Schuckman: Should Loos get draft call, it would be historic moment for Payson, Adams County


Payson native Lucas Loos could get a call during the Major League Baseball draft, which is scheduled for 20 rounds from July 14-16. | Photo courtesy Eastern Illinois University athletics

QUINCY — Random musings after digging into the archives on a random July night …

• Lucas Loos finds his name on Baseball America’s list of the top 100 college senior sign targets for the upcoming Major League Baseball amateur draft.

Because the Payson Seymour and John Wood Community College graduate has exhausted his NCAA Division I eligibility, he is viewed as a potential gem for a major league team looking to find players in the fifth through 10th rounds who will sign underslot deals on the third day of the draft.

The 20-round draft begins July 14.

Loos played his final season at Eastern Illinois University, earning all-region honors as a shortstop as he set the EIU single season record with 23 home runs while posting the second-most doubles in a season. He finished the season with a .372 batting average, 77 hits, 56 runs scored, 61 RBIs and an .821 slugging percentage.

Should Loos get drafted, he could become the third Payson product to get to the big leagues.

Ralph Works had his contract purchased in 1908 by the Detroit Tigers — he was playing for Syracuse in the New York State league at the time — and pitched in 99 games over a five-year career in which he went 24-24 with a 3.79 ERA. He was born in Payson in 1888.

Bruce Edwards signed a free-agent contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1941 and made his big league debut in 1946. Edwards, who spent a majority of his career as a catcher, played 10 seasons in the majors, hitting .256 with 39 career home runs and 241 career RBIs. Edwards was born in Quincy in 1923 but grew up in Payson.

Editor’s note: Should Loos ever get the chance to play in the majors, he actually would be the fourth with Payson ties to get the call. Lester Fusselman graduated from Payson Seymour High School and Western Illinois University, but he was born in Pryor, Okla., which is why he doesn’t show up on any searches about players born in Quincy, Adams County or West-Central Illinois. Fusselman played in 43 career games for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1952-53 seasons.

• Another name to watch in the draft is former Quincy University infielder Gino D’Alessio. After four years with the Hawks, D’Alessio transferred to NCAA Division I Abilene Christian and hit .372 with nine home runs and 62 RBIs. He is listed on at least one service as a top 200 prospect.

• According to Baseball Almanac, there have been 14 players born in Adams County who played in the major leagues, as well as two born in Hancock County and one in Pike County.

Jim Finigan and Rick Reuschel became all-stars. El Tappe both played and coached for the Chicago Cubs. Chester “Pinch” Thomas, who was born in Camp Point, was the primary catcher for the Boston Red Sox for three seasons, which included catching Babe Ruth during the 1916 campaign when Ruth led the league with a 1.75 ERA and nine shutouts as he went 23-12.

But do you know who the first Adams County-born player to reach the big leagues was?

That was Luke Lutenberg, who made his debut on July 7, 1894, for the Louisville Colonels. He played in 69 games — 67 at first base — and hit .192 with 10 doubles, four triples and 23 RBIs.

He didn’t play in the majors again after that season and eventually returned to Quincy, where he died in 1938 when he was 74 years old. He is buried in Woodland Cemetery.

• Former Quincy Notre Dame and Quincy University left-handed pitcher Griffin Kirn currently leads the Cape Cod League in innings pitched with 20.2 innings. The reigning Great Lakes Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year  is 1-0 with a 2.18 ERA and 13 strikeouts against five walks. Kirn has signed to pitch next season at West Virginia as a graduate transfer.

Kirn is a name to remember when the draft rolls around next July.

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