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Duke Sims – 1973 Topps #304

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ImageDuane B. (Duke) Sims (born June 5, 1941 in Salt Lake City, Utah) was a Major League Baseball catcher who played from 1964 to 1974 with the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers. Billy Martin took him to the Detroit Tigers in August 1972. His first game as Tiger resulted in a 3 for 5 day with game tying double and game winning off Gaylord Perry, Cy Young winner that year. Subsequently hit .316, 10 game winning or tying hits while catching for Tigers in the Eastern Division Championship season. ImagePlayed in all 5 games in the championship series both in left field and catching. Was the catcher in game 2 when Bert Campneris threw the bat at Lerrin LaGrow after being hit on the ankle. Duke left the Tigers in September 1973 and caught the final game in Yankee Stadium before it was remodeled and started the season with the Yankees in 1974 at Shea Stadium before being traded to the Texas Rangers for a player to be name later. Sims is also credited as the last person to hit a home run in the “old” Yankee Stadium. He did it as a member of the Yankees in a 8–5 loss to the Detroit Tigers on September 30, 1973.

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