Saturday, June 9, 2007

Lucky Closer to Bigs - 1947

Braves Get Jack Lohrke
BOSTON - The purchase of infielder Jack (Lucky) Lohrke from the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast league for cash and five players was announced Friday by General Manager John Quinn of the Boston Braves.
Lohrke, the most sought after young prospect in the Coast league will report to the Braves at Fort Lauderdale next spring. The Boston players involved in the deal, three going outright and the other two on option, will join the Padres next season.
The Braves first became interested in Lohrke about a month ago when Head Scout Ted McGrew filed glowing reports of his play. The youngster had been with the Padres only a short time, having been recalled from Spokane Western International league club, about an hour before its bus crash took the lives of nine players.
Quinn said that the five Braves players who will figure in the deal will not be selected until after the National league season ends.
Lohrke had left Spokane with his ill-fated teammates and when the vehicle made a stop at Ellensburg, President Sam Collins contacted him by long distance telephone and told him to return immediatelyand then proceed to San Diego to fill in for the ailing Dick Gyselman. The baseball bus crashed over a high mountain precipice about 40 miles beyond Ellensburg.
The Los Angeles-born Lohrke, now a resident of Bell, Calif., weighs 175 and stands five-foot-ten. He was batting 363 for Spokane when called up by San Diego and last week his record was .331, only a point less than Oakland's Les Scarsella, the Coast league's batting leader.
Lohrke, who first broke in with the Padres in 1942 under Manager Ced Durst, served overseas in an artillery unit and participated in the Battle of the Bulge.
The bus tragedy is not Lohrke's only narrow escape. About a year ago, his artillery company was scheduled to board a transport plane in New Jersey but, at the last minute, another unit was substituted. The plane crashed in Kansas and all 23 occupants were killed.
- Friday, August 16, 1946

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