|Birth: ||Jun. 15, 1946|
|Death: ||Oct. 11, 2012|
Major League Baseball Player, Coach. For eleven seasons (1974 to 1984), he played at the outfielder and first-baseman position with the Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres. Born John Junior Summers into an athletically-inclined family, his father was a prize fighter in the Navy, his mother was a professional bowler, he was raised in Illinois where he attended Madison High School. After attending Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, he served with the US Military during the Vietnam War and was a witness to the Tet Offensive. He was the recipient of the Purple Heart during his military service. After signing as an amateur free agent with the Athletics, he marked he Major League debut on May 4th, 1974, just one month prior to turning 28. During that year, he played in 20 games with the Oakland squad whom was en route to capturing their third consecutive World Championship. While with Cincinnati, it was Sparky Anderson who recognized Summers' potential and after taking over the reigns as manager of the Tigers in 1979, Summers was acquired in a trade. In Detroit, he saw increased playing time and repaid his manager by producing a career-high 20 home runs with a .313 batting average respectively in 90 games played. The following season (1980), he totaled 17 home runs with a career-high 103 hits in 120 games. He experienced postseason action in San Diego as a member of the Padres' 1984 National League Pennant-winning squad and recorded the final at bat of his career during the 1984 World Series. In 690 regular season games, he compiled 350 hits with a .255 lifetime batting average. After retiring as a player, he served as a hitting coach with the New York Yankees (1989 to 1990). He died after a battle with kidney cancer. (bio by: C.S.)
Florida National Cemetery
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: C.S.
Record added: Oct 11, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 98698635
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On this date 35 years ago -- May 6, 1979 -- Purple Heart recipient Champ Summers hit a three-run homer, drove in five runs and went 4 for 4 as he led the Cincinnati Reds to a 17-5 rout of the Houston Astros.|
Added: May. 6, 2014
ChampJust wanted to leave a message to say how much I will miss you. Still remember you in your white Corvette, playing ball In Granite and the time we met at Yankee Stadium....You were a truly great friend. God Bless!|
Added: Jan. 25, 2014
You were one of three major-league players to receive the Purple Heart during the Vietnam War. Thank you for your service. Thanks, too, for being a nice person.|
Added: Oct. 12, 2013
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