At age 85 after suffering a stroke, former infielder Jack (Lucky) Lohrke (above). A .242 hitter over seven big league seasons, Lohrke was better known for the tragic circumstances that led to his nickname. Lohrke fought at Normandy and in the Battle of the Bulge. He emerged unscathed, but four times a soldier next to him was killed. When he shipped home in 1945, Lohrke was bumped from a transport flight at the last minute; the plane crashed, killing everyone on board. The next year, after he resumed his baseball career, Lohrke was traveling with the Class B Spokane Indians on a bus trip across Washington. During a stop for food, he found out he had been promoted to Triple A, so he took his gear and hitchhiked to Spokane. Hours later the Indians' bus crashed into a canyon, killing nine of his former teammates. He was called Lucky from that point on, though he never thought much of the nickname. "I'll tell you this: Nobody outside of baseball calls me Lucky Lohrke these days," he told SI in 1994. "The name is Jack. Jack Lohrke."
This is an article from the May 11, 2009 issue
By a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, BCS coordinator John Swofford. The purpose of last Friday's hearing was to investigate how college football crowns its champion. Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican who has introduced legislation that would prevent the NCAA from calling any game a national championship unless it is the result of a playoff, told Swofford that the current system is beyond repair. "It's like communism," Barton said. "You can't fix it." Swofford conceded after the hearing that he might have to consider change. "Anytime Congress speaks, you take it seriously," he said.
That he will take part in a mixed martial arts card, Jose Canseco (below). The baseball slugger-turned-author boxed Danny Bonaduce to a draw in January, but his next opponent is significantly more imposing than the former Partridge Family bassist. Canseco will fight South Korea's Hong Man Choi, who has a 1--2 record but stands 7'2" and weighs 327 pounds. "I have no idea if I can do it," said Canseco, who admits he needs the money. "It's a tough sport." The bout is May 26 in Yokohama, Japan.
At age 86, Salamo Arouch, the Jewish boxer whose story was told in the 1989 film Triumph of the Spirit. A top amateur boxer in Greece, Arouch was rounded up with the rest of his family by the Nazis in 1943 and sent to Auschwitz, where his parents, three sisters and brother all died. Arouch survived by fighting other prisoners for the amusement of the guards, who wagered on the bouts. "The loser would be badly weakened, and the Nazis shot the weak," Arouch said in 1990. Because of his ability in the ring—in 200 fights, his worst results were two draws—the guards spared him slave labor, assigning him work as a clerk. After the camp was liberated, Arouch married and moved to Palestine, where he ran a moving company. He was a consultant on the movie, which starred Willem Dafoe.
Of complications from a heart transplant at age 53, former NBA forward Glen Gondrezick. A starter on UNLV's 1977 Final Four team, Gondrezick was drafted by the Knicks later that year. After a six-year career, Gondo, as he was known, was a radio broadcaster for the Runnin' Rebels. "He was the most competitive guy, and the toughest," former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian told the Las Vegas Sun. "He'd take a charge on anything that moved."
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
A player on the English soccer club Chorlton Villa received a yellow card for breaking wind as an opponent took a penalty kick.
THEY SAID IT
On why he'd like to see the Lions make No. 1 pick Matthew Stafford their opening-day quarterback: "I'm waiting for somebody to break that NFL rookie record for interceptions I set back in '98."