I was born in Cleveland, Ohio and my family moved to Montana when I was 5. We lived in East Helena all during my time in grade school. We moved to Helena when I was a freshman in High School where I attended Helena Cathedral, which later became Helena Central, and is now Helena Capital. I was a standout athlete in football, track and baseball. My first love was broadcasting. I began my career in Dillon, Montana, then on to Helena and eventually Missoula after eastern stops in Fredericksburg, Virginia and Salisbury, Maryland.
I began my sportscasting career while in Helena where I did the play-by-play for the local high schools and Carroll College. I also broadcast Montana State University and University of Montana football and basketball games on T.V. I enjoyed a great deal of success as a young sportscaster. I was named the Montana SPORTSCASTER OF THE YEAR at age 20 and also was awarded with MONTANA SPORTS PROGRAM OF THE YEAR for producing and broadcasting the Montana State Amateur Golf Tournament. My career “took off” and I later moved on to Portland, Oregon. While in Portland, I broadcast the nightly sports on KATU-T.V., and did T.V. play-by-play of Oregon State University basketball and football.
I moved onto New Orleans where I joined WDSU-T.V. I was the sportscaster for our nightly newscasts. It wasn’t long before Philadelphia came calling (KYW-T.V.). It would be one of two stops I would make, over the years, in Philadelphia. Before returning to Philly for my second stop at KYW, I spent four years in Milwaukee at WISN-T.V. I was the sportscaster on the nightly news and also was the T.V. play-by-play “voice” of Marquette University basketball.
While in Milwaukee I produced and “starred” in many T.V “specials.” I became the only man to ever pitch in, manage in, and umpire in a major league baseball game. With special permission from the Baseball Commissioner’s Office I pitched in the Brewers final spring training game in 1978 against the California Angels, as part of a “special” I produced called “ROD LUCK ROOKIE PITCHER.” The “mini-movie” was made to show the life of a rookie behind the scenes as he attempted to make the Major League Club. Over the next two years I also “starred” in ROD LUCK ROOKIE MANAGER where I managed the Brewers against the Cleveland Indians and ROD LUCK ROOKIE UMPIRE. The plan was to umpire one game at home plate, another “on the bases” for the “special.” That season, however, the umpires went on strike and I was asked to umpire 6 games to help out. It made for some interesting moments and confrontations with players and coaches, thus making the T.V. special an award winner. I also won a UPI award for my “ROOKIE MANAGER” T.V. special.
While in Milwaukee, I also won a major award from the AVIATION SPACE WRITERS ASSOCIATION. I produced another T.V. Special called: “ROD LUCK FLYING HIGH.” This particular “show” featured some of America’s top aerobatic and stunt flyers and wing walkers. I, myself, would do a wing walk on a Stearman biplane at 3500 feet. A number of years later I opened the Daytona Beach Air Show standing atop a WACO biplane piloted by one of the world’s best pilot’s, Jimmy Frankin.
Back to Philly in 1980 and my second stop at KYW-T.V. I left T.V. for a while and hosted my own sports talk radio show on WWDB for a couple of years. Local sports fans voted me the “top sports talk host” in a poll. I loved Philly and sometimes wish I never would have left.
Orlando, Florida came calling in 1985. I joined WCPX-T.V. as Sports Director where I broadcast the sports on the evening news. While in Orlando, I wore out on the “jock” scene and decided to leave the business. I moved to the West Indies to the island of ANTIGUA. I teamed up with some people from Fort Lauderdale who had the last casino license on the island. I “brought in” the financing for their casino/hotel package after scouring the world, literally, with a financial package I had put together. My “part of the deal” for bringing in the money was that I would operate the “sports book” operation. I moved to the island and began local preparations for my investors. However, after a short stay HURRICANE HUGO “blew” on us for a couple days and destroyed the property we were going to build on. My investors pulled out and the deal was dead.
I decided to return to T.V. and contacted some guys I knew who were putting together the KUSI-T.V. news team for Mike Mc Kinnon, who had bought the station from USIU UNIVERSITY. I was the stations “first news hire,” and moved to San Diego in the summer of 1990. The rest is history. I spent the past 19 years at KUSI where I was the stations first Sports Director. I brought my unique style to a market that was In need of some “spicing up!!!” Among many things I began prep football coverage that has blossomed into the biggest thing on T.V. here. Paul Rudy picked up the ball and ran with it after I switched to the Morning NEWS in 1992. While I was the Morning News “live” reporter I enjoyed a great deal of success. Twice the City Council honored me with ROD LUCK DAY and once the honor came from the COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS. I brought continuous, behind the scenes Military coverage to the local news. I helped everyone from the military and the local businessmen and women to the homeless and beyond!
One thing about my life that I want to add. For a long time some wondered, even criticized, my dark glasses that I began wearing in the mid 90’s. I never felt I had to answer why. I considered it a very private matter. I found out that I had a severe optical nerve problem in my left eye. I saw a few doctors and the prognosis was the same. If I didn’t have a very risky operation to correct the problems, which included severe headaches, I could try to help my condition by wearing dark lenses in my glasses. Various shades for the ever-changing light conditions that each day brings. The doctors felt I injured my eye after sparring over the years with many boxers, which included the likes of Joe Frazier, Tex Cobb, Ernie Terrell, and even a round with Muhammad Ali.
So, there you have it. My life in a “nutshell.” Let me welcome you, again, to a little bit of “my world.” I have built this website for me and you. We can chat about everything from sports to politics. I can help you with your businesses and your golf game and other things in your life. If you remember me from my days on T.V., then you will remember a Rod who cared about San Diego and it’s people. I love San Diego and plan to keep this my home till “my GOD calls me home…”