CLASS OF 1993
Ellis Clary was born in Valdosta and became a star athlete at Valdosta High. He also played American Legion baseball. Clary was a halfback and kicker on the football team and probably could have gone on to play college football at Alabama or Florida if he hadn’t decided to pursue a baseball career. After high school, Clary began his professional career with Americus in the Class-D Georgia-Florida League in 1935. After bouncing around the minor leagues for 7 years, he made his big league debut with the Washington Senators in early June, 1942. The second baseball finished the year batting .275 with 45 walks in 291 plate appearances. In 1943, the Senators moved Clary to third base, where he was in the lineup most days until a late-season trade sent him to the St. Louis Browns. He played in the 1944 World Series against the cross-town rival Cardinals. After his playing days, Clary was a either a coach or scout and completed his 59 year baseball career as a scout for Toronto in 1993.
Paul Duke was raised in Atlanta and attended Druid Hills and Atlanta Boys High schools. He entered Georgia Tech and walked on the football team in 1943. His talent surprised the legendary coach Bobby Dodd and Duke became a three-year starter and letterman as a center. Duke was All-SEC first team in 1946 and also claimed All-American honors. He was the Atlanta Touchdown Club’s two-time Lineman of the Year. After graduation, Duke played professionally for a year with the now-defunct New York Yankees football club, an All-American Football Conference team. In the late 1960s, he became a real estate developer and founded Peachtree Corners Inc. As the "Father of Peachtree Corners," as he came to be known, Duke envisioned a way of life decades ahead of its time where families could live, work, and play without spending time commuting for place to place. He received Georgia Tech’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1982 and the President’s Award in 1987.
James R. (Jimmy) Gabrielsen was born in St. Peter, Minnesota but came south to play college golf at the University of Georgia. While in Athens, Gabrielsen was selected as an All-American in 1963 and his teams took three consecutive SEC Championships. He was a quarterfinalist in the 1962 U.S. Amateur. He claimed three Georgia Amateur titles (’70, ’74, ’76), the Atlanta Amateur Championship, and he was runner-up in the 1974 British Amateur. Gabrielsen also competed in three Masters Tournaments in 1963, 1971, and 1972. He was a member of the 1971 Walker Cup team, a non-playing captain of the 1981 and ‘91 Walker Cup teams, and the general chairman of the 1989 Walker Cup Match in Atlanta. He was a member of the USGA Executive Committee and is a former GSGA Director. Jimmy also served as president of Atlanta’s Peachtree Golf Club from 1987-89. He was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.
Tommy Lee Hart was a standout football player at Ballard Hudson High School in Macon before attending Morris Brown College in Atlanta. He earned four letters in football as an offensive guard, offensive tackle and defensive tackle. He also earned three letters in track as a sprinter and shot putter. He was a three-time All-Conference selection and was named second-team NAIA All-American as a senior. Tommy was drafted in the 10th round of the 1968 NFL Draft by San Francisco. He would play 12 seasons in the NFL with the 49ers, Bears and Saints. He averaged 15 sacks and 76 solo tackles during 8 seasons with San Francisco. He made the Pro-Bowl in 1976 when he recorded 16 sacks including 6 in one game against the Rams. In 1972 and 1976, Tommy earned the Len Eshmont Award which is the 49ers most prestigious annual honor. In 1981, he was hired as an assistant defensive line coach for the 49ers under head coach Bill Walsh. He was a part of three Super Bowl championship teams.
FRANCES KING GARLINGTON
At the urging of her husband, Frances King Garlington of Atlanta began trapshooting and shot her first registered targets in 1941. Clyde King Jr. wanted Frances and their daughter to learn to shoot so they could hunt with him in the field. Little did he realize that Frances would become a trapshooting specialist and one of the sport’s most accomplished athletes. Her first major victory came at the 1946 Grand when she and Clyde won the Husband-and-Wife championship with 190 out of 200, and she placed third in the Champion of Champions race. In 1952, Frances became the first woman ever to break 200 straight to win a state 16-yard championship. That same year she won the North American Women’s Clay Target Championship with 197x200, the Dayton Homecoming with 196 out of 200, the All Around, and she was runner-up in the Women’s Champion of Champions race. Frances fired her last registered targets in 1963, winning the Peach State women’s championship for the 20th time. She was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and was a member of the Sports Afield All-America team 10 times.
