, but he was always happy to have a catch with me or hit fly balls to me or join me at the local tennis court, and he always came to watch the various baseball, football, and basketball teams I played on. He taught me to play Ping Pong, and he took me bowling. When I played Babe Ruth League baseball and got stuck in a batting slump, he bought a bucket of baseballs and threw batting practice to me at a local field so I could regain my stroke. He was 54 then.

Football-wise, my Pop was a lifelong New York Giants fan. When the Giants made it to the Super Bowl against the Ravens in 2001, I figured it might be his last chance to see his favorite team in the big game, so I went home and watched the game with him. Unfortunately, the Jints got crushed that day, but the fates handed us another chance seven years later, as the Giants faced the Patriots, and again I went out to Long Island to watch with him. I was very happy about the Giants’ victory but was even happier for Pop, who had just turned 84 years old. His batteries were getting pretty low by that point, but he still yelled and cheered and hugged me as the game unfolded. I’m grateful that we got that one last chance to bond over a game.

Pop loved Uni Watch. He read the site regularly, occasionally sent me feedback, and was a charter member. I’d forgotten about that last bit until we were going through his wallet over the weekend and found his membership card.

There was a lot more to him than sports, of course. Like most good parents, he had a knack for saying just the right thing at just the right time. When I turned nine years old, my outdoor birthday party was rained out and I was pretty inconsolable, but Pop said, “Oh, don’t you know? Rain on your birthday is a sign of good luck in the year to come.” It was a very sweet lie that he came up with on the spot. Rather amazingly, it rained on my birthday for the next 34 years in a row after that (really!).

One last story: Back in the early 1990s, when I was working as a book editor, I mentioned to Pop that I was facing a big career-related decision and was having a hard time deciding what to do. A week or so later I talked to him again and told him which choice I had made. He said, “Yup, that was the right decision.” I said, “If you knew all along what the right decision was, why didn’t you tell me a week ago?” He said, “I know it’s the right decision because it’s the decision you made.” I never realized until then how much faith he had in me. It was very humbling.

Pop was not a great man, at least not in the conventional sense of that term. But he was a very good father, a gentle soul, and a helluva nice guy. I already miss him, and I’ll always be proud to be his son.

I’m leaving the comments open today. Feel free to talk about regular uniform stuff — it’s OK, really. We’ll be closed tomorrow, but I hope to be back in the saddle by Wednesday. Content may still run on the short side for a while, so please be patient with me. Also, I may not be able to go to Baltimore next week after all, so our June 17th gathering is now officially iffy. I’ll update you on that as soon as I’m able, OK? OK.

 

380 comments to Irwin William Lukas: 1924-2009

  • Tris Wykes | June 8, 2009 at 7:46 am |

    Enjoyed reading about your dad, Paul. My family was very similar but my dad was always willing to play catch as well, using his 1960s model glove. He arrived from England at Miami (Ohio) Univ. as a graduate student and his roommates, seeking to immerse him in American culture, immediately took him to a Reds game and bought him a glove. He’s continued to enjoy baseball to this day, although he’s not really a sports guy.

  • Hustle | June 8, 2009 at 7:59 am |

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time, Paul. There’s no doubt that he was proud to be your father, as well.

  • Scott | June 8, 2009 at 8:00 am |

    Sounds like a great man to me, Paul.

    Cheers to you and your family as you remember a life well-lived. Take care over the next few days and keep alive those great memories.

  • jesse | June 8, 2009 at 8:01 am |

    Sorry about your loss, my condolences Paul.

  • MikeB | June 8, 2009 at 8:04 am |

    My condolences to you and your family Paul. As a life long Pats fan, this might be the first time I’m OK with saying that I’m glad the Giants won that Superbowl, especially for you to have a great memory of your father like that.

  • Brian | June 8, 2009 at 8:08 am |

    Sorry to hear about your loss! My thoughts and prayers are with you! I enjoyed reading about your father and can myself in the same situations with my dad taking me to games. Sorry for your loss and best wished to you and your family during this time of sadness!

  • fox | June 8, 2009 at 8:11 am |

    Condolences. Any way we can get a black armband on the H in the banner?

  • Ken Malone | June 8, 2009 at 8:16 am |

    That was a beautiful tribute. I hope my son has such kind memories of me someday.

  • Peter | June 8, 2009 at 8:18 am |

    This is the first time that I had a tear in my eye while reading these blogs. Paul, my deepest condolences to you and your family.

    At my father’s funeral the rabbi told me that I would have flashbacks of my dad while driving down the road remembering things that happened between us in certain places. One of those always occurs because of a stupid joke he told me directly in the middle of the Whitestone Bridge on our way to a Mets-Giants game after he changed his allegiance to the Mets.

    Remember the good times and be thankful that he was around to set you on the right path.

  • M.Princip | June 8, 2009 at 8:23 am |

    What a great and memorable game to bond over in the Giants victory over the undefeated Patriots, Super Bowl XLII.

    R.I.P. Irwin W. Lukas

  • DaveMac | June 8, 2009 at 8:26 am |

    I’m sorry for your loss, Paul. I was very touched by the story of your father.

  • Doug | June 8, 2009 at 8:28 am |

    Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Paul.

  • Mike Hersh | June 8, 2009 at 8:29 am |

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Fight | June 8, 2009 at 8:30 am |

    I echo the sentiment thus far Paul. What an eloquent tribute, easy to tell the way you feel about your father through your words. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Broadway Connie | June 8, 2009 at 8:33 am |

    What a great-looking guy!

  • LI Phil | June 8, 2009 at 8:36 am |

    paul,

    i’m deeply saddened at your loss…although i never met your dad, and you made me wish that i had…

    i know these past several months have been difficult for you, and i thank you for sharing this very personal part of your life with me…having almost lost my own dad several months ago, i know exactly what you have been going through, and you were (and are) a true friend to me during that time — i thank you for being there as a friend when i needed it, and please know you can count upon my support now and in the future…i just wish the four of us had been able to catch one mets game together

    remember the good times, paul — he sounded like such a great guy! as children, what greater honor can we bestow on our parents but to absorb and reflect their best characteristics, and pass them along to our children, and he sure had a great son … i’m sure you made him proud

    the UW flag flies at half-staff today

    peace,

    Phil

  • Elena | June 8, 2009 at 8:38 am |

    Sorry for your loss,Paul. What a wonderful photograph of your dad. And the memories–you’ll have those forever.

  • Matt Brosseau | June 8, 2009 at 8:39 am |

    Paul, your father would surely be proud of the way you remember him…something all fathers should aspire for. My best wishes to you and your family.

  • Jeff | June 8, 2009 at 8:40 am |

    Though your dad is gone, his life lessons and your memories of him will be with you every day. That, my friend, is quite a blessing.

  • Russ | June 8, 2009 at 8:41 am |

    Dear Paul,

    We never met before but i am truly sorry for your loss. Im sure your father was a great man b/c he raised a great writer. not to sound creepy but i wake up every morning and read your column during breakfast. you have a lot of fans and we all know u will pull through. I hope we can meet one day if you ever have a gathering in NJ i have some good throwbacks i can bring out

  • Joey Guns | June 8, 2009 at 8:42 am |

    Paul, I’m very sorry for your loss. It sounds like your dad was an incredible guy!

  • Kenneth Lilly | June 8, 2009 at 8:44 am |

    My thoughts are with you and your family. What a wonderful article about you and your Dad and your history together. Sounds like he was a fantastic father. I’m very sorry for your loss.

  • GMunee | June 8, 2009 at 8:46 am |

    The post today is a great tribute to your father. You honor him very well with your words today.

    Prayers and condolences for you and your family.

  • Chris Doran | June 8, 2009 at 8:50 am |

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Paul.

    Spending some time with my Dad today (his 69th), and I know he’s been a great influence on my.

    I hope I can be the same to my son.

  • Frosty | June 8, 2009 at 8:51 am |

    Thoughts and prayers friend – to you and your family.

  • Michael | June 8, 2009 at 8:51 am |

    Paul,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thanks for sharing the memories of your dad because I had a lot of the same wonderful experiences too. We’re both lucky to have had great fathers. I’m trying to do the same with my two little girls, but seems like I can only get them to Camden Yards if I bribe them with Dippin Dots.

  • Jed | June 8, 2009 at 8:55 am |

    My condolences, your discussion about your father was heartwarming and nice to see, and he sounds like the kind of father I hope to be. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jeff | June 8, 2009 at 9:02 am |

    Paul:
    As another “class of 1964″ who lost his father 3 years ago, I can tell you that your memories of ballparks and batting practice with your father will be what you keep in your head and heart going forward. The sickness and final days will blur away, so let them. From what you wrote this morning, I’d say your parents are to “blame” for your interest in the aesthetics or life, and what better gift could a parent ever give a child! My condolences for your loss.

  • Bernard | June 8, 2009 at 9:02 am |

    Sorry, Paul. I know this is a very difficult time, and nothing anyone can say will change that. Just know that everything you do is a tribute to your father. He was proud of the man you are, and the work you do. Every breath you take and word you write honors his memory.

  • Dave F. | June 8, 2009 at 9:03 am |

    The passion and intelligence you pour into this site and your other work serve as a wonderful tribute to your father, as we are all to varying extents the result of our parents’ influence. My condolences on your loss.

  • Mark K | June 8, 2009 at 9:03 am |

    Paul- I wish you and your family the best. Great tribute post today.

  • Randy Rollyson | June 8, 2009 at 9:04 am |

    Paul, as long as you are alive, your Father will be, also. Really enjoyed your column. Those memories are the priceless things that nobody can ever take away from you. Celebrate his life!

  • Michael | June 8, 2009 at 9:04 am |

    Paul,

    That was an excellent tribute to a Great Dad. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  • Jordan Sogn | June 8, 2009 at 9:06 am |

    Paul, thank you for sharing your thoughts…that was very cool of you. Keep your chin up, sir.

  • Jeff Hunter | June 8, 2009 at 9:07 am |

    Paul,
    You, and your family, are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Mark in Shiga | June 8, 2009 at 9:07 am |

    God bless your father and your family, Paul. May those wonderful memories you and he piled up last a lifetime.

  • scott | June 8, 2009 at 9:09 am |

    Paul,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Sean | June 8, 2009 at 9:09 am |

    My condolences,Paul.

    A very well wriiten piece.

  • -Vince | June 8, 2009 at 9:11 am |

    Paul. I am sorry for your loss. Have strength & faith.

    He sounds a LOT like my dad. We don’t see eye to eye on much, except for sports (hockey & baseball).

    If you make it down to Charm City, I will bring a special six pack, just for you… http://www.nationalb...
    remember… Natty Boh will never be served in a glass, it already comes in one.

  • TMD | June 8, 2009 at 9:15 am |

    Paul,

    The whole Uni Watch family is behind you. Your father was very right to have such high regard for his son. He raised a very smart and kind son.

