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Bill Crago


Date and Place of Birth: 1928 East Gary, IN
Date and Place of Death:    July 26, 1951 North Korea
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Outfield
Rank: Private First Class
Military Unit: Company A, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division US Army
Area Served: Korea

William E. “Bill” Crago was born in East Gary (now Lake Station), Indiana in 1928. He was signed by the Marion Cubs of the Class D Ohio State League in late 1947, making a couple of brief appearances before the season was over. Crago was back with Marion during spring training in 1948 but was cut the day before opening day as the squad was reduced to the required 20. He joined the Fitzgerald Pioneers of the Class D Georgia State League for the regular season and batted .223 in 105 games.

Back with the Pioneers in 1949, the left-handed hitting centerfielder batted .277 in 137 games. In 1950, Crago’s third season with the Pioneers, he really began to develop as a hitter. In 140 games he batted .324 with 41 doubles (second best in the league) and hit 10 home runs. In the all-star game in July he had two hits against league-leaders Douglas, including a 2-run double to help the all-stars to a 5-3 win.

In December 1950, 22-year-old Bill Crago was sold, together with pitcher Noel Oquendo, to the Abilene Blue Sox of Class C West Texas-New Mexico League. His career was starting to head in an upwards direction but Crago never had the opportunity to report to the Blue Sox as military service intervened.

Private First Class Crago served with Company A, 38th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea. He was killed in action on July 26, 1951. Crago was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against the enemy.”

Marion Star Sept 17, 1947
Marion Star Feb 21, 1948
Marion Star April 24, 1948
Thomasville Times Enterprise July 11, 1949
Abilene Reporter News Dec 6, 1950

Date Added: July 21, 2012


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