The Obit For Corky Valentine

Corky Valentine

News Obituary Article

OBITUARIES / CANTON: Corky Valentine, 76, Crackers Pitcher


Corky Valentine pitched Hank Aaron his home run No. 10.

Mr. Valentine was playing for the Cincinnati Reds when he locked in his place in baseball posterity. He played for the Reds 1954-55 and joined the Atlanta Crackers in 1956. He helped the Crackers to two straight Southern Association championships.

Off the field, he was an Atlanta policeman.

"We didn't make all that much money in those days and I needed a winter-time job," he said in a 1987 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article.

The funeral for Harold Lewis "Corky" Valentine, 76, of Canton, who died of congestive heart failure Friday at North Fulton Hospital, is 3 p.m. today at Roswell Funeral Home.

Mr. Valentine claimed that the Russians were not the first in space; his gopher balls were.

"They say their Sputnik was the first thing put in orbit, but that's not true," Mr. Valentine told the AJC. "I had balls flying around up there long before they ever even thought about outer space. Heck, they used to say my best pitch was the rattle pitch. Every time I'd throw it, they'd rattle the boards with it."

He spent only two of his nine baseball seasons in the big leagues. Arm trouble sent him to the minor leagues.

"I have no regrets, though. The game was good to me, and I enjoyed my time in it," he said.

Mr. Valentine walked a beat policing downtown Atlanta until Fulton County formed a police department, which he joined in 1975.

Red Smith of Canton walked that beat with him while Mr. Valentine regaled him with stories about his baseball days, he said.

Mr. Valentine became a decorated officer. In April 1987, he was presented the March Public Safety Award from the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, North Area Council.

He was commended for his capture of three suspects in an armed robbery of the Crabapple Grocery Store. He retired in 1992.

Mr. Valentine, who had been a private pilot, enjoyed traveling in his recreational vehicle when he wasn't watching sports on television, said his daughter, Valerie Sullivan of Alpharetta.

In the days before remote controls, he would have two television sets on at once to watch games and a portable radio in his ear listening to a third, she said.

"People thought he had a hearing aid because they always saw him with that radio, even on the job," she said.

Other survivors include three sons, Dennis Valentine of Ball Ground and Timothy Valentine and Harold Lewis Valentine Jr., both of Canton; and four grandchildren.

© 2005 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 1/24/2005.

Harold Valentine

Family-Placed Death Notice

Mr. Harold Lewis "Corky" Valentine, age 76, of Canton, died Friday, January 21, 2005. Corky was an Atlanta Police Officer then a Fulton County Police Officer. For many years he was the only Fulton County Police Officer in North Fulton. Corky later retired as a Sergeant with the Fulton County Police Department. He was also a professional baseball player with the Atlanta Crackers, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Milwaukee Braves. He was a pitcher and threw the ball that became Hank Aaron's 10th home run. He is preceded in death by his wife, Sarah Valentine. Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Valerie and Matthew Sullivan of Alpharetta; sons and daughter-in-law, Dennis Valentine of Ball Ground, Timothy and Holli Valentine of Canton and Harold Lewis Valentine, Jr. of Canton; grandchildren, Cody Sullivan, Alexander Sullivan, Grant Sullivan and Eric Sullivan, several nieces and nephews. Funeral Services will be held at 3PM on Monday, January 24, 2005 in the Chapel of Roswell Funeral Home. Rev. Msgr. Edward Dillion officiating. Interment at Green Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 672648, Marietta, Georgia, 30006. The family will recieve friends on Sunday, 12PM-3PM and Monday, 1PM-3PM at Roswell Funeral Home, 950 Mansell Road, (770) 993-4811,
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 1/23/2005.