The AP Press reported that Jack Lohrke died last Wednesday in San Jose, California at age 85. He was a former major league infielder who played in the 1940's and 1950's. In his rookie year, in 1947 he hit the Giants 183rd homer of the season breaking a team record. Lohrke was two years with the Phillies and several seasons in the Pacific Coast league before retiring. He batted .242 with 22 home runs and 96 runs batted in during his 354 games with the New York Yankees
We’ve all read news articles about people who narrowly escaped death by last minute circumstances that resulted in their not getting on an airplane, ship or bus when the people on it were killed in an accident. But, Jack Lohrke was unique in that regard. Jack was given the nickname "Lucky" because of his odd life saving experiences.
Lohrke was involved in the World War II landing at Normandy on D Day while in the army. At the famous Battle of the Bulge four soldiers, two on each side of him were killed in combat in one day, but Lohrke escaped unhurt. Then in 1945 he was heading home to California on a military transport. Just before take off a higher ranking officer bumped him from the flight and took his seat instead. On the way, the plane crashed and everyone on board was killed. Lohrke played in the minor leagues in 1946 for the Spokane Indians. They were all on a bus in Washington when, at a lunch stop, Lohrke found out he had been promoted to the San Diego Class AAA team so he got his gear off the bus and decided to hitchhike home. That night the bus he had been on swerved on a rain slick highway mountain pass and crashed killing nine players.
I am a great believer in the role "fate" plays in our lives and that when it is our time, it is our time known only to our Creator. Jack Lohrke's life seems to illustrate this rather well.