I Guess He Ain’t So “Lucky” Anymore
Jack Lohrke, nicknamed “Lucky” for his uncanny ability to cheat death at a young age, had his luck finally run out on him, as he passed away Wednesday at the age of 85 after suffering a stroke two days earlier.
Lohrke, a career .242 batter, had 22 home runs and 96 RBIs in 353 career games with the New York Giants and Philadelphia Phillies, didn’t like to talk about the past. His son said his father “wasn’t a talker or a boaster or a storyteller.”
His son also maintains that Lohrke didn’t much like the nickname because “[i]t reminded him of too many things.”
Some examples of his so-strange-there-has-to-be-something-to-it luck, found in the article by AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker:
• “Lohrke served in the Army during World War II and fought in the D-Day invasion at Normandy and later in the Battle of the Bulge. He recounted how four soldiers – two on each side of him – were killed in combat.
In 1945, Lohrke was leaving the service when he prepared to board a military transport for the trip home to California. Shortly before takeoff, he was bumped from the flight by a higher-ranking officer. The plane crashed, and all passengers were killed.”
• In 1946, Lohrke and his minor league teammates on the Spokane Indians boarded a bus for a ride across the state of Washington. During a lunch stop, Lohrke got word that he’d been promoted to Triple-A San Diego, took his gear and hitchhiked home.
That night, the bus careened off a rain-slicked pass through the Cascades mountain range and plummeted into a valley, killing nine players. It remains the most deadly crash involving an American pro baseball team.
So, here’s to you, Jack Lohrke. You lived a long and prosperous life. We should all be so…lucky.
Former MLB infielder “Lucky” Lohrke dies at 85 [The Seattle Times]