To be honest with you, I was not familiar with Duke Sims prior to Friday morning. I discovered this gem while eating breakfast and searching for candidates for card #3 in this countdown.
The name on the card may have caught my attention, but it was the 'Home' line and cartoon on the back of the card that cemented my decision. Being an Idaho native how could I not feature a guy who graduated from high school (Pocatello High School, class of '59) four hours from me and went to college 5 hours away?
"Okay," you're saying, "so the guy is from Idaho [but born in Utah]- tell us something interesting."
Well, Duke has the distinction of hitting the final home run at old (original) Yankee Stadium. The blast, coming in the seventh inning against his former team, the Detroit Tigers, was his first and only dinger for the Yankees, and afforded him the opportunity to be invited to many Old-Timers games.
Thirty-five years after hitting that home run, Duke watched history unfold from his Las Vegas home as Jose Molina hit the final home run at the renovated Yankee Stadium. The event gave Sims a business idea: autograph signing appearances and baseball seminars of two catchers who will forever be linked together in Yankee trivia.