Dixie Walker

Fred E. "Dixie" Walker (September 24, 1910 – May 17, 1982) was an outfielder, primarily a right fielder, in Major League Baseball, playing for the New York Yankees (1931, 1933–36), Chicago White Sox (1936–37), Detroit Tigers (1938–39), Brooklyn Dodgers (1939–47) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1948–49).[1] In 11 years in the National League, Walker posted a .310 batting average (in nine seasons in the American League, an average of .295),[1] with 105 total home runs and 1,023 RBIs in 1,905 games.[1]

Walker's popularity with the Ebbets Field fans in the 1940s brought him the nickname "The People's Cherce" (so-called, and spelled, because "Choice" in the "Brooklynese" of the mid-20th century frequently was pronounced that way).[2] He was an All-Star in five consecutive years (1943–47) and the 1944 National League batting champion.[2] Walker may be best known for his reluctance to play on the same team as Jackie Robinson in 1947.[2]

From the MLB Network special “Jackie Robinson:” ”A very popular player, a charming fellow, [Dixie Walker] prepared a petition [for Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher] saying, ‘If you promote a black man [Jackie Robinson], we will not play.’ Branch Rickey [president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers] contacted Durocher and said, ‘Stomp this fire out right now because we can’t let it spread.’ Durocher, hearing about it, called a meeting of the players and said, ‘I’ll tell you what you can do with your petition: If a guy can win games for me, I don’t care if he’s white, or black, or striped, or green, he’s going to play for me.’ Dixie Walker left a note for Branch Rickey, asking to be traded. Leeds, Alabama, is where Dixie Walker had his hardware store. He had to go home and answer to his customers, to his friends [who asked], ‘Do you mean you shower with this guy? Do you eat with this guy? We don’t do that.’ Branch Rickey explored trading Walker, but he couldn’t afford to lose his star outfielder, and he continued to rely on Leo Durocher to keep the team in line.”

Dixie Walker
DixieWalkerGoudeycard
Outfielder
Born: September 24, 1910
Villa Rica, Georgia
Died: May 17, 1982 (aged 71)
Birmingham, Alabama
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 28, 1931, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
September 22, 1949, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB statistics
Batting average.306
Home runs105
Runs batted in1,023
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Born on September 24, 1910, in Villa Rica, Georgia,[1] Walker was the scion of a baseball family.[3][4][5] His father, Ewart Walker (the original "Dixie Walker"), was a pitcher for the Washington Senators (1909–12); an uncle, Ernie Walker, was an outfielder for the St. Louis Browns (1913–15);[4] and his younger brother, Harry "the Hat" Walker, also an outfielder, played for four National League teams between 1940 and 1955 and managed the St. Louis Cardinals (1955), Pittsburgh Pirates (1965–67) and Houston Astros (1968–72).[3][5] All four Walkers batted left-handed and threw right-handed.[1][3][4][5]

Playing career

Walker originally entered the major leagues with the New York Yankees, and was considered the heir to Babe Ruth as the team's left fielder after playing with the Yankees in 1931, and again from 1933 to 1936.

After stints with the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers, Walker blossomed into a star with the Brooklyn Dodgers, with whom he played from 1939 to 1947. He was a five time All Star, being selected in every year from 1943 to 1947. In addition, he was the National League's batting champion in 1944, with his average of .357 besting runner up Stan Musial's .347. In addition, Walker was the 1945 National League runs batted in champion, with his total of 124 topping Boston Braves outfielder Tommy Holmes, with 117.

After the 1947 season, Walker was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, for whom he played two seasons before retiring in 1949.

Career statistics

In 1905 games covering 18 seasons, Walker compiled a .306 batting average (2064-for-6740) with 1038 runs, 376 doubles, 96 triples, 105 home runs, 1023 RBI, 817 base on balls, .383 on-base percentage and .437 slugging percentage. Defensively, he recorded a .972 fielding percentage. In the 1941 and 1947 World Series, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, he hit .222 (10-for-45) with 1 home run and 4 RBI.

