Julio and Ruddy Lugo each were inducted into the AAABA Hall of Fame Class of 2018 on Saturday night.
But neither the Lugos nor Johnstown’s Maurice Berry, the other member inducted during the 25th annual banquet, left town after the ceremony.
All three hall of famers made an appearance at the annual players banquet and pairings ceremony at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial on Aug. 5, a day before play begins in the 74th annual AAABA Tournament.
Berry was at the banquet from the outset and he offered encouragement and talked about how great the tournament is for a young player’s career.
The Lugo brothers had been at the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday afternoon game against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park and arrived at the banquet shortly after it started. Each Lugo brother addressed the banquet crowd.
Perhaps even more significant, the Lugos met with current players on their former team, Brooklyn Youth Service League, after the banquet and pairings ceremony concluded.
The group occupied two tables, with Julio and Ruddy sitting in the middle, providing advice about playing in the tournament and baseball in general. Julio talked about discipline and hard work as well as making the tough choices to do the right thing in preparing for both baseball and life.
The players didn’t say a word, paying attention to the details provided by a pair of former major league players who once wore the same Brooklyn Youth Service League uniform as them.
Julio Lugo spent 12 seasons int he majors, and he was part of the Boston Red Sox 2007 World Series championship. Julio was MVP of the 1994 AAABA Tournament as Brooklyn won the championship.
Ruddy Lugo pitched in the AAABA Tournament as a 16-year-old in 1996, an important step in a career that saw him selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the third round of the 1999 draft. After a long career in the minors, Ruddy advanced to the major leagues in 2006 and 2007 with Tampa Bay and Oakland.