In Memory of Jay Dahl

Astro Jay Dahl killed
The Sporting News
July 3, 1965

(c) Houston Astros
Jay Steven Dahl, the top winner on the Salisbury Astros' staff, was fatally injured and a pitching teammate, Gary Allen Marshall, was blinded in an automobile wreck at Salisbury, N.C. June 20. The accident also claimed the life of a Salisbury secretary, Miss Patricia Ann Troutman, 20.

Authorities said the auto was apparently traveling at a high rate of speed when it hit a patch of sand on a Salisbury street and skidded out of control for about 185 feet before slamming broadside into a tree. Miss Troutman was killed instantly.

Dahl, 19-year-old lefthander from Bloomington. Calif., died of extensive internal injuries about three hours later in Salisbury's Rowan Memorial Hospital.

Marshall, 19-year-old righthander from Hutchinson, Kan., was taken to Winston-Salem Memorial Hospital, where his injuries forced the removal of his left eye. Doctors at the hospital reported that the vision in the other eye probably was damaged beyond repair.

The attending physician at the hospital said, "Marshall has a ninety per cent chance of survival. He has a ninety-nine and one-half per cent chance that he'll never see again."

Marshall also suffered a broken right arm and broken right leg. His father flew from Hutchinson to be at his son's bedside.

Dahl pitched Salisbury into first place in the Western Carolinas League the afternoon before the accident by beating Gastonia, 7-3. In celebration of the victory, the Astros' players were the guests that evening at a steak dinner at the home of G.M. Hamilton, Salisbury's club president. Dahl and Marshall left after dinner and attended a movie with Miss Troutman, a former Salisbury beauty contestant. They were returning her to her home when the crash occurred.

Dahl was signed by the Houston organization in June, 1963, and made a sparkling debut at Moultrie (Georgia-Florida), winning five games and losing one with an ERA of 1.42.

The Texans used him as the starting pitcher with an all-rookie lineup against the New York Mets, September 27, 1963. Dahl gave up seven runs in three innings and was charged with Houston's 10-3 defeat.

Marshall also suffered a broken right arm and broken right leg. His father flew from Hutchinson to be at his son's bedside.

Last year, back troubles kept Dahl off the pitching mound completely and he played in only 11 games as an outfielder with Statesville (Western Carolinas). Pitching again this season, he was apparently headed for advancement in the Houston organization with a 5-0 record before the fatal accident.

This was Marshall's first year in professional baseball. His record with Salisbury was 3-4, but Manager Chuck Churn said. "Marshall was a fine prospect. He had a real live arm."