Managing and coaching career

The Pirates released Walker after the 1949 season, and he began a managing and coaching career as manager of the minor league Atlanta Crackers. In his first year as manager, they won the Southern Association pennant. He then led them to finishes of sixth and second.

Walker coached with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953, but left partway through the season to manage the Cardinals' Houston team in the Texas League. He managed Houston through 1954, after which he managed in the International League, first with the Rochester Red Wings (1955-1956), and then with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1957–1959).

The Milwaukee Braves made Walker a scout, and he worked in this position until 1963, when he joined the team's coaching staff. When the Braves relocated to Atlanta in 1966, Walker was their chief scout for the Southeastern United States.

In 1968 Walker joined the Dodgers as hitting coach, and he held this position until 1974. From 1974 to 1976 he was a coach for the Dodgers' minor league system.

Baseball integration

Walker vocally opposed the participation of black baseball players regardless of their skill. He suggested he would not play for the Dodgers if a black baseball player were permitted on the team.[2] He reportedly initiated a player petition within the Dodgers in 1947, opposing Jackie Robinson joining the team,[2] and he wrote a letter to Dodgers owner Branch Rickey asking to be traded.[6]

In a 1981 interview, Walker explained that his trade request was not due to Robinson, but because Walker had become a scapegoat for opposition within the team.[6] In his 2002 book, The Era, 1947-1957, author Roger Kahn wrote that Walker admitted to starting the Dodgers' player petition in 1947, in which the signers opposed the integration of baseball.[2] In an interview with Kahn, Walker stated, "I organized that petition in 1947, not because I had anything against Robinson personally or against Negroes generally. I had a wholesale business in Birmingham and people told me I’d lose my business if I played ball with a black man."[2] According to Kahn, Walker referred to the petition as "the stupidest thing he’d ever done" and that if Kahn had the opportunity, he'd write that Walker was sorry and apologized for his actions.[2]

Personal life

In 1936 Walker married Estelle Shea. They were the parents of daughters Mary Ann and Susan, and sons Stephen, Fred Jr., and Sean.

Walker died of colon cancer in Birmingham on May 17, 1982, and was buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Dixie Walker Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Araton, Harvey (April 10, 2010). "The Dixie Walker She Knew". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b c "Dixie Walker Statistics and History". 2016 [2000]. Retrieved 2016-04-12. (quote) Brother of Ernie Walker, Father of Dixie Walker and Father of Harry Walker
  4. ^ a b c "Ernie Walker Statistics and History". 2016 [2000]. Retrieved 2016-04-12. (quote) Bats: Left, Throws: Right" and "Team: Browns 1913-1915
  5. ^ a b c "Harry Walker Statistics and History". 2016 [2000]. Retrieved 2016-04-12. (quote) Bats: Left, Throws: Right" and "Teams (by GP): Cardinals/Phillies/Reds/Cubs 1940-1955
  6. ^ a b Berkow, Ira (December 10, 1981). "Dixie Walker Remembers". The New York Times.

Further reading

External links

Achievements
Preceded by
Bob Johnson
Hitting for the cycle
September 2, 1944
Succeeded by
Bob Elliott
1933 New York Yankees season

The 1933 New York Yankees season was the team's 31st season in New York and its 33rd season overall. The team finished with a record of 91–59, finishing 7 games behind the Washington Senators. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium.

1934 New York Yankees season

The 1934 New York Yankees season was the team's 32nd season in New York and its 34th season overall. The team finished with a record of 94–60, finishing 7 games behind the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. It would also be the final year Babe Ruth would play as a Yankee.

