6 entries
  • "Champ and I was very good friends in the early 70's. We..."
    - Lindell Mendenhall
  • "Champ and I were very good friends. I was sadened to hear..."
    - Richard McIntosh
  • "Champ is somehow my cousin. I'm thinking maybe a distant..."
    - Leasa Shemonia Crumley
  • "I played softball with Champ for several in Granite City,..."
    - Dan Graville
  • "I knew Champ From Vietnam where we were in the same company..."
    - Rick Wilkin
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Ocala - John "Champ" Summers, 66, lost his battle with kidney cancer.
He was born John Junior Summers in Bremerton, WA; his father was a prize fighter in the Navy and dubbed him "Champ" because he looked like he had gone ten rounds with Joe Lewis.
Champ attended Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA before being sent to Vietnam where he spent two years. Upon returning, he entered and graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a BS in Education. He is in the Hall of Fame there for baseball and basketball. After college he played baseball for the next twenty years of which ten years were in the Major Leagues with six teams. He signed with Oakland, Chicago Cubs, and the Cincinnati Reds where he was sent down to Triple A in Indianapolis and became MVP for one year and given a personalized box in the new ballpark. Then on to the Detroit Tigers which was his favorite time in baseball and with great fans (he was here the longest). He was then traded to the san Francisco Giants and finally to the San Diego Padres and participated in the World Series against Detroit and received a division ring. He often said he was going to take that with him.
Champ was the most colorful personality and to know him was to love him. He is survived by his wife Joy; his mother, Bette Summers; two stepdaughters, Pamela George and Leisa Mitchell; and grandchildren, Annabelle George and Emmeline George.
Roberts Funeral Homes Bruce Chapel West (352) 854-2266 made the arrangements. To leave condolences:
Published in Ocala Star-Banner from Oct. 14 to Oct. 15, 2012
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