  • Justin in AR | June 8, 2009 at 9:18 am |

    My thoughts are with you, Paul. Sorry for your loss.

  • Traxel | June 8, 2009 at 9:22 am |

    Paul – Wonderful tribute. You too have the knack of saying, well writing, just the right thing. Something he obviously pass along to you.

  • Morris | June 8, 2009 at 9:23 am |

    Paul –

    My condolences to you and your family in your time of great loss.

  • Ry Co 40 | June 8, 2009 at 9:23 am |

    sorry for your loss, paul!!!

    these are tough times but you have to keep in your heart that he knew you loved him and thats the most important thing.

    my thoughts and prayers will be with you. just be sure to hang in there friend, we’re all here for you!

  • =bg= | June 8, 2009 at 9:23 am |

    Sorry for your loss.

  • amps11 | June 8, 2009 at 9:25 am |

    Paul,

    Sorry for your loss. Your dad sounded like quite a guy. He raised you right, that’s for sure. Remember that he’ll always be with you.

  • DrBear | June 8, 2009 at 9:27 am |

    Beautiful post. My dad, who died back in 1998, got me my only big league foul ball at a Brewers game. He had an advantage – he was a former town-team catcher in his youth and there’s a catcher’s mitt on the back of his tombstone. My condolences.

  • Matthew T.P. Powers 3416 | June 8, 2009 at 9:31 am |

    Paul,

    I have been sitting at my keyboard, writing and deleting this sentence for the past ten minutes.

    Yes, we share the trait of having lost our fathers, which inevitably cause a multitude of thoughts and emotions to bubble up, however I am not going to tell you that I know how you feel.

    Much like the treasured memories, your feelings are different from every one of us. They are as different for you and I as my father was from Mr. Lukas.

    Embrace them all.

    BTW…UniWatch might be a therapeutic release for you at this trying time, but remember…you have a bench coach that is more than capable of minding the shop while you are doing what every son must eventually do.

    You also have a large family here at UW that can be called upon for whatever you need!

    Sincerely,

    Matt

  • BSmile | June 8, 2009 at 9:32 am |

    My thoughts are with you and your family today.

  • War Damn Eagle | June 8, 2009 at 9:34 am |

    Paul,

    My sincerest condolences to you and your family.

    Jonathon Binet

  • Darin | June 8, 2009 at 9:34 am |

    Paul,

    I’m an everyday reader of Uniwatch (since day 1), but I’m not much of a commenter. I feel compelled to write today and send my best wishes to you and your family today. Thanks for sharing a meaningful remembrance of your father with us.

  • ChrisMilea | June 8, 2009 at 9:34 am |

    Great post Paul. My condolences to you and your family.

  • Hott Rodd | June 8, 2009 at 9:35 am |

    Paul,

    I am very sorry to hear of your loss. As you have no doubt heard, it is most important to focus on the good times, and hold those memories dear. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    Rodney Hartwig

  • jsdryden | June 8, 2009 at 9:36 am |

    Paul,

    My thoughts are with you today, and after reading your excellent tribute, I wish I lived in a big league city in order to take my three young boys to a ballgame. Even though we are hockey fans, your post goes to prove that there is something special about a baseball game, sons and fathers.

    God bless.

  • Matthew T.P. Powers 3416 | June 8, 2009 at 9:36 am |

    BTW…

    If Charlie Samuels had any nerve, he would have the Amazin’s wear a mourning band…but absolutely NO BLACK!

  • Pittsburgh Gunny | June 8, 2009 at 9:37 am |

    Godspeed Papa Luke, Godspeed. My thoughts and prayers to you and yours on your loss Paul, take your time, no worries.

  • Jamie | June 8, 2009 at 9:37 am |

    Paul,

    I usually don’t make comments, but I do read this blog pretty much every day. I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Condolences to you and your family.

  • Bob R | June 8, 2009 at 9:39 am |

    A finer tribute to a man I’ve yet to read…

    Hang in there, PL.

  • Matt | June 8, 2009 at 9:39 am |

    My condolences to you and your family, Paul. Sounds like we could all take a lesson from your father. God bless.

  • Jim | June 8, 2009 at 9:40 am |

    I offer my thoughts and prayers to the Lukas family. Watching your father decline is very difficult, to say the least. I know because my dad has been steadily declining for the past two years due to Parkinson’s disease. From what you wrote, I would call your father a great man. For what is the measure of greatness? I would use the effect one has on the lives of others as a gage. He certainly effected you in a great way, and therefore all the Uni Watch readers through you. I have two sons, and you wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to get fathers to help coach or watch their kids play. The sense of self-worth that your dad instilled in you, by being there for you, was a truly great act of love.

  • Flatbush Flyer | June 8, 2009 at 9:41 am |

    Love and prayers going out to the Lukas Family.

  • andrew | June 8, 2009 at 9:42 am |

    What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man.
    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, Paul.

  • George | June 8, 2009 at 9:43 am |

    And another beautiful stirrup hangs in a locker of the most gorgeous ball park that exists. God bless, Paul.

  • Craig Bates | June 8, 2009 at 9:43 am |

    Mr. Lukas,

    As someone who has had the opportunity to share the collection of items that my own father has passed down to me with everyone here, I read your entry today with a tear in my eye. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and Godspeed to your father.

    C. Bates

  • cisko | June 8, 2009 at 9:44 am |

    Paul, what a wonderful tribute to your dad. Thanks for sharing it. My condolences for your loss. Hopefully the wonderful memories you describe are some comfort in a trying time.

  • Joel | June 8, 2009 at 9:44 am |

    Wonderful tribute, Paul. My condolences.

  • al | June 8, 2009 at 9:47 am |

    Paul … thanks for sharing.

  • Josh J. | June 8, 2009 at 9:48 am |

    Your father sounded like a heck of a guy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • blt | June 8, 2009 at 9:49 am |

    A very touching tribute. Condolences to the Lukas family.

  • Bob A | June 8, 2009 at 9:51 am |

    Paul, as one whose own father is fighting a health battle he cannot win, you have my condolences. And also my admiration for writing such a terrific tribute to him.
    I know he’d be proud.

  • Stormy | June 8, 2009 at 9:52 am |

    I’m so sorry to hear the news Paul. Please accept my sincerest condonlences.

  • MEMAL | June 8, 2009 at 9:52 am |

    Better words couldn’t have been said about someone who can have so much of an influence on our lives.

  • Happy Joe | June 8, 2009 at 9:55 am |

    My condolences to you and your family. Through your passion, wit, and style, we have seen his reflection in the son he raised.

    Thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  • JD | June 8, 2009 at 9:56 am |

    I have never posted but read every day religiously.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Your Dad would be proud to read all of these comments.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Judd | June 8, 2009 at 9:57 am |

    A sad day. All the best to you.

  • TBDRO | June 8, 2009 at 10:01 am |

    My condolences to the entire Lukas family.

    May your memories of him help you through this difficult time.

  • dank | June 8, 2009 at 10:02 am |

    Sorry for your loss Paul. I can only pray my boys would someday write a loving eulogy like that about me someday. Sounds like you have a ton of great memories to relive forever.

  • marc | June 8, 2009 at 10:04 am |

    My deepest condolences, Paul. The eulogy you delivered today was testament to your father’s greatness.

  • Marc M. | June 8, 2009 at 10:04 am |

    I am very sorry Paul.

  • tosaman | June 8, 2009 at 10:04 am |

    Ditto all the wonderful sentiments in the previous comments. As important as uni-watching may be, it takes a back seat at a time like this.

  • Matt V | June 8, 2009 at 10:06 am |

    My most deep and heart felt condolences Paul. I am truly sorry for your loss.

  • Timothy J | June 8, 2009 at 10:06 am |

    Sorry to hear about your loss Paul. My condolences.

  • Matt | June 8, 2009 at 10:06 am |

    My thoughts are prayers are with you and your family.

  • Jack | June 8, 2009 at 10:10 am |

    Condolences to you and your family.

  • Chris Hilf | June 8, 2009 at 10:11 am |

    Best wishes to you and your family, friend.

  • interlockingtc | June 8, 2009 at 10:12 am |

    May your dad rest in peace, Paul.

    jim

  • Ry Co 40 | June 8, 2009 at 10:12 am |

    [quote comment="333602"]Paul,

    I have been sitting at my keyboard, writing and deleting this sentence for the past ten minutes.

    Yes, we share the trait of having lost our fathers, which inevitably cause a multitude of thoughts and emotions to bubble up, however I am not going to tell you that I know how you feel.

    Much like the treasured memories, your feelings are different from every one of us. They are as different for you and I as my father was from Mr. Lukas.

    Embrace them all.

    BTW…UniWatch might be a therapeutic release for you at this trying time, but remember…you have a bench coach that is more than capable of minding the shop while you are doing what every son must eventually do.

    You also have a large family here at UW that can be called upon for whatever you need!

    Sincerely,

    Matt[/quote]

    “BTW…UniWatch might be a therapeutic release for you at this trying time”

    very much so!!!

  • Sage Confucius | June 8, 2009 at 10:13 am |

    My condolences to you and your family.

  • Tom Servaux | June 8, 2009 at 10:15 am |

    Paul —

    Deepest condolences for you and your family.

    He will always be with you — my father has been gone for two years, and not a day goes by where I don’t feel his presence in some way.

  • don d. | June 8, 2009 at 10:15 am |

    My condolences. Your dad sounded like a great guy.

  • The Ol Goaler | June 8, 2009 at 10:16 am |

    Prayers for you and your family, Paul. I lost my father two summers ago, and I still miss him… even when our relationship was at its rockiest, we could always talk about the Cardinals and Blues.

    Wonderful article about a wonderful man…

  • TC Lofton | June 8, 2009 at 10:19 am |

    Paul, I hope the next few days are good for you. The measure of a man is the children he raises, and without going overboard, I think he did very, very well. I will never forget the story you did on basketball unis that meet certain religious standards, like the small Pentecostal school in Virginia, and the fairness and kindness that you treated those folks with. Having some family members who are Pentecostal Holiness, it has always meant a great deal to me. You were certainly raised right.

    Keep it up, sir.

  • Alan #44 | June 8, 2009 at 10:22 am |

    Paul, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.
    Alan K.

  • Nolan | June 8, 2009 at 10:24 am |

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Reading this makes me want to go have a catch with my dad as soon as possible. Heck, I’m 30 and I still toss the ol ball around with my dad.

  • Phil | June 8, 2009 at 10:24 am |

    Paul,

    All the best to you and your family during this difficult time. You’ve given us all so much, no doubt learned from the respect and love your Dad gave you.

  • Tom Hedrick | June 8, 2009 at 10:25 am |

    My condolences to you and your family Paul.

  • Matt Lesser | June 8, 2009 at 10:26 am |

    Your father sounded like a great man, and an even better father. I am sorry for your loss, and your whole UniWatch extended family is here for you.

    יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא

    Matt

  • Gordon | June 8, 2009 at 10:26 am |

    So sorry to hear of your loss. All the best in the upcoming days.

  • Matt | June 8, 2009 at 10:28 am |

    Paul, I feel for you man, this can no way be an easy thing.

    So I’ll keep it short, and say that my condolences are with you and your family, and that I am truly sorry for your loss.

  • Ricko | June 8, 2009 at 10:28 am |

    I have offered this quote before, but it bears repeating today.
    From, I believe, author Donald Honig…

    “Baseball is really nothing more
    than an endless stream
    of all of the fathers
    and all of the sons.”

    And these lyrics from a song no one’s ever heard of…

    “The road of life has stretched out far behind me,
    With all the friends I’ve known from day to day.
    But still I bless the night you came to find me,
    To hold my hand until you learned the way.

    “Walk on, little boy, your life has only started,
    A world full of joy is there for you to see.
    Walk on, little boy, our paths today are parted,
    So walk along, run along, move along,
    But don’t you wait, don’t stop to wait,
    No, don’t you wait
    for me.”

    My condolences, Paul. Get deep in your memories and hold them close.

    —Ricko

  • Taha | June 8, 2009 at 10:30 am |

    Paul:

    Your tribute to your father testifies to what a great job he did in bringing you up. Thanks for sharing with us. I wish you and your family all the best.

    Taha

  • Chris | June 8, 2009 at 10:30 am |

    Now I’m glad the Pats lost SB XLII. You have my condolences and for your father, In Pace Requiescat.

  • Lou | June 8, 2009 at 10:31 am |

    Paul,

    My heart felt condolences. Sounds like your dad was a wonderful man. May you always cherish your memories of him.

    –Lou

  • Ed | June 8, 2009 at 10:33 am |

    Very sorry for your loss, Paul.

  • Matt from L.A. | June 8, 2009 at 10:34 am |

    Paul- Thank you for letting us in on a very personal life event. Your words show how much respect you had with your father. What a fitting tribute to a great influence in your life.

    My prayers are with you and your family through this process. The UniWatch flag is at half mast as was said earlier.

    -Matt Ryburn

  • Larry | June 8, 2009 at 10:35 am |

    Paul,

    Condolences to you and your loved ones for your loss. One is never completely gone as long as you remember them.

  • Aaron | June 8, 2009 at 10:41 am |

    Sorry to hear about your father Paul. Really enjoyed reading about him. It kind of hit home a bit due to the fact that we, ourselves just made a trip to an assisted living facility yesterday for what is expected to be a goodbye visit for an elderly family member. Really makes you reflect on quite a bit. I hope you find some peace in all of it. –Aaron

  • Hank | June 8, 2009 at 10:45 am |

    My condolences. Thanks for sharing those tidbits about him with us.

  • Chris | June 8, 2009 at 10:46 am |

    Your dad sounds like a great man, thank you for sharing. Your post moved me very much, I wish you and your family comfort.

  • Mickel Yantz | June 8, 2009 at 10:47 am |

    Thanks for sharing your great memories. Best wishes to you and your family. You remind us to take advantage of the times we have with our loved ones. You remind me I need to call my Dad, just because.

  • Tim F. | June 8, 2009 at 10:47 am |

    Sorry for your loss, Paul and the Lukas family. Try to laugh as much as you weep while remembering him.

  • Kyle | June 8, 2009 at 10:48 am |

    Paul,

    It’s hard to understand now, but in the coming months you learn a lot about your dad just from the things you’ll remember. The dumbest little things will remind you of him, and all the crap in between that didn’t matter will melt away. Eventually you’ll have this strange patchwork of memories that define him that are so abstract that it will make you laugh.

    We spend our lives trying to define ourselves in our careers, and the crap that we accumulate… and in death, we end up being defined by the memories that we left our loved ones with.

    My mom has been gone 5 years now… and in someways I feel I know her even better now than I did before she died. I GET IT now.

    RIP, Mr. Lucas.

  • Wes | June 8, 2009 at 10:49 am |

    Paul,
    My condolences to you and your family. Very nice entry today – a great tribute to your father. No need to apologize for any shorter-than-usual entries lately. I think I speak for everyone when I say we are just grateful you continued to write despite what was happening in your life, especially today.
    -Wes

    PS – for what it’s worth – until now I had no idea what your age is. I would have guessed you were 10 years younger based on your pictures.

  • Michael Niekamp | June 8, 2009 at 10:52 am |

    Paul- Like many I read everyday but never comment. But today, I would like to wish you and your family nothing but the best in this most difficult of times.

    Michael Niekamp

  • Big Al | June 8, 2009 at 10:53 am |

    Sorry for your loss, Paul. Very eloquent piece.
    RIP Mr. Lukas.

  • Boston Nick | June 8, 2009 at 10:56 am |

    Very sorry for your loss, Paul.

    My dad got me into sports as well, and even started me on the uni loving path when he bought me the big book (I think it was around 90 or 91) of the MLB Uniforms of the 20th Century. As I struggle through my life, I know I can always lean on him and count on him.

  • mtjaws | June 8, 2009 at 10:58 am |

    A very touching tribute. Thank you for sharing.

    And how cool is it that he was still carrying his Uniwatch membership card in his wallet. We know parents support all our endeavors, but finding that little card proves that Pop will always Get It.

  • Scott in Erie | June 8, 2009 at 10:59 am |

    Sincere condolances, Paul.

  • Andy | June 8, 2009 at 11:00 am |

    Mr. Lukas,

    Am not a poster, but am an avid reader of the site. Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your father. Thank you for the great content and my best wishes at this difficult time.

  • JimV19 | June 8, 2009 at 11:04 am |

    Just in case your dad was right, may it rain on your birthday every year for the rest of your life.

    Great story about a great father and son. I’m a Steelers fan, and I got choked up watching Super Bowl 42. I can only imagine how you and your dad felt. Glad you had that moment together.

    Rest in peace, Irwin, and may peace be with you, Paul, in this time.

  • Jonathan Sluss | June 8, 2009 at 11:05 am |

    Paul,

    My condolences on the loss of your father. It sounds like you have some wonderful memories of him, hang on to them!

  • Jeremy Brahm | June 8, 2009 at 11:08 am |

    Paul,

    Condolences on the loss of your father this weekend. Take as much time as you need.

    My grandfather died a couple of years ago and last weekend my family went through some of his belongings in the safe and I learned a great deal about him, his service in World War II in Europe and coin collecting. Some of this I knew and some of it I didn’t. He was not the easiest man to get along with as I got older, but I could see some of his interests and personality in myself after his death.

    Through this site, I have found others with similar interests and have personally rediscovered the joy of finding things that either you didn’t know existed or had forgotten about.

    Your story about your father will not be forgotten among the Uniwatch faithful.

  • mtjaws | June 8, 2009 at 11:08 am |

    I wanted to add this link to a nice poem that all should read. Maybe you’ve seen it before, but it talks about all that good stuff that comes between two dates.

    http://www.simpletru...

  • SpfldNate | June 8, 2009 at 11:10 am |

    I enjoyed reading your stories about your father. Sorry for your loss.

  • Nick | June 8, 2009 at 11:11 am |

    I’m so sorry to hear that Paul. My condolences to you and the Lukas family. Thoughts and prayers too.

  • BobbyT | June 8, 2009 at 11:11 am |

    Thanks for the lovely rememberance, Paul. Condolences on your loss.

  • mike 2 | June 8, 2009 at 11:12 am |

    Wonderful tribute Paul, deepest condolences from our entire family.

  • chris | June 8, 2009 at 11:14 am |

    Paul, thank you for sharing part of your family with us with the post today. Sounds like your father and mine would have hit it off well. Both made sure their sons were given lots of positive structure early in their lives when we didn’t know why they were doing it plus they introduced us to baseball early on…and we haven’t let go! I will be sure to call my father today and tell him I love him.

  • Terry Mark | June 8, 2009 at 11:19 am |

    Paul,

    My sincerest condolences to you and your family.

    I’m usually in agreement with your commentary on athletic aesthetics, but I’m going to disagree with one of your statements today: It sounds to me like your father was a great man, far greater than the people most regard as “great.” He never forgot what was important in his life: his family.

    The world would be a far better place if all fathers were half as caring as yours.

    Terry

  • chance michaels | June 8, 2009 at 11:20 am |

    Just want to throw my best wishes in as well.

    Thanks for sharing the story – hope my sons have similar memories of me when I’m gone.

  • A Tama | June 8, 2009 at 11:21 am |

    Paul,

    My condolences to you and your family. Thanks for sharing the stories about your father – a very touching tribute. Those stories are wonderful and well worth repeating. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Craig | June 8, 2009 at 11:22 am |

    Condolences Paul. I lost my mother at the young age of 60 last year very unexpectedly. It’s not easy losing a parent especially when you’re close with them. My prayers go with you brother.

  • Radnip4 | June 8, 2009 at 11:22 am |

    you were blessed. my dad had 8 sons and 1 daughter, we never missed a bat day at yankee stadium! my condolences to you and your family

  • Tony B | June 8, 2009 at 11:24 am |

    Sorry to hear about this. Please accept my condolences. Best wishes to you and yours.

  • Arlington Warrior | June 8, 2009 at 11:24 am |

    I never post on this site, but I have enjoyed its contents for years.

    Paul, that was a beautiful tribute from a son to a father. as a father myself, I hope that one day my children will pen such words about me. If they do, then I will consider my life well-lived.

    Hang in there.

  • David T | June 8, 2009 at 11:26 am |

    I echo all the condolences. Losing a parent is difficult at any age, as many of we readers can attest. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  • M.Princip | June 8, 2009 at 11:31 am |

    [quote comment="333602"]Paul,

    You also have a large family here at UW that can be called upon for whatever you need!

    [/quote]

    That is for sure.

  • Brad | June 8, 2009 at 11:33 am |

    Paul,
    Condolences to you and your family over the loss of your father. Please take life one day at a time as you remember all the great things you recounted in today’s post. I am doing the same with my wife who’s Mom died last week a day after turning 89.
    Brad B.

  • tom farley | June 8, 2009 at 11:33 am |

    I’m so sorry for your father’s passing, Paul. I respectfully disagree about him not being a great man. Just on what you’ve shared with us here, I can tell that he was. Some things you just know.

  • Lee | June 8, 2009 at 11:35 am |

    Condolences to you Paul and the rest of your family, and your father’s friends.

    Hang in there…

    Lee

  • Greenie | June 8, 2009 at 11:41 am |

    My father was never too tired from 12-hours shifts at a paper mill to play catch with me and my sister. She would throw a softball to him as he threw me a baseball, and we’d trade off in the backyard.

    Keep hold of the memories. And always leave peanut shells.

    -Greenie

  • Rob Ullman | June 8, 2009 at 11:45 am |

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your dad, Paul. “Great Man” or not, he sounds like a great guy. I’m really sorry for your loss.

