Growing up in Omaha, George Kleine was a gifted baseball pitcher
in Omaha World-Herald on December 17, 2011
Kleine, who topped out at 6-2, "was very athletic," his son said. "He was strong into sports. He played baseball all the time. People had high hopes for him. He was very good."
George F. Kleine, 90, died Tuesday at Lakeside Hospital, said his son, George Kleine of Council Bluffs. He died after a stroke.
The elder Kleine graduated from the now-closed St. Joseph High School in Omaha.
"He got a contract to play ball in a farm league or AA league for the St. Louis Cardinals" and played three years as a pitcher, the son said.
World War II interrupted his baseball career. Kleine enlisted in the Navy and was a navigator on planes that protected submarines.
"He was going to play ball again, but his arm wasn't working as well as he wanted," the son said, and the idea of a sports career died.
The elder Kleine was a business manager for O'Neill Packing Co. from 1959 until he retired in 1987.
The former semi-pro baseball player continued to pitch for city leagues and play golf. He also volunteered at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church.
Gladys Kleine preceded her husband of 36 years in death, as did their daughter Jeannie Kleine.