Funeral services are this weekend for Thomas "High Pocket" Turner of Georgetown, Ohio, a star of Negro League baseball in the 1940's. Turner died Monday at the age of 97.
He played baseball for the Cincinnati Stars in 1936. He played for his Army team and after that played professionally in Mexico. In 1947, he played for the Chicago American Giants of the Negro League.
During a 2009 interview with WVXU for Baseball: A Little Known Chapter, Turner talked about how he enjoyed his baseball career:
"I enjoyed playing because I could execute. I could play first base and I could hit the baseball. I'm not bragging; anytime I walked up to the plate, I was going to hit the ball somewhere. I wasn't worried about striking out."
As for his nickname, Turner said that came up during his days in the Army when he played in the 1942 military World Series. It was a well attended series, including, said Turner, a lot of female baseball fans:
"Every time I'd go down to first base, the women would stand up and wave and said, 'Hey, High Pocket.' The women gave me that name."
Visitation is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Georgetown Church of Christ. The funeral service is Sunday at 2 p.m. at the church.