  • nettles | June 8, 2009 at 11:46 am |

    What a great dad! I’m so sorry for your loss. All the best to you and your family.

  • Neil | June 8, 2009 at 11:46 am |

    Paul-
    The advantage to having a forum such as UW is that you can use your words to try and make others appreciate the little things in something we often take for granted. Unis are just one of those things we often take for granted because they are always there. You’ve used this forum to help me find something special and unique about them.

    Today, you’ve used your forum for another purpose, but it has had a similar effect. I, no doubt, will be calling my father today to tell him how much I love him and what he means to me. And I will look to your father’s example of how I want to behave and interact with my son.

    My sincerest condolences to you and your family.
    -Neil

  • Noah | June 8, 2009 at 11:51 am |

    Paul,
    Beautiful tribute to your father. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    -NP

  • Jamil | June 8, 2009 at 11:56 am |

    God bless and Godspeed, Paul. I will pray for you and your family.

  • LarenR | June 8, 2009 at 11:58 am |

    Paul,
    Thank you for sharing such a personal moment with us.

    This year I took my three year old daughter to her first big league game (her mom and I dragged her to a few when she was a baby, but this Opening Day was the first she might remember). She loved that she was allowed to throw the hot dog wrapper on the ground (I told her the sea gulls would clean it up later…true enough in SF). I am glad to read that you remembered that lesson all these years later and I hope that she will too.

    We’ll scatter some peanut shells for your dad when we go back to Pac Bell in a coupla’ weeks.

  • Richard | June 8, 2009 at 11:58 am |

    Paul,

    My deepest and most sincere condolences on your loss. From the words you put down today, your father seemed like a great person.

    Wishing you and your family comfort in this tough time.

  • Frank Mercogliano | June 8, 2009 at 11:58 am |

    Paul,

    My condolences to you and K in this tough time. Your tribute was well written.

    Frank

    [IMG] http://i128.photobuc... [/IMG]

  • Frank Mercogliano | June 8, 2009 at 11:59 am |

    This might work better…

  • Jon in SLC | June 8, 2009 at 12:02 pm |

    Paul – My condolences on your loss. He sounds like a great father and a good man. Thank you for sharing the post with us.

  • Schafe | June 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm |

    Paul- So sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. For those of us lucky enough to still have our Dad in our lives- I suggest making a phone call to them today.

  • Jeff Mayer | June 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm |

    Any man who is a good father is a great man.

  • Efinch | June 8, 2009 at 12:09 pm |

    Paul,
    I’m sorry about the loss of your dad. and extremely thankful that Irwin’s son has sparked up so much conversation between me an my dad. We got someone looking out for the Watch upstairs now.

  • Dave Goldberg | June 8, 2009 at 12:10 pm |

    My thoughts are with you and your family. As a father and son myself, your words express how fortunate you ,and the rest of us, are to have had and known a great father.

  • Dave | June 8, 2009 at 12:10 pm |

    Paul – my condolences for your loss. Thank you for sharing with us all about your father.

  • Jon | June 8, 2009 at 12:17 pm |

    sorry for loss paul, it was great to hear about your father.

  • Steve May | June 8, 2009 at 12:19 pm |

    I’ll add my name to the multitudes offering condolences.

    One of the marks of a good parent can be seen in their kids. I’d say Irwin William Lukas passed with flying colours (green and gold – striped – no purple).

    Peace and condolences

    Steve

  • Richard Craig | June 8, 2009 at 12:21 pm |

    Sorry to hear about your dad, Paul, but I think he’d be pleased with how you’ve portrayed him here. He sounds like a fascinating character. I lost my dad last summer, but I felt like we were in a good place when he died. It sounds like you were too, so hopefully that will ease everything just a little. I’m sure he was hugely proud of you.

  • Jeff P | June 8, 2009 at 12:22 pm |

    I can’t rally add on to what has been said already, but I wish you well in what must be a trying time for you.

  • Jeff P | June 8, 2009 at 12:22 pm |

    Can’t really. Sorry about that.

  • DarkAudit | June 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm |

    Nothing I can add except my deepest condolences as well.

  • Chris | June 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm |

    Sorry for your loss my thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time,

  • Teebz | June 8, 2009 at 12:31 pm |

    Paul, during a conversation with Phil this weekend, he happened to mention this.

    I am deeply sorry for your loss, and my thoughts and prayers to you and yours, Paul. I even wrote a piece about it as I can only imagine the difficult time you’re going through.

    Take care, Paul. All the best to you and yours in this time.

  • Gabe | June 8, 2009 at 12:33 pm |

    R.I.P Uni Luke #23
    Paul I will keep you and your family in my thoughts…it sounds like he was one of the good ones…

  • 6Packed | June 8, 2009 at 12:34 pm |

    Thoughts and prayers to you and yours Paul.

    Your father sounds like a great dad, and that’s one hell of an amazing legacy.

    I hope it rains on your birthday forever…

  • TC Lofton | June 8, 2009 at 12:35 pm |

    [quote comment="333712"]Paul- So sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. For those of us lucky enough to still have our Dad in our lives- I suggest making a phone call to them today.[/quote]

    Amen.

  • Jim BC | June 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm |

    Hi Paul – my Dad was 42 when I was born. He’s 82 now and in declining health. Your description of you and your Dad is very similar to my relationship with my own father.

    Deepest sympathies to you and your family.

  • Dan | June 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm |

    Paul,

    Thanks for taking the time to share some of your Father’s life with us.

    I particularly enjoyed the part about him saying that it was the right decision because it’s the one you made.

    My condolences to you and your family.

    Dan

  • Ben | June 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm |

    Paul- sorry to hear about your loss.

    That $1.30 your dad paid for your first game got me thinking. I always love seeing the prices on old ticket stubs. I save every stub from every game i go to, and recently found the ticket from when Mark McGwire hit home run #66 in 1998 at Milwaukee County Stadium. My dad and I had front row seats behind the Brewers dugout, and paid $20! Those seats at Miller Park would be around $90 today…….and $20 gets you a bleacher seat.

  • Tony | June 8, 2009 at 12:39 pm |

    My condolences to you and your family, Paul.

    My Dad called me this weekend. It was during the Wings game, so I ignored his call. I’m gonna go call him right now.

  • Dan King | June 8, 2009 at 12:40 pm |

    i agree with everyone else here saying we’ll be here for you, and being sorry for your loss.

    but i also disagree on your father not being a great man. i read something once that said:
    “the only true measure of a man is how he is measured in the eyes of his family.”
    and by what you said today, he sounds like a great man.

  • Rob | June 8, 2009 at 12:40 pm |

    My condolences to you and your family on your loss.

  • Ben Wideman | June 8, 2009 at 12:48 pm |

    Incredible tribute Paul. Thank you for being so open and honest with us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Rachel B. | June 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm |

    Paul, I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to you and your family.

  • Oakville Endive | June 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm |

    My condolences as well.

    I think Paul, you are making a living at what has probably been a life time passion for yourself – but nonetheless is not a completely conventional way of making a living. My guess is your parents had a lot to do with installing the needed self-belief to take this route – and that’s one the greatest gift a parent can give.

  • Mike H. | June 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm |

    Paul,
    Don’t be sad. Eighty+ years is a good run. Besides, you know your Pop wouldn’t want you to be. It’s good to reflect, but not fall in the reflecting pool and drown in sorrow. Stay strong brotha.

  • Matt | June 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |

    Paul,
    It’s days like this that make this blog great for 2 reasons. First, you got to write a touching tribute to your father and share a piece of him with the world. Second, it proves that this site really is a community, one that rallies around its fellow members when they’re in need. Take as much time as you need. We’ll all be here for you when you get back. My condolences.

  • ESS | June 8, 2009 at 1:04 pm |

    My condolences to you and your family, Paul.

    Hang in there.

  • Steven Woj | June 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm |

    Paul,
    Sorry for your loss. It’s odd how someone can feel close to someone who they have never had any interaction with, besides reading his uniform blog. But, I feel like I know you and reading that post brought a tear to my eye for your loss. I don’t mean to make it all about me, quite the opposite. I just want you to know you aren’t going through this alone. You will always have your reading family to lean on.
    Steven W.

  • Skycat | June 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm |

    Paul, your tribute to your dad was extremely moving and touched me in a way that it evoked memories of my relationship with my own father — right down to the first baseball game we attended. Actually, it was doubleheader at the original (pre-renovation) Yankee Stadium. I’d give anything to have another inning with him. Sincere condolences to you and your family.

  • JTH | June 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm |

    You have my deepest sympathies, Paul.

    I propose the retirement of #23 for Uni Watch membership cards.

    As for the shorter recent/upcoming entries, the fact that you’re still posting any content at all just shows us how dedicated you are to this community.

    Stay strong.

  • Glenn | June 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm |

    Sounds like your father was a wonderful man, Paul. Remember him fondly. My deepest condolences for your loss.

  • Tom Wallwork | June 8, 2009 at 1:13 pm |

    Paul, sorry to hear about your dad. You paid a fine tribute to him which made me think alot about my own father.

  • Flip | June 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm |

    Paul,

    Thank you for sharing your father with us. Ordinary men who are there for their sons and daughters, provide them bearings and get out of the way represent truly immortality — especially if their offspring do the same.

    My father (and mother) reared five completely different sons and daughters. While we were treated equally (with the exception of No. 5 who was a surprise when I was 18) each of us was allowed to grow in our own way. While we’ve scattered, that parental bond remains solid. And we’re closer now as siblings, it seems, as when we were growing up.

    Now, as a parent myself, I realize some of the non-advice given me from my father was the best of all. I’ve tried to pass that along myself, and try to look wise doing it!

    Your tribute to your father easily could have been written for Father’s Day. He reared an exceptional son, and best of all, it sounds like he knew it. What a blessing that is.

    You have my condolences. We only get one father, be thankful you had a good one and had him for as long as you did.

    God bless you.

  • Paul Ricciardi | June 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm |

    Paul, speaking for myself, and I would assume many others, uniform aesthetics is only part of the reason that we all follow this site. That we feel like you’re a good friend, like we could (any many have) hang out at a bar and shoot the bull with you, that’s what keeps me coming back. And that speaks volumes about the kid that your father raised. I just went through this myself, last October, so my thoughts and prayers go out to you.

  • John | June 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm |

    I’m sorry for your loss Paul. My prayers and deepest condolences.

    Reading your story reminded me of my own father, who is still with us….growing up my dad was not an athletic type, but he always encouraged me in my baseball and football endeavors…I recall the time I was a catcher on my little league team and my coach told me I needed a “Cup”.

    I went home and told my dad I needed a cup and he opened up the kitchen cabinet and said ” Why do you need to buy a cup? We have a whole cabinet full”!

    I told you my dad was not very athletic minded.

    I share in your grief…..Peace.

