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Friday, December 17, 2021

Rob Lukachyk returned from getting cut to make bigs in 10th pro season; Saw two ML games

Rob Lukachyk spent 1995 - his ninth pro season - with the Toledo Mud Hens, without getting a call up to Detroit. Cut, he signed on with the Expos for 1996 - after a month at home, The Ottawa Citizen wrote.

With some early success in the minors with the Expos, Lukachyk spoke to The Citizen about continuing on and coming back from that Tigers disappointment.

"It hurt, really hurt, to be cut, but I'm just trying to go out now and have fun every day," Lukachyk told The Citizen. "It's like when you were a kid playing baseball. I don't put any pressure on myself. I'm just trying to be a 27-year-old kid again."

For Lukachyk, his success continued in the ensuing weeks and, soon, he'd made Montreal. Lukachyk saw time in two major league games that July, games that would mark the extent of his major league career.

Lukachyk's career began in 1987, taken by the White Sox in the 10th round of the draft out of Brookdale Community College in New Jersey.

At Brookdale in April 1987, Lukachyk spoke to The Asbury Park Press about his hopes of turning pro and making the bigs, a childhood dream.

"I'm almost 19 years old now and I still want to be a major league player some day," Lukachyk told The Press. "I still go out on the field and have fun. It's phenomenal how people get paid for having fun out on the baseball field."

Lukachyk signed with the White Sox that June and saw 17 games in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He made short-season Utica in 1988 and then single-A South Bend in 1989. He hit .291 there over 122 games.

He played at high-A Sarasota in 1990 and 1991. He then moved to the Brewers system and high-A Stockton for 1992. He made AA El Paso for 1993 and saw eight games at AAA New Orleans that year.

Lukachyk arrived with the Orioles at AA Bowie for 1994, then the Tigers and AAA Toledo for 1995. 

With the Expos in 1996, Lukachyk got his callup that July. He appeared in the July 5 game late. He struckout in his only plate appearance. He then appeared again the next day, grounding out to the pitcher. He saw just those two plate appearances. He didn't get a hit.

Lukachyk returned to the minors for 1997 and 1998. He then arrived with the independent Somerset Patriots for 1998 and 1999, seeing his last regular pro time.

He then stayed on with Somerset, in the front office, in sales. He remained there in 2010 as assistant general manager, according to The Bridgewater Courier-News.

"As a player I never knew how much it took to put on a game or ballpark operations," Lukachyk told The Courier-News in 2010. "As a player you stole in at 2 p.m., get ready, and think everything just happens. That's the biggest thing I learned, how much it takes to put on the show."

Lukachyk serves in 2021 as general manager and senior instructor at the Frozen Ropes baseball and softball program in Union, NJ. 

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,803
Made the Majors:1,283-33.7%-X
Never Made Majors:2,520-66.3%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:526
10+ Seasons in the Minors:319-X

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