Arthur Thomas (Tommy) Mixon was a Maconite who played high school sports at Lanier earning honors in both baseball and basketball. He stayed home at play at Mercer University and was a captain for both teams while with the Bears. Mixon scored more than 1,800 points at Mercer once tallying 47 in a contest. His 25.3 point average is still one of the best in school history. He was drafted by both the world champion Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team and the world champion Fort Wayne Pistons basketball team. His Jersey Number 7 was retired following his playing career with the Bears. Tommy decided to try professional baseball and played for Thomasville in the Georgia-Florida League and then for Macon in the South Atlantic League. After his playing days, Tommy was the head basketball coach at Lanier and Central High School where he also coached football, baseball, golf and tennis. He worked as a baseball scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers for almost 30 years. He is a member of the Mercer Hall of Fame.
Willard Lee Nixon a native of Taylorsville graduated from McHenry High School with a chance to sign a professional baseball contract in 1947. Instead he decided to attend college and signed with Auburn. In Auburn’s 1948 conference opener, Nixon struck out 20 Ole Miss batters to set a new SEC record. In his next outing, he tossed a no-hitter against the University of Tennessee, striking out 18 batters. Scouts from 14 major-league teams watched Nixon beat Vanderbilt in the season’s final game, giving him a 10-1 record. He also led Auburn hitters with a .448 batting average. Two days after the season ended, he signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox. In nine big league seasons, he posted a 69–72 record with a 4.39 ERA with 616 strikeouts. He threw 51 complete games with nine shutouts and three saves. Willard was an above average hitting pitcher, posting a .242 batting average with 2 home runs and 41 RBI.
Harry Leon "Suitcase" Simpson was an Atlanta native who was raised near Dalton. In 1941 Harry enlisted in the Army and he was assigned to Fort Benning for basic training. Goose Curry, manager of the Philadelphia Stars of the Negro National League, signed Simpson for his team in 1946. Originally a right-handed pitcher, Simpson moved to the outfield and hit a respectable .333 in 52 games. In 1951, the Cleveland Indians, owned by Bill Veeck, had signed Larry Doby to be the first black player in the American League and were one of the first major league teams to scout and sign black players. After Harry went 4-for-4, including two home runs in a split-squad exhibition, the Indians signed him immediately. He would play portions of 4 seasons in Cleveland then was sold to Kansas City, where in 1956 he hit .293 with 21 homers and 105 RBIs and made the American League All-Star team. Simpson spent time with the Yankees, White Sox, and Pirates completing an eight year big league career batting .266 in 888 games with 73 home runs and 381 RBIs.
Robert Earl (Bobby) Walden was born in South Georgia and learned to punt a football by kicking it into his grandfather’s pecan trees to knock them free. A standout at Cairo High School, Walden suffered a broken leg his senior season. Nonetheless, Georgia Coach Wally Butts offered the punting standout a scholarship on the Bulldogs football team in 1958. As a sophomore, Walden led the nation in average yards per punt. Bobby would letter each season and punted for a career average of 42.8 yards. After college, Walden signed with Edmonton of the CFL where he led the league in punting, rushing and pass receiving. After 3 seasons, Walden was tired of the CFL and got a tryout with Minnesota, thanks to former Georgia teammate Fran Tarkenton. He got the punting job and spent three seasons with the Vikings before going to Pittsburgh. Bobby was a part of the Steelers' Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl X winning teams. He led the NFL in punting in 1964 with a 46.4 yard average and was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 1969 season. Affectionately known as “the Big Toe from Cairo" Walden spent 17 years in professional football.
Ivey Brown Wingo grew up in Norcross and began playing baseball for various teams around his hometown. Ivey entered professional baseball in 1909 with the Greenville club of the Carolina Association, a Class D level ball club. The St. Louis Cardinals purchased Wingo’s contract late in the 1910 season. In 1912 he became a regular catcher for the Cardinals, hitting .265 in 100 games. In 1914, Wingo hit .300 for the only time in his career. Two years later he was traded to Cincinnati. In 1916, while still a player, Wingo served as the interim manager of the Reds for two games, earning one win and one loss. In 1919 Wingo helped lead the Reds to their first World Championship even though it was clouded as the infamous 'Black Sox Scandal' series in which the Reds defeated the Chicago White Sox. Ivey would stay in Cincinnati through the 1929 season for a total of 17 Major League seasons. He collected 1,039 career hits with 25 home runs and 455 RBIs.