  • Kevin F. Sheamon | June 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm |

    Paul –

    My deepest condolences to you and your family on the loss of your father. I consider myself fortunate that mine is still with me to share our love for the Red Sox.
    May you take solace in the knowledge that your dad will always be with you, and that now he wears the greatest uniform of all, the wings of God’s angels.

  • Chuck | June 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm |

    Goodness it just got dusty in here–maybe b/c I was 39 when my son was born. Sounds like the did a hell of a job, Paul.

  • Momo | June 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm |

    God bless you Paul. Take care today and take all the time you need. As important as unis are to all of us, truly, there are things more important.

  • Chuck | June 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm |

    HE…sounds like he did a hell of a job, Paul. Told you it got dusty.
    Deepest sympathies. Hang in there.

  • Jason L | June 8, 2009 at 1:25 pm |

    Paul,

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. You wrote a beautiful post today and your father seems like a wonderful man. His words of encouragement and support can teach us all a thing or two on how to be a great father. As you can see by the number of posts today, you are not alone and have a community around you for support.

    – Jason

  • Johnny O | June 8, 2009 at 1:25 pm |

    I know it is tough when you lose a loved one, but it is times like this you must reflect on the life of that person, and not their death.

    “The journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The gray rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it… white shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.”

  • tommy | June 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm |

    A beautiful post today Paul.
    Condolences to you and your family.

  • Sam Allison | June 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm |

    Paul, I am sorry for your loss. That was a very nice column. I lost my father when he was 52, and that was almost 16 years ago. I am happy that you had more time to spend with yours than I was able to spend with mine. I sure miss him. I still think about him almost every day. I’m sure you will think of your Dad every day for a long time to come.

  • Jeff I | June 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm |

    Paul sorry for your loss, I’m sure your Pop is proud of you and all you have accomplished.

  • John | June 8, 2009 at 1:32 pm |

    My condolences. Lost my dad 3 years ago, and I miss him every day. Took me to Shea for my first game in 1966. Drove me to hockey, watched me play softball. His birthday was in late January, so we usually celebrated it on Super Bowl Sunday. Loved virtually every sport. One thing: Go to Baltimore. You know 100% that he would have wanted you to go.

  • jsant | June 8, 2009 at 1:36 pm |

    Paul – condolences to you and your family…you are in my prayers

  • fran fried | June 8, 2009 at 1:38 pm |

    Hi Paul. You have my condolences. And every dad should have a kid who can write so wonderfully eloquently about him. You gave multitudes of people who never knew Irwin Lukas a lasting testament to what a person he really was — and, through you, still is. Be well …

  • Cory | June 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm |

    Paul, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time… Thanks for sharing those stories about you and your Pop!! Today’s entry was excellent!!…

  • UmpLou | June 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm |

    My deepest sorrow and condolences for you and your family, Paul. Having had the experience of meeting you and taking a Mets game in together, and reading this blog almost from the beginning, I can say without reservation that Irwin raised a terrific son.

    This upcoming Father’s Day will no doubt be very difficult for you and I hope you use it in a positive way to remember all the Father’s Days you had together….

    Take your time coming back – we will survive a few days so you can get your thoughts and energies back together. As has been said, Phil and others, are very capable in keeing the site alive, so if you meed the time, I am sure they will be more thna happy to help out.

    I, and I am sure others here would like to know if there is anyplace that we can send a memorial contribution in your father’s name.

  • ScottMason | June 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm |

    For all of us who grew up with similar memories, I have never read a more accurate and down-to-earth memorial for the one man in our lives that means the most. I fear the day that I walk alone without my parents, so I read your words with hope. I, too, will have wonderful memories when I need them. Thank you for taking the time to share your father with all of us.

  • iowaboy277 | June 8, 2009 at 1:57 pm |

    Thanks for sharing your stories of your father with us, Paul. Clearly our thoughts and prayers are with you and those close to you.

  • Andy | June 8, 2009 at 1:59 pm |

    This is a touching tribute Paul. My condolences.

  • J-Dub | June 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm |

    Paul – A fine tribute. Condolences on your loss.

    BTW – I’ve been away from UniWatch for almost 6 months because the firewall at work blocked the site, but today it allowed me in. Coincidence? I think not :-)

  • Harvey | June 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm |

    Aloha from Maui Paul,
    Thank you for all you do for us, just know that your in our prayers and I hope you feel peace knowing your father is in a better place.

  • MCNS | June 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm |

    A wonderful tribute. I see a lot of my father in yours. Condolences to you and your family.

  • Ron V | June 8, 2009 at 2:22 pm |

    So sorry to hear that. Sending out a virtual man hug to you Paul. You and yours are in my prayers.

  • Chad | June 8, 2009 at 2:23 pm |

    Paul,
    My deepest condolences. There is nothing like that first baseball game memory that we all share with our father. Mine was at Wrigley Field back in 1987. The Cubs beat the Dodgers 7-0 and my favorite player Ryne Sandberg hit a HR in the first inning. However, my finest memory of the game was being there alone with my dad. I’m a twin and a younger brother, so alone time with my father came sparingly. That made this trip extra special. Every time I head back into the ballpark I think of that first moment walking up the stairs into the stands with my father. Thank you for sharing your story, and reminding me of mine.

  • david goodfriend | June 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm |

    Anybody who gave so much and was as good a Dad as he was, was a great man.

    My condolences to you, yours and your entire family.

  • Sam | June 8, 2009 at 2:29 pm |

    Paul,

    Count me among those who read here frequently, comment rarely and appreciate what you do with this blog. My thanks to you for that, as I offer you my best wishes in this sad time.

    Regards,

    Sam

  • Rich | June 8, 2009 at 2:30 pm |

    Paul, sorry to hear about your father. My thoughts and condolences to you and your family.

  • LarryB | June 8, 2009 at 2:30 pm |

    Paul, So sorry to hear about your dad. Losing a parent is the toughest thing one can go through. You know it will happen some day but nothing prepares you for that day and the feelings and hurt.

    My dad died at age 84 in 2006. The night of the Ohio State Michigan game he fell down the steps. The last hing he said to me was GO BUCKS. After the fall he lived a month.

    Thanks for sharing your stories about your dad. You have fond memories to think about him in the future.

  • Graf Zeppelin | June 8, 2009 at 2:35 pm |

    I’m so sorry, Paul. You wrote a moving tribute and I feel your loss. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

  • Tyler | June 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm |

    Like a lot have already said, I am a very frequent reader, and infrequent commenter, however I will always comment on matters such as this.

    I am very sorry Paul. My heart goes out to the Lukas family.

  • JIMC | June 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm |

    Paul – I finally got around to checking UW today for my usual mental break and was very surprised & saddened by the news, so, got a much more important lesson from the greatest thing I’ve ever read here.
    I hope your great writing and his great words can help in some consolation. My sincere condolences to you and your family,Paul.

  • timmy b | June 8, 2009 at 2:45 pm |

    Deepest sympathy to you and yours, Paul.

    All of us at UW are here for you.

  • Judy | June 8, 2009 at 2:49 pm |

    Paul, count me among those faithful readers but infrequent posters – I’ve probably contributed fewer than a half dozen comments all told. I just wanted to thank you for the moving tribute to your dad. My condolences on your difficult loss.

  • Diggerjohn | June 8, 2009 at 2:51 pm |

    My deepest condolences Paul. I remember watching that Super Bowl, I lived in NY for a while before returning to the Great White North, and thinking “a lot of people who never thought they’d live to see the Giants in their glory again just did.” I am glad you were able to share that moment with your father, sounds like he was one heck of a great guy.

  • Matt Powers | June 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm |

    Richie Havens helped me alot on the 12th of September 2001:

    http://www.youtube.c...

  • shadoquad | June 8, 2009 at 2:54 pm |

    Condolences, Paul.

  • ART | June 8, 2009 at 2:57 pm |

    Paul, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I am sorry for your loss.

  • rpm | June 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm |

    paul~
    i can’t say how sorry i am for your loss, and all i can offer is this, time will eventually take away your pain, but the memories you have will always stay with you. i wish i could be there to show you support in this difficult time, but please know that i have a heavy heart knowing what you are going through.
    i send you all the love i have
    ~robert marshall

  • ChrisSh | June 8, 2009 at 2:59 pm |

    Condolences to you and yours Paul. It didn’t stop you from writing a hell of an article though, and bringing a tear to my eye.

  • BurghFan | June 8, 2009 at 3:04 pm |

    Paul,

    I just want to my condolences to those of my friends above (and below) and thank you for a lovely eulogy to your father.

  • BurghFan | June 8, 2009 at 3:06 pm |

    I just want to my condolences to those of my friends above (and below) and thank you for a lovely eulogy to your father.

    Make that “add my condolences”.

  • Elvin Brownlee | June 8, 2009 at 3:10 pm |

    Your wonderful homage to your father reminds me of the importance of my role as father to my two sons.

  • Tall Paul | June 8, 2009 at 3:10 pm |

    Paul: My condolences to you and your family. Guessed that you had something like that going on in your life as you kept alluding to dealing with family matters recently. That was a beautiful tribute to your father. Take care…take all the time you need (nothing in the world of uniforms is nearly as important as this)…and we’ll see you when you return.

  • Bryan Justman | June 8, 2009 at 3:11 pm |

    My condolences and best wishes,
    Bryan

  • el scotto | June 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm |

    Something tells me that we can survive without Uni’s for a day or two. This is much more important.

    I’ll join in on the chorus of condolences. Fathers are always key figures growing up and it sounds like you were blessed with a great one.

  • Beats in Buffalo | June 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm |

    Paul,

    I send my deepest condolences to you, your family and loved ones. The tribute to your father was moving and made me appreciate the time I spend with my own father at ball games. It seems that baseball games have a special way to cross generational gaps and bring together a father and son like nothing else can. The fact that you have been continuing to post at all during this difficult time is a testiment to your dedication, and I know the entire Uni Watch community that you have created expressed their deepest sympathies and greatly appreciates the work you’ve done and continue to do and the dedication you have to this website which has built itself into a community because of the work you do.

  • Kek | June 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm |

    What a beautiful, touching tribute.

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, may your father’s memory be eternal.

  • Dave Zalatoris | June 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm |

    Paul,
    My condolences to you and your family.

  • chrisl | June 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm |

    Condolences. Nice snapshot of the man. I imagine he was very proud to have you as a son, too.

  • Jason | June 8, 2009 at 3:32 pm |

    Sorry about your loss Paul. I wish you the best in your grieving process.

  • Puff | June 8, 2009 at 3:35 pm |

    My condolences, Paul. Take as much time as you need.

