5 Phil Collier, “Tag For Summers: Man of Many Talents,” The Sporting News, March 12, 1984, 42. He particularly excelled as a pinch-hitter, with 10 hits in 31 at-bats, including two home runs and 11 RBIs. Many historical player head shots courtesy of David Davis. His father, a boxing champion in the Navy, bestowed the nickname because he thought his son had a boxer’s face, worn and beaten. He was also a swimmer and a diver. At one point, Summers charged toward the Braves dugout looking to take on pitcher Pascual Pérez, who had hit the Padres' Alan Wiggins in the first inning, although Perez had been brushed back by San Diego pitchers Ed Whitson and Craig Lefferts while at bat. Read up on Champ Summers's biography, career, awards and more on ESPN. After the Army, Summers attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1970. John Junior "Champ" Summers (June 15, 1946 – October 11, 2012) was a Major League Baseball player who played primarily as an outfielder and designated hitter for six teams during his eleven-year career that spanned from 1974 to 1984. Summers hit a pinch-hit homer his first time at bat in a game. Do you have a sports website? After the first two games in San Diego, the Series moved to Tiger Stadium. So I dropped out of school, and the Army grabbed me. The latters grandfather ran a furniture store along with an ice-cream parlor in the downtown area. Our reasoning for presenting offensive logos. In a game between the Padres and the Atlanta Braves, several bench-clearing brawls broke out. He played every day, and made the All-Star team. Perhaps the team felt that he was unable to hit left-handers, was too much of a defensive liability, or that he was simply too old. … Why not?” At the time, he assumed that the skills needed for playing slow-pitch would translate over to baseball. “I went to Vietnam for that,” Summers said later. Summers died in Ocala, Florida at age 66 of kidney cancer. He was a natural athlete, lettering in basketball, football, tennis, track, and cross-country. October 11, 2012 He struggled for much of the year, finishing with a .171 average in 59 games, with three homers and six RBIs. Years later, former SIUE baseball coach Gary “Bo” Collins could still remember the day Summers came for his tryout, “riding down to the field on a Harley without a shirt on … his hat on backwards.”8. The Big Red Machine, managed by Sparky Anderson, was coming off their second consecutive World Series championship.

The banner read “Champ Summers Fan Club, Berkeley, Calif.” The fan club, which numbered about 30 people, organized a tour to follow their hero from city to city. Nicholls State University (Thibodaux, LA), Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (Edwardsville, IL). All rights reserved. Champ’s greatest thrill in college was ranking in the top ten in the NCAA in home runs (7) and RBIs in 1971. Summers, who spent part of the 1974 season as a bench player with the Oakland Athletics, was born John Junior Summers, II on June 15, 1946, in Bremerton, Washington, the home of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.3 A copy of Champ’s birth certificate reveals his father’s name as John Junior Summers, originally from Sparta, Illinois. 11,100th in MLB history)    vs. CLE 1 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB, Last Game: In the World Series, San Diego squared off against his former team, the Detroit Tigers, winners of 104 games that year.

While with the Padres, Summers was one of the central figures in a series of bench-clearing brawls in a game at Atlanta on August 12.

If you can help us improve this player’s biography, contact us. He asked if I had a nickname.

Summers had been looking forward to seeing some playing time against his old club, but Dick Williams chose to use Kurt Bevacqua as the DH against right-handed pitchers, even though Bevacqua hit from the right side. But while jumping out of planes, Champ witnessed firsthand the horrors of war, forcing him to grow up quickly. Jazz legend Quincy Joness family moved to the city when he was 10. [1] He was signed by the Oakland Athletics as an amateur free agent in 1971, after being discovered in a men's softball league following his service in Vietnam. That home run, however, on August 23 at Wrigley Field, was his first in the majors, and a pinch-hit grand slam at that.
In 1975 Summers started the season at Tucson once again. Eventually, the Summers family moved to Illinois.

Summers received his nickname "Champ" from his father: "Dad took one look at me when I was born and said, 'He looks like he's just gone 10 rounds with Joe Louis. Find out more. This article was written by Scott Ferkovich, Baseball history is filled with all variety of wonderful-sounding names. Champ had never played college football, however, and never followed up on the offer. Summers bounced between the minors and majors, mostly as a pinch hitter, until Sparky Anderson brought him to Detroit as a designated hitter. Summers was intercepted by injured Atlanta slugger Bob Horner and tackled by Horner and two fans that claimed Champ had made indecent remarks to them in the parking lot. As for Champ, he saw action in only 47 games all year, and struggled to hit .185 with 12 RBIs. Summers knew that, barring injury, there was just no way he was going to break into such a great lineup. (Age 27-323d,

Logos were compiled by the amazing SportsLogos.net. We present them here for purely educational purposes. Coach Lee supposedly asked his newfound slugger where the hell he had been. Summers admitted at season’s end that he hadn’t been a very happy person until day one when he got to Detroit.

Cronkite School at ASU Career: 54 HR, .255 BA, 218 RBI, PH/OF/1B, Tigers/Cubs/... 1974-1984, b:L/t:R, born in WA 1946, died 2012 In addition to the above sources, the author would especially like to thank Joy Summers for her wonderful storytelling during a telephone interview in January 2013. He was a talented enough player to earn a tryout with the Memphis Tams of the American Basketball Association. Become a Stathead & surf this site ad-free. “Now, it follows me wherever I go. Champ, too, was called up to the big club, as a hitting coach. Our reasoning for presenting offensive logos. us, Died: Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard attended Union High School and began his writing career while living in Bremerton. I got into more than a few fights because of my name.” As evidence of his pugilistic past, Champ’s left cheek was adorned with a large scar. “This season here,” Summers said when it was all finished, “I’ll never forget. “I was autographing baseballs one day,” he recalled, “and Reggie wanted to know why I was signing them John Summers. On August 12 he found himself involved in one of the most violent and ignominious days in baseball history. The first six were spent as a paratrooper. Summers was very popular in Detroit, especially with the fans in the right-field bleachers, which came to be known as Champ’s Camp. By early June, Summers was back at Tucson. (According to Champ, the check was actually $93 after taxes. That earned him a promotion to Triple-A Tucson for 1973, where he hit .333 in 94 games, but with only eight homers. That season the Tigers were in the middle of a race, narrowly losing out to Milwaukee for the second-half division title. The recognition Champ received in Detroit did not go unappreciated. Upon graduating from high school, Champ enrolled at Nicholls State College in Louisiana. 10 After nearly collapsing at the plate, he later admitted that, during his mad dash around the bases, he had nearly choked after swallowing his entire wad of tobacco, and was almost unable to make it to home. He played basketball, but after what he called a misunderstanding with the coach, he dropped out after a year and a half. I had worked with him. Bradley was a good salesman, however, and talked Finley into giving Summers a contract. Thus, in his first game as a big leaguer, he replaced a Hall of Famer, and faced a Hall of Famer. Some defensive statistics Copyright © Baseball Info Solutions, 2010-2020.

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