If you ask former former big leaguers Joe Girardi, Jorge Posada and Jason Varitek, who was the best catching instructor they ever had, each highly respected veteran MLB receiver would answer, “Gary Tuck.” Gary was a classmate of mine in the Wilbur Lynch High School Class of ’72. He was the quarterback of Rugged Ram varsity football teams that won back-to-back Class A Championships and the catcher on the school’s Varsity baseball team and the thing I remember most about him in both roles was his almost flawless technique. At the time, there were better athletes available to play both positions but Tuck was smarter and worked harder than everybody else. He was a keen student of both games even way back then and he is now considered one of Major League Baseball’s most gifted catching mentors. He won four World Series rings as a Yankee coach and one more as the Red Sox bullpen coach. Just before I wrote this post in 2015, the Yankees announced they would not be bringing Gary Tuck back as the team’s bullpen coach in 2016. The only possible reason I saw anywhere came from a Yankee fan blog I like to follow called “River Avenue Blues.” An October 28, 2015 post reported that Tuck was apparently let go because he and the analytic heavy Yankee front office didn’t mesh too well. I don’t know why the Yankees would be concerned with having a “Money Ball” disciple as a bullpen coach. After all, Tuck’s job was to make sure his bullpen staff was ready to pitch when called upon and he did a great job doing that during his most final two-season stint in the Bronx. I also know that the Yankee catching staff and especially McCann were not happy about Tuck’s departure. If Tuck wants to continue the grind of big-league coaching at the age of 62, I guarantee there will be no shortage of offers. All of Amsterdam is very proud of him and all that he has accomplished.
Tuck was born in Amsterdam and then left. This second September 6th Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant did the exact opposite!