Lonnie Summers

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Lonnie Summers
also known as Lonnie Sommers

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Biographical Information[edit]

The father of Mexican League superstar Jesus Sommers, Lonnie Summers (known as Sommers in Mexico) played the infield, outfield and catcher during a career that spanned three decades. He broke in with the Baltimore Elite Giants in 1938 and hit just .148 as an outfielder. After a year of playing semipro baseball, Lonnie played for four Mexican League teams in 1940, hitting .312/~.349/.484 with 13 triples, the third-best total in the Liga. In 1941 he hit .299/~.328/.547 in limited time with the Tampico Lightermen.

In 1942 Summers joined the US Army and served in the 614th Tank Battalion in the European Theater. Discharged at age 30, Lonnie re-joined Tampico in 1946. He hit .306/~.378/.483 that season then batted .290/~.381/.443 in 1947 for Tampico and the Mexico City Red Devils. Sommers finished his Mexican League career with a 10-for-27 season, slugging .815 and drawing 7 walks with one strikeout in 8 games for Mexico City in 1949, the year Jesus was born. Overall he hit .294/~.357/.444 in Mexico.

Summers played primarily with the Chicago American Giants that season and hit .304, serving as a catcher in the East-West Game and getting one of the two hits for the West. He spent 1950 with Caracas in the Venezuelan League, then in 1951 he was with Ponce in the Puerto Rican Winter League and also was with Chicago.

At age 36-37, Lonnie finally got a chance in the US-based minor leagues. Playing for the San Diego Padres, the veteran hit .241/~.325/.376 as the club's primary backstop and led Pacific Coast League catchers in fielding percentage (.992). Slipping to .165/.~211/.224 in 1953, the veteran played briefly for the Oklahoma City Indians (.160) and the Lincoln Chiefs (.152); he spent most of the season with the Boise Yankees (.255). He spent 1954 with the Yakima Bears and hit .312 with 14 homers and 80 RBI. He finished his baseball career at age 40 with 3 games for the 1956 Yakima Bears, hitting .333.

After retirement from baseball, Summers worked as a janitor for the Los Angeles school system for 30 years.


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