Spokane's parent club especially liked Lubratich's organizational skills, Padres minor league and scouting director Tom Romenesko told The Spokane Chronicle.
"The first thing I think has to be said about Steve Lubratich is that he's an outstanding person," Romenesko told The Chronicle. "He certainly has the capabilities to manage anywhere in our farm system."
Lubratich has gone on from Spokane to manage elsewhere, including at AA Wichita in 1990. But his longer-term baseball home has been in the front office, later serving in roles that included assistant general manager for the Tigers.
Lubratich's career in baseball began 1977, signed by the Angels as an undrafted free agent out of the University of California-Riverside.
Lubratich started with the Angels at rookie Idaho Falls and single-A Salinas. He made AA El Paso in 1979 and then saw regular time at AAA Salt Lake City in 1980.
He returned to Salt Lake City for 1981, then made the trip to the Angels that September. He went 3 for 21 over seven games with the big club.
Lubratich started his coaching career in 1987, at Spokane, and he took over the team's top job in 1988. He managed at single-A Riverside in 1989, then at Wichita for 1990 and 1991.
By 1997, Lubratich was with the Tigers as assistant general manager, working to help the team rebuild its farm system.
"Last year we started to build a little pride in the minor leagues," Lubratich told The Detroit Free Press in March 1997. "There's a lot of history in the Tiger uniform. We wanted the players to be proud to wear it."
Lubratich has since gone on to moved to the Indians. In 2014, he served as director of pro scouting with the Indians.
- Spokane Chronicle, Nov. 24, 1987: Lubratich new Indian boss
- Detroit Free Press, March 28, 1997: Tigers
Made the Majors:1,219-34.9%
Never Made Majors:2,279-65.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:506
10+ Seasons in the Minors:299