Pirates to Fly High in Air, Anyway

Article taken from The Ames Daily Tribune, March 26, 1954

Fort Pierce, Florida (UP)-- The Pittsburgh Pirates will be "flying high" this year, no matter how low they are in the National League standings.

 General Manager Branch Rickey revealed toady that he has signed a contract with Capital Air Lines arranging for the Pirates to travel by air for the entire season.  Under the terms of the contract, the team will fly between all cities except New York and Philadelphia and Chicago and Milwaukee.

 No major league team ever has made that many trips by air, although the New York Yankees planned to do so in 1947.  The Yankees and the United Air Lines eventually agreed to cancel the arrangements in mid-season, however, when complaints by players and newsmen traveling with the team caused adverse publicity.

 Rickey revealed that the Pirates had voted "unanimously and enthusiastically" for air travel and said that the arrangement "will save time, eliminate travel fatigue and enable the players to receive much more personalized service."

Rickey also estimated that the air travel would save the club approximately $5,000.

The players will be covered by a three million dollar blanket insurance policy and Lloyds of London will write an additional two million dollar protection.  Each player also will be permitted to take out up to $25000 for a small sum at each airport.