  • skott daltonic | June 8, 2009 at 3:36 pm |

    hi paul –

    sorry for your loss. i lost my dad 5 years ago this fall. we didn’t hang out but the one great memory i have of him was him taking me to see Evel Knievel jump in Worcester, MA.

    that was great.

    you’ve got an army of uniwatchers at your back if you need a prop up at all…

    s

  • Michael | June 8, 2009 at 3:36 pm |

    Paul:
    May the Lord bless you and your fa,ily during this time of mourning and loss of your Pop. I wish your next game is one that you will celebrate his life and memories.
    Michael

  • BuckeyeMark | June 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm |

    I appreciate you being so open and willing to share your dad with us. I can only disagree on one point: from what you wrote it is very clear he was a great man in the truest sense of the word (and that’s not really a disagreement – it’s obvious you know it too!) you are in my prayers.

  • Pretty Boy Paulie | June 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm |

    My condolences Mr. Lukas. I dunno but that sounds like a great man to me.

  • Dan | June 8, 2009 at 3:39 pm |

    Condolences to you and your family. An excellent tribute to a great father.

  • mark | June 8, 2009 at 3:40 pm |

    Paul,

    This is a fantastic tribute to your “Pops”. God bless you and your family at this most difficult time.

    Mark

  • Steven Wyder | June 8, 2009 at 3:42 pm |

    Paul,

    You have my sincerest sympathies. Thank you for sharing such a touching post.

  • Peter | June 8, 2009 at 3:43 pm |

    Paul, so sorry about your loss. You dad sounds like he was a great father and a great man. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Straw | June 8, 2009 at 3:49 pm |

    RIP IWL

    I think a patch with those initials should fly on the home page for the rest of the season.

    God Bless to you and your family Paul.

  • Roy Ellingsen | June 8, 2009 at 3:54 pm |

    Paul,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us. I hope it also worked as a kind of therapy for you. Most of our parents will never be in any encyclopedia when they’re gone, but they can all be great people. Your father was a great man for you, abviously, and I see so much of my own dad in your story about yours.

    I would like to think that the words I write when he leaves us will be as moving as the entry you published today.

    I once again say thanks to you. My thoughts are with you and your family through this difficult time.

  • Bruce | June 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm |

    Paul – Sorry to hear about your pop…great tribute post today…thoughts and prayers are with you, sir.

    Bruce

  • Jim Anderson | June 8, 2009 at 4:04 pm |

    Paul,

    I read every Uni Watch post without fail and I now find myself in the odd position of feeling as though I know you quite well, although we will probably never meet. That being said, my heart goes out to you as a friend and I share in your sadness.

    I don’t agree with the definition of “great man” in the conventional sense. Your Dad was a good father. A good father is a great man. Period.

    My thoughts are with you and yours.

    – Jim Anderson

  • Rich | June 8, 2009 at 4:04 pm |

    Very nice tribute Paul. It makes me want to be a better dad to my kids. Thanks for sharing and all the best.

  • Chuck | June 8, 2009 at 4:20 pm |

    My condolences to you and your family Paul.

  • Rob | June 8, 2009 at 4:22 pm |

    Paul – my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. I lost my dad nearly 9 years ago and there will be times a memory of your father floods back into you head – cherish those moments!!!

  • subway | June 8, 2009 at 4:34 pm |

    So sorry to hear about your loss, Paul. Your dad made it to the age of 85 and he raised a great son. For that, he deserves a standing ovation. What a wonderful tribute.

    Condolences and all the best, Paul.

  • anthony | June 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm |

    Paul,

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

    My deepest and sincerest condolences to you and your family.

  • Brad | June 8, 2009 at 4:51 pm |

    Paul,

    My condolences, thoughts and prayers to you and your family. And thanks for sharing the tribute.

    -Brad

  • Zach G. | June 8, 2009 at 4:58 pm |

    Paul,

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. Your tribute to your late father was something special, I’m sure it made everyone take a minute out of their day to stop and think about what their fathers meant to them.

    -Zach

  • John G | June 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm |

    A loving and moving tribute to your father, Paul. May his soul rest.

  • The Hemogoblin | June 8, 2009 at 5:05 pm |

    Hey Paul,

    I can’t say I’ve ever experienced a loss like this (I’m still undefeated when it comes to family members still being alive), but I truly am sorry for you. You should just take time and reflect on everything good that your father did and with that, you should have enough things to remember him for for the rest of your life.

    (To make this Uni-related…) Can we retire his number?

  • Hickory | June 8, 2009 at 5:08 pm |

    Your father sounds like a great man. My condolences.

    Hickory

  • Christopher | June 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm |

    [quote comment="333815"]Paul,

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. Your tribute to your late father was something special, I’m sure it made everyone take a minute out of their day to stop and think about what their fathers meant to them.

    -Zach[/quote]

    Yes, indeed.

  • Claude | June 8, 2009 at 5:18 pm |

    Paul, I disagree. Your Pop was a great man. There’s nothing greater than “presence” — “being there” in any given moment. He’s great because he still lives, in the great stories you and others will tell of him. And that’s how great he is and will continue to be. He’s an inspiration, Paul, for anyone who has kids or was ever a kid. That’s not just good, that’s great.

  • Shaun P | June 8, 2009 at 5:22 pm |

    Paul, My condolences on your difficult loss. It sounds like your father was a great man. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    ~Shaun P

  • john calabrese | June 8, 2009 at 5:23 pm |

    Condolences Paul to you and your family.
    After seeing your dad’s picture and reading all of the posts, I thought of the famous Thurman Munson drawing by Bill Gallo ,with the caption “No, I just don’t feel like playing ball today “, I could picture your dad being in that photo today. Great tribute Paul.

  • Jason Shane | June 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm |

    So sorry to hear about your father, Paul. I can’t even imagine losing one of my parents, for whom my love and appreciation has dramatically increased since the birth of my first child in March of 2008. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Cheers to the UW community for the tremendous outpouring of support today. Just another reason why I love this website.

  • Zevi Lowenberg | June 8, 2009 at 5:34 pm |

    Paul–
    My condolences go out to you and your family in this time of reflection and sorrow. We all thank you for sharing stories about your father, and I see some of my own life in your stories. Thank you again, and I hope to see you in Baltimore.

    Zevi Lowenberg

  • Paul Lukas | June 8, 2009 at 5:42 pm |

    Man, what a bunch of ass-kissers….

    Kidding. Thank you, one and all, for the kind words and thoughts — I’m grateful, really.

    I know there will be better weeks than this one, but there will never be a nicer comments section than today’s. Thanks again, people — even in troubled times, I’m a lucky fella.

  • Nick | June 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm |

    What a wonderful tribute to your Dad.
    Well done. My best to you and your family.

  • Michael Emody | June 8, 2009 at 5:54 pm |

    Words can not replace the emptiness we occasionally discover.

  • A.J. Zydzik | June 8, 2009 at 5:54 pm |

    very fitting tribute today…my condolences

  • Lincoln | June 8, 2009 at 6:07 pm |

    Beautiful tribute, my condolences.

  • cam | June 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm |

    Paul –

    That was great. All the best to your family.

  • Geoff | June 8, 2009 at 6:13 pm |

    I’d just like to add my voice to the chorus of condolences during this rough time. I never really got to know my father, so I can’t imagine how tough this is for you. Cherish the good times you had.

    Take as much time off from the site as you need. The world can survive without Uni Watch for a few days.

    -Geoff

  • Jeff | June 8, 2009 at 6:14 pm |

    Much sympathy, Paul. My thoughts go out to you and your family.

  • Bizzle | June 8, 2009 at 6:20 pm |

    [quote comment="333825"]Man, what a bunch of ass-kissers….
    quote]

    Awesome…
    I wouldn’t expect anything less. That just made my day after reading that wonderful story. Hope my son feels the same way about me when he’s older.

    Thanks for everything you do Paul.

  • orlandor. | June 8, 2009 at 6:23 pm |

    Paul,

    Thanks for giving us a chance to really reflect on what we have. I read this while holding my sleeping 3 year boy and instead of putting him in his bed, I just continued holding him.

    May your Dad rest in peace. Great tribute to him.

    -orlando

  • Paul | June 8, 2009 at 6:27 pm |

    Your stories reminded me, and many readers it seems, of our own dads. Thanks for giving us all a chance to be appreciate great dads everywhere, and I hope this tough time is made a little easier by knowing we are all thinking of you and your family.

  • Bill Sodeman | June 8, 2009 at 6:34 pm |

    Your father sounds like he was a great man. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Donald Wine | June 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm |

    My sincere condolences to you and your family, Paul.

  • Marinos | June 8, 2009 at 6:45 pm |

    Paul. Longtime uniwatch reader, first-time commentator. I love the blog. I didn’t realize how obsessed I was with uniform aesthetics until after I began reading over on ESPN. I should have known sooner given that I wrote a two page letter to Denver Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen about my disgust with the uniform change back in 1997 – when I was 16. Sorry about your dad. He raised a good writer. Funny how death can bring about these confessions, isn’t it? Take care.

  • Wollen1 | June 8, 2009 at 6:47 pm |

    My condolences Paul.

  • Ryno | June 8, 2009 at 6:54 pm |

    Sorry for your loss. It was a great tribute to your old man.

  • Dwayne | June 8, 2009 at 7:16 pm |

    Paul,

    I am sorry for your loss.

    -DW

  • pdxclark | June 8, 2009 at 7:34 pm |

    Sorry for your loss, Paul. Take your time- we’ll be here when you get back.

  • Matt | June 8, 2009 at 7:36 pm |

    Paul:

    You’re wrong about one thing: Your father was a great man. Exhibiting that kind of faith in you is one of the greatest gifts he could ever give. My father, too, was 40 when I was born. Out of respect for your father, I’ll spend a bit more time than usual today thinking of my own father, who passed 14 years ago.

    Matt Hanson

  • Goalie007 | June 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm |

    Paul, my condolences on your loss. I lost my mom after a long illness recently, and Uni Watch is one of the things that gave me a little bright spot in the days leading up to and after her passing. My dad and I had bonding experiences similar to yours over the Indians and Browns. My thoughts are with you.

  • Andrew | June 8, 2009 at 7:48 pm |

    You have my sincere condolences. I’m very sorry for your loss.

  • Frank from B-More | June 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm |

    Paul
    My condolences to you and your family. Your dad sounds like he was truly a good soul. Rest in Peace Mr. Irwin W. Lukas.

    Frank Seitz

  • buckeyes | June 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm |

    Paul,

    My condolences to you and your family. It was a privilege to read about your father, his kindness and fondness for his son was very well portrayed through your words. Your father’s experience with the Giants reminded me of my recently passed grandfather being able to see his beloved Red Sox win two World Series titles during his lifetime.

    Joel DeJong

  • David Lassen | June 8, 2009 at 7:59 pm |

    Paul,
    As someone who reads regularly, and comments never, I want to join those offering their condolences. I am a few years removed from the loss of my own father, and there’s still not a day that passes when I don’t think, “I wish I could talk to Dad about that.”

    Your dad raised an original thinker with a unique outlook. He did well, and you did well in honoring him today.

    My sincere condolences to you and your family.

  • Pat | June 8, 2009 at 8:04 pm |

    An incredibly eloquent post during a difficult time. Your father is a great man.

