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John Summers
[1961]

School: Franklin

Sports Played: Basketball, Baseball

High School Honors: 2-year Basketball letterman. 3-year Baseball letterman. Twice a PIL All-Star outfielder as a Sophomore and Senior; set a PIL record .516 batting average as a Senior. 1st Team All-State as a Senior.

Post High School Career: Signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates after graduation, but an arm injury in the first month of his Rookie League season ended his professional aspirations. Had 20-year career with Hyster Co. in Portland. Retired from the DoubleTree Hotel chain.

Commentary:

When I tried out for Little League Baseball I was told I wasn't "good enough" to play. After playing Babe Ruth baseball for a year, I was told I wasn't good enough to continue.

The next year on another Babe Ruth team I substituted in and got two hits to help win the game. The coach came up to me afterwards and said "as long as you keep hitting like that, you'll play!" Later I was told I was a "natural hitter."

When I tried out for baseball as a sophomore at Franklin, I beat out a 4-year letterman for an outfield spot — ended up hitting .370; slipped to a little over .300 as a junior, but hit .516 as a senior.

I had faith in myself—that I could do it. I didn't listen to or believe the negative. I'll always remember my mom coming out to play catch with me when Dad was working late. Her encouragement helped a lot.

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