KMOV celebrated Don Lucy II last year when he celebrated 40 years with the station, and then today (Monday) they ran a tribute to the man who meant so much to the station for more than 40 years.
To watch the tribute to Lucy. To watch CLICK HERE.
Tevlin, owner of Integrity Sports (sports player management) worked with Lucy during Tevlin’s many years at KMOV and they remained close friends to the end. He wanted to do a tribute so Lucy’s son, Donnie could know how much he meant to him and to the city of St. Louis. With Tevlin’s permission, here is that tribute:
Don Lucy II Memorialized by Lou Tevlin June 18, 2022
Don Lucy II grew up in the soot filled air in the shadows of industrial giant Granite City Steel. What appeared to be a dingy beginning never foresaw a breakthrough to the bright lights of a truly legendary career in St. Louis Television.
Through the most amazing work ethic of anyone, in any business in any era, Don Lucy II Single-handedly built his own American Dream complete with a beauty queen looking wife Juanita and amazing son Donnie.
Don Lucy II demonstrated the most profound focus, will power and persistence (that’s how he won the hand of Junita the beauty queen) of anyone I’ve ever encountered. When Don Lucy II put his mind to it, he achieved it! Honestly, think of the greatest focused faces, the stares in sports history: Michael Jordan, Nolan Ryan, Jack Nicklaus, Wayne Gretzky, ok and Tony La Russa. Don was equal in his intensity. To the uninitiated, Lucy II might seem disinterested in your need for him to execute some technical miracle at the last minute to save your butt. Don heard you. Don didn’t miss a thing even if his eyes never left the switcher / board. His brain was multitasking before the word was invented.
I nicknamed him “The Wizard” in the mid 1980’s as I marveled watching him work. In the production truck, Montreal Expos @ the Cardinals. TV games were much less common at that time but Lucy II was already an elite, network quality TD, (Technical Director, who executes the Directors call). So visiting teams to Busch would have Don switch their games simultaneously, in real time, to the Cardinals broadcast/feed. When Cardinals fans saw Bob Forsch on the mound in a tight shot, Don sent the Expos broadcast a different camera angle, a tight shot of Gary Carter batting complete with name fonts and stats. Try executing two games with different commands in your brain for 3 hours live? “The Wizard” was born when I realized the Expos had two broadcasts–one in english and one in French with separate fonts in French and Don Lucy II had all three feeds ‘downstreamed” on his switcher. An electronic maze of wires that had less ability, than a basic app today. Utterly Amazing!
In the most quiet, unassuming manner Don Lucy II’s own instinct, knowledge & brains personally manhandled the stock market for decades in a way few Wall Street pro’s–if they were honest –could equal. Don hand picked his stocks and quietly, confidentially, watched them grow.
That’s not what some misinformed people today call “privilege”–No! It’s quite the opposite to anyone who cares about Facts: it’s called W-O-R-K!!!
Because DON LUCY II worked 80+ hours a week for 40 years (repeat that…pause/think about it)…countless scores of St.Louisans–indeed generations –got their News delivered with No “Technical Difficulties” & enjoyed some 40 season of St.Louis Cardinals Championship Baseball (Ozzie to Arenado) iconic images with indelible moments deliver by the quick reflexes and sharp mind of Don Lucy II. Over at the Arena, Don Lucy II showed you the St.Louis Blues from the era of Wickenheiser’s Monday Night Miracle to Hull & Gretzky all the while delivering into living rooms, sports bars & later, tablets & cell phones… the Blue Notes long road to a Stanley Cup Championship.
St.Louis sports fans never missed a magic moment because Don Lucy II hit the wrong button, for the wrong camera, at the wrong time. If it happened….no one can remember it.
Imagine Albert Pujols-a sure fire 1st ballot Hall of Famer–never striking out. In the clutch,under pressure, with tensions high & ego’s often even bigger, inside a sardine can of a production truck, next to a stadium for hours on end, Live–that’s a pressure cooker folks!!
Don Lucy II never struck out….nor did he in Life.
You got to see the Cardinals & Blues moments–the magical to the mundane–because Don Lucy II slept but a few hours (or less) a night for the past F-O-U-R decades.
A rather quiet, serious man–the kind of guy we all pray is in the cockpit on our next flight, when our life is in his hands…was truly a chatterbox with a few cherished friends he trusted to the utmost.
His love of investing in’ just the right classic cars’ that would appreciate beyond imagination –except to maybe Don’s imagination.
(You all understand right? Cars are by & large, are depreciating asset)
In the Sports Department @ KMOX-TV, upon hearing the story of Tim Van Galder’s long gone1966 Corvette, Don put his mind to finding that exact car, VIN number and purchased the vehicle to the amazement of TVG.
Oh man, could Don fly too! Yes, as a track & cross country runner for Granite City High & later as an Aviator owning a string of planes ranging from pre-WWII Bi-Planes to Bonaza’s & plenty in between over the years. Don Lucy II worked plenty of Network broadcasts often flying himself to games so he could fulfill his stunning workload. Remember Moonlight Graham from Field of Dreams? Don flew to meet some obscure 80 year old ballplayer in North Carolina or somewhere because he was curious about the man. So, you get a glimpse of the often stoic Don Lucy II as a dreamer and romantic. Don was bashful yes, humble absolutely… but I know of not one great achiever who didn’t have imagination and dreams.
You notice throughout this tribute I reference him as Don Lucy II. I did it intentionally because Don did intentionally. As a tribute to his father Don Lucy. You see, Don and I are second generation St. Louis TV. Our fathers born before the Great Depression, were called upon to win World War II as members of the Greatest Generation then came home to the USA to raise families and ‘merely’ become pioneers in the new medium of Television. So when people would ask how long our Dad’s been in Television, we would reply…since it was Radio!
The loose lineage from Marconi & Sarnoff delivered in sparks, transmitters, microwave to satellites and eventually the internet, digital 4K connects Don Lucy II to some of the great Technical Directors in broadcast history. Certainly in St. Louis, Don Lucy II will always be number one!
A sudden and shocking death at age 62, a close friend, long time co-worker and for the legions of those who respected and relied on him, this is hard to comprehend. As a man of faith, I know our heavenly father is the ultimate director and calls the shots….but from this side of the picture, Don Lucy II’s life faded to black way too early.
Video tribute from KMOV- CLICK HERE
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Photos and videos courtesy of KMOV-TV.