Price: Caught stealing: Bob Cress, baseball player and jail-breaker

From SABR member Jim Price at the Spokane Spokesman-Review on June 11, 2017:

Whether Bob Cress was behind home plate, on the lam or behind bars, there was always some sort of a catch. As a ballplayer, he couldn’t hit. As a fugitive, he didn’t plan ahead. As a prisoner, he wasn’t inclined to hang around.

Clearly, Cress yearned to be a baseball player, and, for a decade or more he was, a catcher who played a bit with the Spokane Indians, parts of seasons with other professional teams and pursued opportunities, short and long, in the Pacific Northwest’s best semipro leagues.

He also spent a third of his adult life in jails and prisons, became a folk hero who pulled off incredible escapes and left some of his descendants torn between dismay and admiration.

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Originally published: June 12, 2017. Last Updated: June 12, 2017.