May 16, 1926
Lenoir, North Carolina
December 12, 1992 (aged 66)
Morganton, North Carolina
|Batted: Left||Threw: Right|
|April 20, 1948 for the Chicago Cubs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 15, 1958 for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
A native of Lenoir, North Carolina, Walker was signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent in 1944, Walker would make his Major League Baseball debut with the Cubs on April 20, 1948, and appeared in his final game on June 15, 1958. As a Brookyn Dodger, he was behind the plate when Bobby Thomson hit the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" in 1951.
After retiring as a player, he was a minor league manager in the Dodgers' and New York Yankees' farm systems from 1959 through 1964. After 1965 he was a pitching coach for the Washington Senators, New York Mets, and the Atlanta Braves, working closely with managers Gil Hodges, Yogi Berra and Joe Torre, among others. Walker was the Mets pitching coach for 14 seasons from 1968 through 1981 including the 1969 World Champion "Amazin'" Mets. As Mets pitching coach, he worked with Hall of Famers Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan.
The book Carl Erskine's Tales from the Dodgers Dugout: Extra Innings (2004) includes short stories from former Dodger pitcher Carl Erskine. Walker is prominent in many of these stories.
Walker scouted for the Braves and St. Louis Cardinals after his coaching career ended. He died, from lung cancer, at age 66 in Morganton, North Carolina and is interred at Blue Ridge Memorial Park in Lenoir, North Carolina. His younger brother, Verlon "Rube" Walker, was nicknamed after him; Verlon was a longtime minor league catcher and manager, and served for 10 years (from 1961 until his death in March 1971) as a coach for the Cubs.
|New York Mets Pitching
1968 - 1981