May 4, 1949

On May 4, 1949, almost the entire Torino soccer team (a professional Italian team) was killed when their airplane crashed while trying to land at the Turin-Aeritalia Airport. Only two players of the Torino team escaped and it was only because they weren’t on the plane. The team was flying back from a friendly game with Portuguese team S.L. Benfica, and full-back Sauro Toma didn’t make the trip because of a knee injury. The second person, reserve goalkeeper Renato Gandolfi, didn’t make the trip because Aldo Ballarin, a starting defender on the team and the older brother of the 3rd string goalkeeper, Dino Ballarin, convinced the coach, Leslie Lievesley, to leave Gandolfi behind. Gandolfi was told at the last second he wouldn’t be travelling to Portugal with the team and was ticked off. But imagine you’re Gandolfi and you’re at home just stewing and fuming, because Aldo Ballarin pulled some nepotistic bullshit to get his little brother to replace you. Then you hear the news that the plane the team was flying back home on crashed and killed all 31 people on board. Gandolfi had to be thinking that Karma was a real bitch. The Ballarins die and he went on to have a successful professional career.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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