May 1, 2009

Report: ‘Lucky’ Lohrke dies after stoke

Former major league infielder Jack Lucky Lohrke died at a San Jose hospital two days after a stroke, the Los Angeles Times reported. Lohrke was 85.

Lohrke played for the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Giants, finishing his career with a .240 batting average.

His son, John, told the newspaper his father died Wednesday.

Jack Lohrke earned the nickname Lucky because he cheated death away from baseball, the Times report said.

Lohrke fought in the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, and escaped death four times while soldiers on both sides were killed.

In 1945, he was bumpedfrom the flight list of an Ohio military transport plane, which crashed 45 minutes later and killed all of its passengers.

A year later, while riding a bus with his Spokane teammates, Lohrke left the bus at a restaurant stop after getting orders to report to another minor league team. Shortly afterward, the bus careened off a cliff in the Cascade Mountains, killing nine of 15 players on board.