Dukes: Baseball great Horace Garner found a home in Cedar Rapids

From Mark Dukes at the Cedar Rapids Gazette on August 22, 2017:

Horace Garner may never have set foot in Cedar Rapids for good had his baseball career panned out as projected.

Garner eventually spent parts of four decades here but only because fate intervened in his pursuit of the major leagues.

In the 1950s, Garner was widely regarded as the second-best prospect in the Braves organization behind former all-time home run king Hank Aaron. At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Garner could hit for average and for power, had a strong throwing arm and above-average speed.

“No question he would have made it to the major leagues,” Aaron said in a 1995 Gazette interview with this reporter. “Horace was very skillful. I think if he played in any other organization that didn’t have as many prospects, he would have made it.

“He had one of the strongest throwing arms I’ve ever seen, even today. He was just a terrific athlete.”

While playing for the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro Leagues, Garner was spotted by former Cincinnati Reds president Bob Howsam. The Braves signed him late in 1950.

Read the full article here: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/sports/professional/cedar-rapids-kernels/baseball-great-horace-garner-found-a-home-in-cedar-rapids-20170822

Originally published: August 24, 2017. Last Updated: August 24, 2017.