    And busting on the hundreds of people that appreciate your work and feel the need to say something, however insignificant, endears you even more.

  • Allan Collins | June 8, 2009 at 8:11 pm |

    I’m also a long time Uni Watch reader and first time commentator. That was a beautiful tribute.

  • dan | June 8, 2009 at 8:18 pm |

    my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • guy | June 8, 2009 at 8:20 pm |

    Sounds like your father was a wonderful guy – RIP.

  • Stove | June 8, 2009 at 8:35 pm |

    What a tribute. Best to you and your family.

  • Bill | June 8, 2009 at 8:36 pm |

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, Paul. Your tribute to your father was beautiful and moving.

  • Matt | June 8, 2009 at 8:38 pm |

    Sorry for your loss.

  • bartusball | June 8, 2009 at 8:41 pm |

    Paul,

    My condolences to you and your family. Family, after all, is the most important thing in life.

    Thank you for sharing your Dad’s story and honoring his legacy.

    One last thing. Take in the Mets game on June 21st. It’ll be the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day. All those wonderful memories will come rushing back. You’ll remember the great times, not the sadness you may feel now.

    Celebrate your father’s life! He’s in a better place now.

  • Nathan | June 8, 2009 at 8:42 pm |

    My condolences to you and your family, paul. Although i dont comment much, i read almost every single day and im glad there is a blog like this out there. I would like to share a song that helps me get through tough times. http://www.youtube.c...
    I know its probably not your favorite genre, but i think its a really beautiful piece and I think you might like it.

  • Paul C. | June 8, 2009 at 8:48 pm |

    My condolences on your loss. I lost my Dad five years ago. He was born the same year as your Dad. We used to watch sports all the time. To this day I thinking of him every time I watch a game.

  • Matthew Hackethal | June 8, 2009 at 9:00 pm |

    The story of your dad reminded me of my dad. Now we have 2 old-time Giants fans pulling for them with the big guy upstairs.

    Into thy hands, O Lord . . .

  • Joe D | June 8, 2009 at 9:01 pm |

    Paul,
    I’m new around these parts but allow me to offer my condolences. I hope you find comfort with your remembrances of your Dad in the days ahead. Tell his story often to loved one’s, you’ll find how it’s eases the pain.

    Joe D in Old Bridge

  • Carl | June 8, 2009 at 9:06 pm |

    Paul – I’m truly sorry for your, and your family’s loss. Wonderful tribute to your father.

    ~Carl

  • Chris M | June 8, 2009 at 9:07 pm |

    Sorry for your loss, Paul. May he rest in peace.

  • jeff in detroit | June 8, 2009 at 9:29 pm |

    very nice tribute, and my condolences on your loss.

  • Bill | June 8, 2009 at 9:30 pm |

    Paul, sorry for your great loss. This was one of your best posts ever.

  • JimV19 | June 8, 2009 at 9:37 pm |

    I know your dad did a great job raising a very good son. Today’s comments section proves it: 300+ comments, all offering condolences to you in your loss. That was the one and only one subject.
    This shows that you attract a quality group of people to you, people who “get it,” and I’m proud to be associated with all of you.

    I read every comment. All of them, whether long or short, were heartfelt and touching. Eventually I started to think, okay, who’s going to screw this up and say something stupid? No one did. I don’t think that would be the case on many other blogs.

    In fact, I’m so proud that I became a Facebook fan of Uni Watch today. That may not seem all that special to some, but on Facebook I am a fan of NOTHING. I have a relatively simple profile, but the one logo that shows up on my page is the Uni Watch logo.

    May Irwin rest secure knowing he did a great job, and may you, Paul, take comfort in knowing you have many friends to be there for you. Take care.

  • rbenedix | June 8, 2009 at 9:46 pm |

    Paul:

    First time, long time as well. I also wanted to extend my deepest condolences to you and the Lukas family.

    Rob B.

  • aflfan | June 8, 2009 at 9:50 pm |

    Paul,
    Great tribute to your father. I am very sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Pete | June 8, 2009 at 10:16 pm |

    Paul,

    So sorry for your loss. LOVED your entry today – you inspired me to call my parents, just to check on them. Keep those memories in your heart, and we’ll keep your family in our prayers. From the look of today’s comments, we “get it” in more ways than one.

  • RC3657 | June 8, 2009 at 10:18 pm |

    Paul, First time/long time. Its been a year since my father passed away at the much too young age of 60. Your post today really hit a nerve, my deeepest condolences and heart felt prayers go out to you and your family.

  • Javier | June 8, 2009 at 10:24 pm |

    I’m sorry to hear about your father, i also still have a father similar in age and your story really reminds me to appreciate my father! I’m sorry for your loss and my condolences to your family. Cheers to your father! Keep up the good work!

  • Podunk Texas | June 8, 2009 at 10:25 pm |

    Paul:

    Over these past few months, your writing has been as great as always–most of us wouldn’t have known anything was wrong if you hadn’t let us know about it… Then, in this difficult time, you still manage write a poignant piece that lets us get to know you in a deeper way. And we all thank you for that. You’re great; your dad must have been proud! I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say that we are all keeping your family in our thoughts. When we need uni-related relief, you are always here for us. Now it is our turn: we are all here for you.

    Vince Moore
    aka
    Podunk Texas

  • Javier | June 8, 2009 at 10:28 pm |

    Also i’m a phillies fan and it will be ok if the Mets win tomorrow, you and your family deserve it! Nice touch if the Mets wear the blue hats and pin stripes! Take care!

  • Miguel Rodriguez | June 8, 2009 at 10:37 pm |

    Paul,
    Thank you for sharing with us at a tough time for you and you’re family. I lost my dad 15 years ago and I want to thank you for giving us a glimpse at why you are here. Pops is what I called my dad as well and even though they’re aren’t so many memories at hundreds of games. Those first few times we’ll never forget. Time heals all wounds and we can never forget where we’ve come from.

    Miguel

  • Ed R. | June 8, 2009 at 10:38 pm |

    My condolences to you and your family. Beautiful tribute to your dad, it reminded me that as frustrating as being a sports fan can be sometimes, enjoying it with friends and family is what truly makes it special.

  • Jim Verble | June 8, 2009 at 10:41 pm |

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your Father. Keep those memories close to your heart. I love the site and visit it daily. Thank you for sharing your entry today. Thoughts and Prayers to you and your family.

    Jim V

  • Dave S | June 8, 2009 at 10:41 pm |

    Paul, So sorry for your loss. A great tribute that you wrote for him here, very touching. My father turned 70 last year and my sister and I took him to his first and last Yankee game in the old stadium. It was something I’ll never forget, and I’m not at all a Yankee fan. I’m going to give him a call tomorrow…

  • Mike Engle | June 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm |

    Sorry to be so late in “placing my stone,” but Mr Lukas, sorry for your loss. I can only hope (and assume) your dad’s life can be celebrated and commemorated. I’m sure there were a lot of great memories in his 85 years, and your 45 years.
    Morrie Schwartz (subject of Tuesdays with Morrie) once said “Death may be the end of a life, but it is never the end of a relationship.” Sounds like you’re blessed to have the father/son relationship with your dad.
    Best wishes for you and your family at this time.
    –MIKE ENGLE

  • Ben Teaford | June 8, 2009 at 10:57 pm |

    I’m very sorry to hear about your loss. Your story made me think a lot about my own Dad who was also 40 when I was born. Also I was reminded of that last time I spoke to my grandfather. He asked me a lot about what I wanted to do with my life and then after I left he told my uncle that he knew I was going to be okay. That meant more to me than almost anything, just as I’m sure those words your father told you when you made an important life decision meant so much too you. I’m sure I speak for all of us here when I say you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Peter | June 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm |

    Paul —

    That was a very nice tribute to your dad. If he was a “very good father, a gentle soul, and a helluva nice guy,” then he was certainly great.

    PB

  • whiteray | June 8, 2009 at 11:18 pm |

    By any measure, it sounds to me as if your father was in fact a great man. May your memories ease your grief.

  • Andrew Harris | June 8, 2009 at 11:20 pm |

    Paul — that’s quite a eulogy. You’re dad sounds like he was a terrific father… and very proud of his son. My condolences. — Andrew Harris in Chicago

  • Juggernaut | June 8, 2009 at 11:23 pm |

    Paul,

    Just getting to read this post today. I can’t say more than has already been said, but I wish you and your family the best during this time. This is a great tribute and I appreciate you sharing it with us. Take care.

    – Ian

  • Lance | June 8, 2009 at 11:39 pm |

    Long time reader, first time poster here.

    My thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  • Dan | June 8, 2009 at 11:51 pm |

    What a wonderful way to remember your father, I am sure he is just as proud of you as you are of him

    My condolences to you and your family

  • Travis | June 9, 2009 at 12:12 am |

    Like everyone who reads your blog, my sincere condolences to you and your family. We thank you for the last 10 years and your hard work through this tough time.

  • Chris | June 9, 2009 at 12:20 am |

    One of my favorite posts. My condolences

  • Michael Wing | June 9, 2009 at 1:01 am |

    [quote comment="333808"]Paul,

    I read every Uni Watch post without fail and I now find myself in the odd position of feeling as though I know you quite well, although we will probably never meet.

    – Jim Anderson[/quote]

    Jim’s right. I’m a daily reader and infrequent poster, and I agree with the 326 previous commentators. Paul, through this blog you have become our friend, and we appreciate your willingness to open up to this group of friends you have made. Thanks for using your great writing talents to help us get to know your father.

    My prayers and best wishes are with you and your family.

  • KW | June 9, 2009 at 1:04 am |

    Deepest condolences Paul…

  • Paul McKenzie | June 9, 2009 at 1:08 am |

    The love just permeated through your tribute. Your Dad lives on in your heart.

  • Chris Mayberry | June 9, 2009 at 1:34 am |

    Sounds to me as if he was a great man.
    With that wonderful tribute, he raised quite a son too.

    My sincere condolences, Paul…

  • Justin McGrail | June 9, 2009 at 2:43 am |

    [quote comment="333730"]Paul- sorry to hear about your loss.

    That $1.30 your dad paid for your first game got me thinking. I always love seeing the prices on old ticket stubs. I save every stub from every game i go to, and recently found the ticket from when Mark McGwire hit home run #66 in 1998 at Milwaukee County Stadium. My dad and I had front row seats behind the Brewers dugout, and paid $20! Those seats at Miller Park would be around $90 today…….and $20 gets you a bleacher seat.[/quote]

    Firstly, sorry I’m late Paul but you have my deepest condolences about your loss. As a fellow journalist, the piece you wrote was incredibly touching. There’s only one other piece I’ve ever read that touched me the way yours did and that was your fellow Page 2 writer Bill Simmons’ piece about his dog The Dooze. If fellow UWers likes this piece then search that piece because it’s on the same level.

