The first six were spent as a paratrooper. Even when I do badly, they’re on my side. Summers spent the rest of 1975 in the Windy City, mostly as a reserve outfielder and pinch-hitter. Fortunately, sandbags in the vehicle absorbed much of the shock. Over his eleven-year career, Summers hit for a .255 batting average with 54 home runs and 218 RBIs. At first Summers himself wasn’t sure he wanted to sign with Oakland, but his wife, Barbara, urged him to at least give it a try. September 30, 1984 (Interestingly, Champ’s first big-league homer, as well as his last, was a pinch-hit grand slam.). He banged out 20 home runs with 51 RBIs. On April 29, after 17 games, he was informed that he could pack his bags for Chicago. '", Summers played two years of basketball and one of baseball at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville before leaving for his professional baseball career. In 65 games he hit .252, with three home runs and 34 RBIs. He played every day, and made the All-Star team. Now 38 and out of baseball, he tried his hand as a salesman for a Mercedes dealership in Southern California, but didn’t particularly like it. In 20 games at Oakland, he had only three hits in 24 at-bats, for a .125 average, with no homers and three RBIs. Back in a Cubs uniform for 1976, he hit only .206, with three home runs in 83 games. Register Batting; Year Age AgeDif Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG 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. Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, FL, High School: Madison HS (Madison, IL), Schools: Nicholls State University (Thibodaux, LA), Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (Edwardsville, IL), Debut: I became more aggressive, more assertive. In 1979, he hit a career high 21 home runs, batted .291 with a .401 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage for a .956 OPS. ), That first season in Oakland, Summers lived with Reggie Jackson. "Sports sobriquets are laced with puns – and daggers" (Chuck Wielgus, http://www.siuecougars.com/sports/athletics/mtt/summers_john00.html, "Champ Summers, 10-year major leaguer who retired to Ocala, dies at 66", http://www.ocala.com/article/20121011/ARTICLES/121019947/1005/sports01?Title=Champ-Summers-10-year-major-leaguer-who-retired-to-Ocala-dies-at-66, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Champ_Summers?oldid=5013301. 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. vs. CLE 1 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB, Last Game: Against the Indians in Oakland, he was inserted as a defensive replacement in the top of the ninth, for none other than Reggie Jackson. 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. R.I.P. On June 18 1990, Dent was fired, along with several of his staff, Champ included. “It was pretty obvious there was no place for me in Detroit.” Giants manager Frank Robinson welcomed the trade: “It’s good to have a guy like that on the bench because you know he has the capability of hitting it out of the park with one swing.” In 70 games for San Francisco, Summers hit .248 with four homers and 19 RBIs. In a game between the Padres and the Atlanta Braves, several bench-clearing brawls broke out. After being diagnosed with degenerative arthritis in his left shoulder, he went under the knife, effectively ending his year on June 26.
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