New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Category Archives: L

Marty Lader


Marty Lader  (Sportswriter.  Born, Brooklyn, Jan. 29, 1936.)  During his 33-year career at U.P.I. (1960-93), Martin Lader became a leading wire service authority on tennis, regularly covering the U.S. Open and other major events.  Lader began at what was then United Press in 1956 as an agate clerk.  (The organization became U.P.I. in 1958 when U.P. merged with the International News Service.)  Lader left U.P.I. for a year (1959-60) to be a general-assignment reporter for the Melbourne Herald in Australia.  In 1993, he went to The Record of Hackensack, N.J., on the sports copy desk.  Lader has also been an active freelance writer, doing books on the Olympics, hockey, and basketball.  He has also contributed to golf almanacs and tennis encyclopedias, as well as writing numerous magazine articles on a variety of sports.

Marty Lyons


Marty Lyons (Pro football. Born, Takoma Park, Md., Jan. 15, 1957.) A first-round draft pick of the Jets (14th overall) in 1979, Marty Lyons was a defensive tackle and end for 11 seasons (1979-89). Lyons played 147 games for the Jets, 135 as a starter, and had probably his best season in 1988, when he led the team in sacks (7½). Lyons was troubled with injuries later in his career, having surgery on both shoulders (1987) and a knee (1989). He retired in 1990 and became a television analyst for FOX Sports New York, primarily on Hofstra football (1991-97) and starting in 1996, he became a regular on MSG Network’s “Jets Journal.” On July 18, 2002, Lyons was named the analyst for Jets radio broadcasts (WABC and ESPN Radio). As a high school athlete at Catholic High in St. Petersburg, Fla., he was all-State in three sports (baseball, basketball, football) and struck out 23 while throwing a one-hitter over 11 innings in a state semifinal playoff game. He attracted interest from baseball scouts (including the Mets) but chose to attend Alabama on a football scholarship, where he became all-S.E.C. and earned all-America mention as a member of the 1978 national champions. Lyons became the third Alabama player picked in the first round by the Jets after Joe Namath (1965) and Richard Todd (1976). He was the N.F.L.’s “Man of the Year” in 1985 for his charitable work off the field.

Ray Lynch


Ray Lynch (College football. Born, South Hadley Falls, MA, Jan. 29, 1894; died, Queens Village, NY, Apr. 11, 1965.) When St. John’s began its first varsity football program in 1923, Raymond Francis Lynch was hired from St. John’s Prep to run it. For nine seasons (1923-31), Lynch coached the Redmen and served as athletic director until 1932. Lynch had played football at Holy Cross (1914-17) and captained the team there as a senior. He met with mixed success as a coach at St. John’s. His best team was 7-1-0 with lefthanded quarterback Bob Sheppard, playing home games in Woodhaven’s Dexter Park. Lynch’s only other winning season was his first (5-0-1 in 1923) and he was 28-37-6 overall. Football was dropped for financial reasons after 1931 and Lynch left St. John’s the following year. During World War II, he was a personnel officer with the U.S.O. Having attended St. John’s Law, Lynch became an attorney with Fanning & Fanning in Queens Village in 1946.

Joe Lynch


Joe Lynch (Boxing. Born, New York, NY, Nov. 30, 1898; died, Brooklyn, NY, Sept. 1, 1965.) Twice world bantamweight champion (1920-21, 1922-24), Joseph B. Lynch fought much of his early career in New York and Brooklyn. Later in his 134-bout pro career, Lynch also fought several major bouts in New York, winning the title the first time from Pete Herman at the Garden Dec. 22, 1920. He lost the return match to Herman at Ebbets Field July 25, 1921. Lynch regained the crown at the New York Velodrome July 10, 1922, knocking out Johnny Buff in the 14th round. He lost it a final time to Abe Goldstein at the Garden Mar. 21, 1924. He retired in 1926 and became the postmaster in New City, N.Y. Lynch fought 64 no-decisions, drew 15, and lost only 13.

Dick Lynch


Dick Lynch (Pro football. Born, Oceanside, NY, Apr. 29, 1936; died, New York, NY, Sept, 24, 2008.) Drafted in the sixth round by Washington in 1958 out of Notre Dame, Richard Dennis Lynch was acquired by the Giants in a spring 1959 trade. Lynch was a Giants defensive back (1959-66) who twice led the league (1961, ’63) in interceptions. In 1963, he had 251 yards in interception returns (tops in the N.F.L.) and a league-leading three touchdowns off those returns. During his Giants career, Lynch collected 35 interceptions for 568 yards and four touchdowns. He began a career of over three decades as the Giants color commentator on radio in 1975, ending after the 2007 season and the Giants’ Super Bowl victory over New England.  Lynch’s three-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown gave Notre Dame a 7-0 win over Oklahoma in 1957, ending the Sooners’ record 47-game winning streak.  One of his sons died during the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Sparky Lyle


