Thursday, June 15, 2006

June 15th, 1946

Champ Summers Born

Champ Summers has another great broadcasting name; I'm going to assume he hosts the sports segment on Fargo's Channel 16 Eyewitness News, ably anchored by Stoney McGlynn. In his spare time, of course, Summers was also a Major League player, born as John Junior Summers. Summers was a pretty good hitter, finishing with a career 112 OPS+, and demonstrating excellent command of the strike zone, with a career OBP almost a hundred points higher than his batting average.

For such a decent hitter, Summers bounced around a fair amount, playing for (in order) the A's, Cubs, Reds, Tigers, Giants and Padres over the course of an eleven year career. He also had something of a late start, coming up to the Majors at age twenty-eight; he was only signed by the A's at age twenty-five, so Summers obviously took some time to get noticed. He was only a starter for one year in his career--1980 with the Tigers, as the DH--but spent much of his career as a pinch-hitter, appearing in more games as such than any other "position."

Summers was out of the Majors after his appearance in the World Series with the Padres in '84, but continued to have a love of the game, appearing in the short-lived Seniors Professional Baseball Association for the Fort Myers franchise in 1989. I haven't found anything on Summers' status since then, but I'm going to take a chance and say that now, at age sixty, he's at least retired from the playing part of the game.

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