Mike Lukkason – Dakota Wesleyan
2012 Rochester Honkers
Top Photo of Mike and Wife Laura
Bottom Photo of Son Lincoln born March 24, 2015
What’s your favorite memory while playing for the Rochester Honkers?
ML: I have all kinds of memories playing for the honkers and I am happy to say that my summer with the Honkers was one of my favorite summers thus far. The team chemistry we had during the summer of 2012 was great, I enjoyed all my teammates very much. My host family was amazing and I can't thank them enough. Scott and Pat Heck were so great to me, they were like family to me at that time. But playing wise, my favorite memory would be the walk off homerun I hit in the bottom of the 10th inning in game 3 of our season to give us our first win. I have to thank Trevor Podratz though because he tied the game in the bottom of the 9th with a solo homerun to give me the chance I had in the 10th inning.
What's your favorite non-playing memory from your time with the Rochester Honkers?
ML: My favorite non playing memory would be when my host mom took a few of us players to a river where we went tubing. The last 20 min down the stream was so cold we could not help but laugh because of the torture. I also enjoyed the rain delays our team put on! Everyone always participated in rain delays which made it a lot of fun for both us and the fans. My favorite rain delay was when we did a tarp slide in Thunder Bay. It was most memorable because I participated in just my spandex and gave the fans a good laugh. I of course asked coach Zach Etheredge before I did it ;)
Who was your favorite teammate when you played for the Rochester Honkers and why?
ML: This is an unfair question because I did not just have one favorite teammate. Our team as a whole had great relationships with each other. To name some players who I formed good friendships with both on and off the field;
Jordan and Justin Parr- everyday at the ball park with these two never got old! They loved the game as much as anyone but always remembered to have fun! We had laughs together sometimes where it gave us an ab workout!
Reid Roper- He was the most selfless person on the team! He would do anything for you in a second. He enjoyed the game so much and played it the right way! Not to mention he was a fan favorite! He was a lot of fun to hang around with!
Kevin Johnson- I don't know what it is with all the Illinois guys but what great people to hang out with! When it was Kevin's day to pitch he was more focused than anyone, then on his off days he would be the comedian in the dug out with Nick Dolsky. They were funny!
Jared Miller- The beginning of the year we were roommates on road trips and there would be nights I couldn't get much sleep because of the things Jared and I would talk about. If anyone knows him, they would know he is a character to say the least! He was unbelievable to watch pitch, especially playing defense behind him when he did.
Ben Lahn- Ben and I had a lot of fun together that summer to say the least! He was a great time to hang out with!
Elliot Engle- Elliot and I played college ball against each other too! We had a great relationship for being in the same conference. He enjoyed the game as much as anyone!
Chad Wallach- I don't know what this guy couldn't do! He was a class act on the field! He could pitch, catch, play 1st and hit! He was a great guy to have in your lockerroom!
Cole Lankford- Cole and I have a funny inside story together that we both will never forget! He came to the ballpark everyday with a smile on his face and was fun to be around!
I could go on and on Dakota Smith, Brandon Defazio, Trevor Podratz, Justin Protacio, Michael Benjamin, Jared Allen, coach Zach Etheredge, coach JR Voyles, coach Travis Senhaux, Drew Merlo aka (Drew baby), Matt Kent, and Chris Noble.
I hope I didn't forget anyone but all these guys were great to be around and to call my teammates.
What has happened to you since you left Rochester and what are you doing now?
ML: When I left Rochester I finished up my senior baseball season at Dakota Wesleyan University. My senior year started out a little shocking as I tore my ACL in a fall ball game. I was able to come back for my senior year and finished the year as the conference player of the year and All-American. After my senior year of ball I went to Canada and played in the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL) in Canada. After Canada, I returned to Dakota Wesleyan and was a Graduate Assistant (GA) baseball coach while I finished up my Masters degree. I then got married July 12th 2014 to my high school sweetheart, Laura. We recently had a baby boy together named Lincoln! He was born March 24, 2015! I now am the assistant baseball coach at the University of Minnesota Crookston.
What was your biggest realization while playing for the Rochester Honkers?
ML: Never take a day for granted when playing this beautiful game of baseball. You meet some of your best friends playing in summer leagues. Enjoy the process and don't look past the next day because you never know when it will be over. Enjoy the moment and stay in the game as long as you can.
Do you stay in contact with former teammates? If so, who?
ML: Throughout social media I do. I enjoy seeing the success my teammates are having. I only wish them the best and will never forget the teammates I had in the summer of 2012.