My (distant) cousin, Eugene L. Handley died this past April 12th, at the age of 94. There was a very very brief obit posted in the Tucson newspaper, that did not elaborate on nearly any details of the man, which was disappointing, so I thought I post a little something here, if that is alright. A sincere thank you, in advance.
I wish I could say that I knew him, but with family dyanamics being what they are, busy schedules, and his age already rather advanced when I learned how to contact him, my immediate family and I did not have any direct meaningful contact with him. I have met and been in contact recently with others closer to him, and that has been fun and rewarding, and I hope it continues. In fact, my website has served to make this possible in some cases as family members have reached out.
At any rate, from what I know of him, Gene lived a very long life, and he got as much out of it as anyone could probably hope. I had heard from one of our other cousins that he was the most popular guy in his retirement home for a period of years, even remarrying at the age of 91!
More on-topic to this Board, Gene lived a very long life in baseball as well. He was one of the top 20 oldest living former MLB players. He was a fixture infielder in the PCL, making it to the majors in 1946 and 47, with the A's. He was a scout for my beloved Chicago Cubs for 56 years, and was routinely considered one of the best, even winning the Scout of the Year Award for the West division in 1990. One of his discoveries that I recall was Steve Trachsel.
I have done quite a bit of research on he and his brother Lee Handley, who also played MLB. I also collect any of their memorabilia that I can find, and it is one of my great interests to study the game from the focused perspective of one or two players. The history of the game is revealed in new and intriguing fashion, as compared to studying a team, or league history.
I have begun to share what I have compiled on a series of pages within my website, if you are interested. I am only scratching the surface there, as I have not had the time to write and share everything I have learned, or even all the pics I have accumulated. Here's the site, if you have an interest. If you have any stories, info, pics, cards or other items of Gene Handley or Lee Handley that you would like to share, I am always interested in seeing scans or communicating!
Rest in Peace, Gene. We'll see you someday, and I look forward to the stories.