    With regards to the quote, My dad saved his ticket from Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. The whole Pudge Fisk, “Stay Fair” “Stay Fair” at bat. He paide $6.00 for Standing Room seats. $6.00 won’t even buy you a Bud Light at Fenway these days.

    Stay Strong Paul. We’re all here for you

  • Harold Mellor | June 9, 2009 at 5:34 am |

    My condolences, Paul.

  • Josh A | June 9, 2009 at 6:33 am |

    My condolences to you and your family Paul.

  • Ben McT | June 9, 2009 at 7:27 am |

    Paul, So sorry to hear about your loss. The photo is wonderful, and it sounds as though your father was a “gentle soul” indeed. I can totally relate to your stories of bonding over sports–it’s an almost mystical connection that sustains fond and comforting memories that will survive no matter how much the games or the people who play them change.

  • besty | June 9, 2009 at 8:22 am |

    Paul, Thank you for your article. It brought back fond memories of my own father who we lost a couple of years ago. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • MRoy | June 9, 2009 at 8:55 am |

    Dear Paul,

    I’m truly sorry for your loss.

    Thank you for sharing this with the UW family, we truly love and appreciate what you do for us.

    Marty

  • Tom D #45 | June 9, 2009 at 8:58 am |

    Wow. I feel as though I know your dad after reading that eloquent remembrance. This is a special place in web-land Paul – it’s easy to see why. Find peace and comfort in your fond memories.
    -TD

  • Rick | June 9, 2009 at 9:32 am |

    Very sorry for your loss paul.

  • Andrew | June 9, 2009 at 9:52 am |

    Paul–
    I read your tribute to your father last night, and I can’t get it out of my head. More than just the condolences that one offers in such an occasion, I want you to know that the reason this piece has been stuck in my head is because I sincerely hope that one day I can be that kind of father. From what you’ve shared, he was a tremendous man.
    Good luck in the days ahead, and even though it is has been said again and again in these comments, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Chris | June 9, 2009 at 9:54 am |

    Love and prayers going out to the Lukas Family.

  • Coray | June 9, 2009 at 9:59 am |

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, Paul. That was a great piece that made me think a great deal of my own father. I am sorry for your loss, but it must have been great to have such a wonderful father.

    Sincerely,

    Coray Seifert

  • Randy Miller | June 9, 2009 at 10:13 am |

    My condolences for your loss, Paul. Your extended online friends honor his memory.

  • Kevin | June 9, 2009 at 10:14 am |

    Sorry for your loss, Paul. My thoughts are with you and your family at this time. Sounds like you and your Dad had some great memories together.

    Kevin DeBolt

  • JessinMKE | June 9, 2009 at 10:30 am |

    Paul,

    My condolences. As others have said, your father DOES sound like a great man and you wrote a wonderful tribute.

    I would have written sooner but I couldn’t even get through your article or 1/3 of the comments without welling up a few times. Lost my dad 4 years ago May 30th, so thoughts of him are fresh in my mind.

    The only “ball game” we ever went to was the Denver Zephyrs in the early ’80’s. They were the Brewers farm team at the time so I thought I was pretty cool, as no one else back home even knew who the Zephyrs were (C’mon I was like 10 years old).

    My antispam, word was fine – as in your father was a fine man, and you will be fine…

    Jess

  • Michael Lipinki | June 9, 2009 at 11:44 am |

    Sorry for you loss, Paul. Your family is in my prayers.

  • ThresherK | June 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm |

    I know I’m very late to the game, but I hope you find some solace after your loss.

  • Nick Church | June 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm |

    Mr. Lukas, My sincerest condolences to you & your family. I very much enjoyed reading your memories of your father. Thank you for reminding me how much I need to appreciate my parents. Kind Regards, Nick Church

  • Shayne M | June 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm |

    This was the best post ever. I recently got to take my biological father and stepfather to a Jays-Yankees game when I was in T.O. last month. I know it is far from spectacular but it is during these brief moments in our short lives where we get to forget about what if’s and focus on all we have. In these harsh financial times for so many it’s sobering stories and memories of love and family that make life so full of riches. Look in the mirror we’re all so blessed.

  • Toby Godrich | June 9, 2009 at 1:12 pm |

    Condolences, I still vividly remember my first trip to Twickenham with my father. That really brought it back.

    All our thoughts are with you.

    Toby

  • Weghorst | June 9, 2009 at 1:17 pm |

    Paul,
    Great reading about your Dad. I especially was glad to hear you guys got to spend the Pats/Giants Super Bowl together, and what a magnificent game it was.

    Take care,
    JW in Houston

  • MikeP | June 9, 2009 at 2:06 pm |

    Sorry to hear about your loss, Paul.

    I just took my Mom to the Mets vs Nats game on Sunday – just a few weeks after she was told that she has 6 months to live. I completely understand what you mean when you talk about how satisfying it can feel to have a chance to bond over a game.

  • xBJx | June 9, 2009 at 2:14 pm |

    Paul,

    Long time reader, first time poster. Sometimes there is a disconnect with people that put up content on the internet and the people that read it, we forget both sides are REAL people with real problems. My mother is going through serious medical problems and I just wanted to say thank you for your work at something that can be trivial but offers a great escape and enjoyment. Sorry for your loss, thank you for your site.

    BJ

  • WSCopic | June 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm |

    Sorry to hear of your Father’s passing. Not much to say that hasn’t already been said, and likely said better. In any case, you have my condolences for the loss that you are going through. I would like to think that this story would bring a smile to your Dad’s face as he sat and saw how many grown men were tearing up while reading it. :) All the best.

  • Noah Sidel | June 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm |

    Paul, my condolences… Makes me think about all the great times I’ve had with my father in sports and grateful that he’s still around to keep doing it with. Thank you for sharing and I wish you and your family all the best in a tough time.

  • Nick | June 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm |

    Incredibly sorry for your loss. There isn’t much more to say that hasn’t already been said, but my thoughts are with you.

  • Dave Plante | June 9, 2009 at 3:54 pm |

    Please accept my condolences, Paul. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers….

  • Tim D | June 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm |

    I’m a day late on this Paul, but I wanted to send my condolences to you and your family also. I lost my Dad 14 yrs. ago and I still miss him daily. I’m a guy who doesn’t really visit this site as much as I used to because of work, but know that your work here gives joy and a ton of stress relief to many around the country and world during very difficult times. I’ll bet your Dad knew that fact very well and was proud of you.
    Take care of yourself.

  • Shaun | June 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |

    day late myself, just wanted to share my condolences with you and your family. Cherish the good memories and God bless.

  • Kabe | June 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm |

    Sorry to hear about your dad; may resignation find you soon

  • CE Wilson | June 9, 2009 at 5:23 pm |

    Paul,
    My love and prayers go out to you and your family. I can relate to some of what you wrote as my dad took me to my very first ballgame too. Ironically, it was at the Astrodome against the Mets (I gew up in Louisiana). Pops is my best friend, turns 61 this year, and is diabetic. I know one day I will face the same thing you are going thru now. May peace and God’s love be with you at this time in your life.
    Your father would be very proud of what you wrote in his memory, it made all of us readers seem like we knew him too.

    Rest in peace Pop Lukas.

    CE Wilson
    Phx, AZ

  • ABowen | June 9, 2009 at 6:35 pm |

    I’m very sorry for your loss Paul. My prayers are with you and your family!

  • Secane Snake | June 9, 2009 at 8:40 pm |

    Many condolences, Paul, from a first time commenter, long time fan. This post was an apt tribute to what sounds like a great man.

  • NuggetsNatsSoxfan | June 9, 2009 at 9:16 pm |

    Sorry about your dad, Paul. My dad died four years ago, on June 2. I know what you’re going through, and I’m glad that your dad got to see a Giants Super Bowl win, even if it was against my Patriots.

  • Jeffrey Morgan | June 9, 2009 at 10:10 pm |

    Paul,

    My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  • matt | June 9, 2009 at 10:25 pm |

    Im very sorry to hear of your loss. I also would like to say that I thoroughly enjoy visiting your site whenever I get the chance.

  • Jeff Van | June 10, 2009 at 12:15 am |

    This is one of the few sites I visit every day, very sad to hear about Mr. Lukas. Nice job today, and every day, Paul. A black armband would be fitting.

    Jeff

  • Alex | June 10, 2009 at 12:24 am |

    Haven’t checked in on Uni Watch in a while and I am very sorry to hear about your father Paul. I think the story about your father resonates a bit with all of the Uni Watch following. Keep hold of those memories.

    Alex

  • Ron | June 10, 2009 at 8:36 am |

    Paul,

    I am sorry for your loss. I have read your work for many years and relate in so many ways (from Long Island, 49er & Met fan, uniform nut). You wrote a very touching piece about an extraordinarily ordinary dad. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Peter_sixtyftsixin | June 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm |

    Paul,

    I’m sorry to hear about your father, a lot of what you described (peanuts, older than friends parents) is a lot like my father and it was wonderful to hear your memories. I hope your family is doing ok and my prayers are with you and your family.

  • Kenny | June 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm |

    I love your site and I’m so sorry for your loss! I hate to see anyone go through this and certainly when it is your parent! Hold on to your memories and take more time off for yourself to get your mindset back!! We will miss you but we completely understand!

    Kenny

  • Hayden | June 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |

    Sorry to hear about your loss but thank you for the story. It reminded me of Roger Kahn’s relationship with his father in The Boys of Summer novel.

  • Kevin Z. | June 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm |

    Fell behind on Uni Watch this week. Just wanted to tell you, Paul, sorry for your loss.

  • Mark P. | June 11, 2009 at 11:19 am |

    My condolences to you and your family, Paul. Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories.

  • ScottyJ in WV | June 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm |

    Just read the post today.

    I’m very sorry about your loss Paul. You’re love and admiration for him was conveyed quite nicely in your post.

  • howard bosworth | June 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm |

    Paul-My condolences for your loss. I lost my Mom 2 weeks ago and your wonderful story about your Dad was a heartfelt and very well written account of your relationship. My best to you and your family

  • Daniel | June 12, 2009 at 1:03 am |

    True, goodness and gentleness and unerring faith in a loved one aren’t so conventional. He sounds like a gem.

    Sorry, Paul.

  • James | June 12, 2009 at 3:11 pm |

    Paul, my condolences to you and your family. Your post is a touching and heartfelt tribute to your father.

  • Ryan Johnston | June 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |

    Paul, I haven’t kept up with my UniWatch for awhile so I just caught this entry. It was beautiful. I have a very close relationship with my father that shares similar bonds over baseball and football. I hope you are doing well and I’ll keep you in my prayers. Thank you.

  • Jeff Rinker | June 12, 2009 at 4:36 pm |

    I’ll toast the first one to IWL tonight. Enjoyed the tribute – I hope I can be as good a dad as yours.

  • Todd | June 13, 2009 at 7:44 pm |

    Sounds like your Dad was a really great guy. Money, fame and “success” can’t buy what your Dad gave you. Deepest condolences.