La Russa, Cards get scare on flight
St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, three of his staff and four players endured a worrying moment as their private plane lost cabin pressure en route to San Francisco, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday.
After climbing to almost 10,000 feet, the flight was forced to swiftly return to Spirit of St. Louis Airport on Thursday, when the passengers noticed temperatures inside the plane were rising.
La Russa's party included starting pitcher Kyle Lohse, relievers Mitchell Boggs, Ryan Franklin and Trever Miller, coaches Joe Pettini and Jose Oquendo and the team's assistant athletic trainer, Barry Weinberg.
Lohse said the group was grateful that the problem occurred before the plane reached altitude.
"If it had happened up it would have been different, but this happened down and they kept it below 10,000 feet," he said. La Russa said it was understood that a valve used to pressurize the cabin failed to function.
The group was traveling separate from the rest of the team for a benefit golf tournament for the manager's Animal Rescue Foundation ahead of the weekend series against the Giants.
But the delays forced them to miss the event and the men traveled to San Francisco on a later team charter.