1935 New York Yankees season

The 1935 New York Yankees season was the team's 33rd season in New York and its 35th season overall. The team finished with a record of 89–60, finishing 3 games behind the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1936 New York Yankees season

The 1936 New York Yankees season was the team's 34th season in New York and its 36th season overall. The team finished with a record of 102–51, winning their 8th pennant, finishing 19.5 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they beat the New York Giants in 6 games.

1937 Chicago White Sox season

The 1937 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 37th season in the major leagues, and their 38th season overall . They finished with a record 86–68, good enough for 3rd place in the American League, 16 games behind the first place New York Yankees.

1938 Detroit Tigers season

The 1938 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The Detroit Tigers compiled a record of 84 wins and 70 losses, good enough for fourth place in the American League. Hank Greenberg hit 58 home runs, and became the first unanimous selection as the American League MVP.

1941 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers, led by manager Leo Durocher, won their first pennant in 21 years, edging the St. Louis Cardinals by 2.5 games. They went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series.

In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, this team was referenced as one of "The Greatest Teams That Never Was", due to the quality of its starting lineup. Dolph Camilli was the slugging star with 34 home runs and 120 RBI. He was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player. Pete Reiser, a 22-year-old rookie, led the league in batting average, slugging percentage, and runs scored. Other regulars included Hall of Famers Billy Herman, Joe Medwick, Pee Wee Reese, and Dixie Walker. Not surprisingly, the Dodgers scored the most runs of any NL team (800).

The pitching staff featured a pair of 22-game winners, Kirby Higbe and Whitlow Wyatt, having their best pro seasons.

1943 Brooklyn Dodgers season

With the roster depleted by players leaving for service in World War II, the 1943 Brooklyn Dodgers finished the season in third place.

The team featured five future Hall of Famers: second baseman Billy Herman, shortstop Arky Vaughan, outfielders Paul Waner, and Joe Medwick, and manager Leo Durocher.

Herman finished fourth in MVP voting, after hitting .330 with 100 runs batted in. Vaughan led the league in runs scored and stolen bases.

1944 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1944 Brooklyn Dodgers saw constant roster turnover as players left for service in World War II. The team finished the season in seventh place in the National League.

1945 Brooklyn Dodgers season

As World War II was drawing to a close, the 1945 Brooklyn Dodgers finished 11 games back in third place in the National League race.

1946 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers finished the season tied for first place with the St. Louis Cardinals. The two teams played in the first ever playoff series to decide the pennant, and the Cardinals took two straight to win the title.

With their star players back from the war, Brooklyn had jumped back into serious contention. They would be respectable until their move to Los Angeles 10 years later.

This season was the team's – and Major League Baseball's – last non-integrated one.

1947 Brooklyn Dodgers season

On April 15, Jackie Robinson was the opening day first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball. Robinson went on to bat .297, score 125 runs, steal 29 bases and be named the very first African-American Rookie of the Year. The Dodgers won the National League title and went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the 1947 World Series. This season was dramatized in the movie 42.

1969 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1969 followed the system reintroduced in 1968.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted once by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected two, Roy Campanella and Stan Musial.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected two players, Stan Coveleski and Waite Hoyt.

Billy Cox (baseball)

William Richard Cox (August 29, 1919 – March 30, 1978) was an American professional baseball third baseman and shortstop. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Baltimore Orioles.

He played for the Newport Buffaloes high school team. Signed as an amateur free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1940, Cox made his MLB debut with the Pirates on September 20, 1941, playing in ten games at shortstop that season before serving in the military during World War II.

After returning to the Pirates, he was the starting shortstop in 1946 and 1947 before being traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers on December 8, 1947, along with Preacher Roe and Gene Mauch, for Dixie Walker, Hal Gregg and Vic Lombardi.Cox was the third baseman of a Dodgers infield in the 1950s that included Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese.

In the 1953 World Series, Cox had a two-run double in Game 2 and a three-run homer in Game 5 against the New York Yankees. He batted .304 for the Series and led Brooklyn in runs batted in with six.

