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Eddie Yost, Champ Summers and Johnny Pesky, former Tigers players, pass away

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  • Eddie Yost, Champ Summers and Johnny Pesky, former Tigers players, pass away

    After Eddie Yost left the Washington Senators in 1958, he joined the Tigers for a couple seasons and had two of the best years of his career. Between 1959 and 1960, he hit .269 while averaging 18 home runs, 54 RBI and 130 walks a year.

    Eddie Yost, who played in the big leagues for 18 years and then spent another 22 seasons as a third-base coach for the Senators, Mets and Red Sox, passed away on Tuesday morning. He was 86.

    Yost, who made his big league debut as a 17-year-old with the Senators in 1944, earned the nickname "The Walking Man" for his extraordinary ability to draw free passes. Yost hit just .254 in his career but managed a .394 OBP thanks to a career total of 1,614 walks, which ranks 11th all-time. He led the AL in walks six times.
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    Champ Summers was a journeyman, playing for six teams in his 11-year career. One of those teams was the Tigers. He spent two-plus years with the squad, hitting .293 with 40 home runs and 132 RBI. In 1980, his second-to-last year with Detroit, he hit .297 with 17 home runs and 60 RBI.

    John “Champ” Summers, a retired 10-year Major League Baseball player, arrived in Ocala 13 years ago for a very specific reason.

    “My husband wanted to live on a golf course, to get up in the morning and go play golf,” said Joy Summers, his wife of 27 years.

    Champ Summers, 66, died Thursday after a long battle with kidney cancer. He had lived at Spruce Creek Preserve since 1999, when he and his wife moved from La Jolla, Calif.
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    Johnny Pesky is mostly known for his time with the Red Sox, but he spent 192 games in Detroit, as well. He walked 71 times and had only 22 strikeouts in his time with the Tigers.

    Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky, a former player and longtime ambassador of the team, died today. He was 92.

    Pesky may well have wound up in the Hall of Fame, with iconic teammate Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr, but, after playing the 1942 season, he missed three full seasons in his prime while fighting for his country in World War II. He later played for the Sox from 1946-52.

    He nonetheless had a career .307 lifetime batting average and later served the Red Sox [team stats] in a multitude of capacities — as manager, coach, broadcaster, front office executive, ad salesman, and, perhaps most importantly, goodwill ambassador.
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  • #2
    I remember Champ Summers well. A Tiger during my first visit to Tiger Stadium. Also a Red, and a Cub. Great baseball name.


    • #3
      I think it may have been 1980, but Champ Summers was leading the AL in hitting about a month in one year, and another Tiger, it may have been Richie Hebner, was second. The guy just had a great baseball name. Sparky was real high on him when he came to the Tigers.

      Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
      Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
      Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
      Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
      Robin Bill Ernie JEDI


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