Sparky Lyle (Baseball. Born, DeBois, Penna., July 22, 1944.) Albert Walter Lyle was a modestly successful reliever in Boston (1967-71) who became a Cy Young Award winner for the Yankees as the American League’s premier closer. Lyle joined the Yankees during spring training in 1972 in a March 22 deal that sent infielder Danny Cater to the Red Sox. With a luxurious mustache, confident swagger, and explosive slider, Lyle became a star in New York, entering games as “Pomp and Circumstance” blared over the sound system. He saved 141 games in seven seasons (1972-78) with the Yankees, leading the A.L. in 1972 (35, his career high) and 1976 (23). Lyle also had 26 saves in a league-leading 72 appearances for the 1977 world champions. He had a 57-40 record (including 13-5 in 1977 when he won the Cy Young, the first A.L. reliever to do so). Lyle had a 3-0 postseason record for the Yankees: the final two games of the 1977 A.L.C.S. at Kansas City and the first game of the World Series against the Dodgers. Made expendable by the Yankees’ free-agent signing of Goose Gossage in the 1977-78 offseason, he was traded to Texas (for, among other, Dave Righetti following the 1978 season, prompting teammate Graig Nettles to famously quip, “From Cy Young to Sayonara” to describe the last two years of his Yankees career. In Lyle’s seven Yankees seasons, he was 57-40 with 141 saves. Lyle later became a coach and, in 1999, manager of Somerset (N.J.) in the independent Atlantic League.  Lyle is credited with teaching his slider to fellow southpaw Ron Guidry when they were teammates, and Guidry later taught it to another lefty, Al Leiter.

Mike Lupica


Mike Lupica (Sportswriter. Born, Oneida, NY, May 11, 1952.) From his start on a Boston alternative weekly, Michael Lupica became one of the best-known New York columnists of his era. Lupica, starting in 1977, was with the Daily News for all but two years, though he wrote for four other dailies during his career. As an undergrad at Boston College, he contributed to the Boston Phoenix but, following his graduation in 1974, joined the Washington Star-News. A year later, Lupica came to New York with the Post. He moved to the Daily News two years later, leaving in 1989 to become part of The National Sports Daily. Lupica returned to the Daily News in 1990 and remained there, except for a year with New York Newsday (1995-96). He became perhaps best-known for his Sunday column, “Shooting from the Lip,” and its companion “And the Readers Shoot Back,” in which he offered pithy (and sometimes pungent) comments on current events both in and out of sports and parried with letter-writing readers. Lupica also became something of a celebrity from his weekly appearances on the weekly ESPN television show, “The Sportswriters,” and authored several books, including some well-received mystery fiction.  He later hosted a sports talk radio program.

Carl Lundquist


Carl Lundquist (Sportswriter. Born, Kansas City, KS, Oct. 24, 1913; died, Port Orange, FL, Aug. 26, 2000.) During the days when three wire services competed to supply news to American newspapers, Carl Wesley Lundquist was the lead writer on the World Series for the United Press. Lundquist covered the first of his 14 World Series in 1942. His competition during most of this period was Jack Hand (A.P.) and Bob Considine (I.N.S.). In 1929, he became a high school sports reporter for the Kansas City (Mo.) Journal-Post and moved in 1931 to the Daily Drovers’ Journal, a trade paper in Kansas City, Mo. He joined the U.P. in Kansas City in 1937 and switched to sports full-time four years later. Lundquist was transferred to U.P. headquarters in New York in 1945 as baseball and football editor under sports editor Leo H. Peterson. In 1956, he left U.P. to become the public relations director of the National Association (minor league baseball) in Columbus, O., but returned in 1962 to join the public relations firm of Grey & Davis. Lundquist handled several sports accounts for the firm, including the Generals of the N.P.S.L. in 1967. He was an active freelance writer for a decade before retiring to Florida in October 1992.

Ray Lumpp


Ray Lumpp (Basketball. Born, Brooklyn, NY, July 11, 1924.) For more than six decades, Ray Lumpp has been a major name in New York sports. Lumpp returned from military service in World War II to play on three post-season tournament teams at N.Y.U. and was the second-highest scorer in the 1948 N.I.T. He then played for the gold medal U.S. team at the London Olympics. Lumpp was the No. 1 draft pick for the N.B.A. Indianapolis Jets that year and led the team in scoring through 37 games, when he was traded to the Knicks for Tommy Byrnes Jan. 26, 1949. He helped the Knicks to the division semifinals in 1949 and was a regular on two N.B.A. finals teams (1951, 1952) before being traded to Baltimore. Following his pro career, Lumpp coached under Howard Cann at N.Y.U. (1953-59) and then became athletic director at the New York Athletic Club, succeeding Paul Pilgrim. In that capacity, he became a meet director of major indoor track meets, including the N.Y.A.C. Games at the Garden (1959-68) and the Vitalis Olympic Invitational at the Meadowlands (1975-85). During his basketball career, Lumpp’s 377 points set an N.Y.U. single-season record in 1947-48 and he was the leading rookie scorer in the N.B.A. in 1948-49.

D. Wayne Lukas


D. Wayne Lukas (Horse racing. Born, Antigo, WI, Sept. 2, 1935.) After an 11-year career as a basketball coach (nine in Wisconsin high schools and two as an assistant at the U. of Wisconsin), D. Wayne Lukas turned his organizational talents to racing. Lukas brought a contemporary business approach to training thoroughbreds with great success. He became the first trainer ever to reach $100 million in earnings and the first to reach $200 million. Lukas didn’t become a full-time trainer until 1978. By the 1990s, he was a recognized leader in the field. He led all trainers in purse money 14 times in 15 years (1983-97, except ’93). From 1985-92, Lukas also led in races won. He won the Eclipse Award in 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1994. In the Belmont Stakes, Lukas has trained four winners (and nearly another). He won with Tabasco Cat (1994), Thunder Gulch (1995), Editor’s Note (1996), and Commendable, a 19-1 shot who won in a slow 2:31.19 in 2000. Lukas lost by a head (to Lemon Drop Kid) with Charismatic in 1999, costing him a Triple Crown winner. His other outstanding horses have included Lady’s Secret, Flanders, and Codex.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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