Cox was an infield starter (principally at third base) and leadoff hitter for the Baltimore Orioles for the first half of 1955, but after being pulled for a pinch runner on June 11, was traded at the trading deadline, June 16. Cox, however, would not report to his new team, the Cleveland Indians, reigning American League champions. Even after a meeting with Indians' manager Al López, Cox resolved to retire and did so on June 17. After Cox retired, the Orioles did not settle on a starting third baseman until Brooks Robinson won the job in 1957. The Orioles used 13 third basemen in 1955.

The youth baseball park on North Second Street in Newport, Pennsylvania, is named after Cox, and hosts River League games (independent Little League) as well as an annual Pete Howell Memorial tournament during the second week of July. Howell was the local district justice and long-time president of the Newport Baseball Association.

Dixie Walker (pitcher)

Ewart Gladstone "Dixie" Walker (June 1, 1887 – November 14, 1965), was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1909 to 1912 with the Washington Senators. He batted left and threw right-handed. Walker had a 25–31 record in 74 career games.

He was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and died in Leeds, Alabama. He is buried in Birmingham's Elmwood Cemetery.

Walker was the brother of Major Leaguer Ernie Walker, and the father of Major Leaguers Dixie Walker and Harry Walker.

Ernie Walker (baseball)

Ernest Robert Walker (September 17, 1890 – April 1, 1965), was a Major League Baseball outfielder who played from 1913 to 1915 with the St. Louis Browns. He batted left and threw right-handed. Walker had a .256 batting average, with 65 career hits.

He was born in Blossburg, Alabama, and died in Pell City, Alabama. His interment was located in Birmingham's Fraternal Cemetery.

Walker was the brother of Major Leaguer Dixie Walker, and the uncle of Major Leaguers Dixie Walker and Harry Walker.

Frederick Walker

Frederick, Frederic, Friedrich or Fred Walker may refer to:

Frederick Walker (native police commandant) (died 1866), explorer

Frederick Walker (painter) (1840–1875), English painter and illustrator

Frederic John Walker (1896–1944), British naval officer

Frederic Walker (1829–1889), English cricketer

Fred Walker (entrepreneur) (1884–1935), Australian businessman, original producer of Vegemite

Mysterious Walker (Frederick Mitchell Walker, 1884–1958), American baseball pitcher and college baseball coach

Dixie Walker (Fred E. Walker, 1910–1982), American professional baseball outfielder

Fred Walker (footballer) (1938–1990), English footballer for Leeds and Huddersfield

Fred L. Walker (1887–1969), U.S. Army general in WW2, commander of the 36th Infantry Division

Frederick James Walker (1876–1914), Irish motorcycle racer

Frederick William Walker (1830–1910), English headmaster

List of Los Angeles Dodgers seasons

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the second most successful franchise in the National League and the third-most successful and second-most wealthy in Major League Baseball after the New York Yankees. The franchise was formerly based in Brooklyn and known originally as the "Grays" or "Trolley Dodgers" after the trams which supporters had to avoid to enter games. Later it became known successively as the "Bridegrooms", "Superbas", "Dodgers" and "Robins"; the present "Dodgers" was firmly established in 1932.

The franchise has won the World Series six times and lost a further 13, and like the Yankees and Cardinals have never lost 100 games in a season since World War I, with their worst record since then being in 1992 with 63 wins and their best records ever being in 1953 with 105 wins and both 1942 and 2017 with 104. Their most successful period, between 1947 and 1966 with ten World Series appearances and only two seasons with 71 or more losses (one of them the year they moved to Los Angeles after a dispute over stadium funding), was famous for the Dodgers becoming the first Major League Baseball team to incorporate African American players, led by Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella.

Richard L. Walker

Richard Louis "Dixie" Walker (April 13, 1922 – July 22, 2003) was an American scholar, author, and ambassador to South Korea. He was married to Celeno Kenly Walker for 45 years and had three children.

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