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A former member of Pierotti’s Clowns, Jose Noe Lujan, died at his home in Los Alamos July 6 after a long battle with cancer. He was 77.
Lujan, who was born in Española, was a catcher on the nationally-famous five-man softball team from Los Alamos in the late 1950s, catching games for star pitcher Bernard L. “Bun” Ryan.
The team’s founding member, Lou Pierotti, often got together with Lujan to play golf or partake in other activities when they weren’t on the softball field.
“He was very competitive,” Pierotti said. “Anything he did, he always wanted to win.”
According to his family, Lujan was a Korean War veteran. During his service, Lujan was decorated with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
Ryan, who “went through catchers like I went through socks” in his heyday, remembered Lujan’s first game catching for the Clowns.
In that game, the Clowns earned a 2-1 victory in Durango, Colo., playing against the Durango city squad. Durango was the reigning Colorado state open champion at the time.
Lujan’s fiery, competitive nature shone through when he was with the Clowns.
“He kept everyone on their toes, I’ll tell you that,” Ryan said.
Lujan played with the Clowns for four seasons.
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