Harry Walker

Harry William Walker, known to baseball fans of the middle 20th century as "Harry the Hat" (October 22, 1916 – August 8, 1999), was an American baseball player, manager and coach.

Harry Walker
Harry Walker (manager) - Pittsburgh Pirates - 1966
Walker in 1966
Center fielder / Manager
Born: October 22, 1916
Pascagoula, Mississippi
Died: August 8, 1999 (aged 82)
Birmingham, Alabama
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 25, 1940, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
August 19, 1955, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Batting average.296
Home runs10
Runs batted in214
Managerial record630–604
Winning %.511
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Early life and family

Born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Harry was a member of a distinguished baseball family. He was the son of former Washington Senators pitcher Ewart "Dixie" Walker and the brother of Fred "Dixie" Walker, like Harry an outfielder and National League batting champion. He was also the nephew of fellow Major League outfielder Ernie Walker. Harry stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 175 pounds (79 kg). Like his father, brother and uncle, he batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

World Series star, NL batting champ

Harry Walker
A baseball card of Walker from 1950.

"Harry the Hat" got his nickname from his habit during at-bats of continually adjusting his cap between pitches—there were no batting helmets in his day. His batting title came in 1947, when he hit .363 in a season during which he was traded from his original team, the St. Louis Cardinals, to the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous year he was one of the stars of the Cardinals’ 1946 World Series championship team. In the decisive seventh game against the Boston Red Sox, with Enos Slaughter on first base, Harry doubled to left center and Slaughter, running on the pitch and taking advantage of a slow relay from the Red Sox' Johnny Pesky, scored from first base in a "mad dash" with the winning run. He knocked in six runs during that Series, and batted .412.

Harry lacked his brother Dixie's power—he hit only ten home runs in 807 games played over all or parts of 11 seasons in the National League—but he compiled a .296 lifetime batting average and 786 hits with the Cards, Phils, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds and was to be famed throughout his coaching and managing career as a batting tutor. Harry and Dixie are the only brothers in MLB history to win batting titles, Dixie won the National League batting title with a .357 average in 1944 while playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

After prepping as a skipper in the Cardinals’ minor league system beginning in 1951, Walker was called up from Rochester in the Triple-A International League on May 28, 1955, to replace Eddie Stanky as Cardinals’ manager.[1] However, the change backfired: the Cards plummeted two places in the standings under Walker, losing 67 of 118 games. Harry was replaced by Fred Hutchinson at the end of the 1955 season, and it would be another decade before he would again manage in the majors.

Manager in Pittsburgh and Houston

During that exile, he returned to the Cardinal farm system to manage (1956–58; 1963–64), and served four years (1959–62) as a St. Louis coach. After piloting the Jacksonville Suns to the 1964 International League pennant, Walker was hired[2] by the Pittsburgh Pirates as manager, replacing Danny Murtaugh, who stepped down for health reasons. Although the Pirates did not win a pennant during Walker's first two seasons, he made an immediate impact. His skill as a batting coach was an important factor in the transformation of the Pirates into the National League's top offensive team. The Pirates battled for the pennant until the closing days of the 1965 and 1966 seasons—each year finishing third behind the champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the runner-up San Francisco Giants. But when the 1967 Pirates—further strengthened by an off-season trade for standout shortstop Maury Wills—stumbled to a disappointing .500 mark in mid-season, Walker was let go on July 18 in favor of his predecessor, Murtaugh.[3] Less than a week later, Walker was hired to be the organizational batting coach for the Houston Astros.[4]

Harry Walker 1965
Walker in 1965

Eleven months later, on June 18, 1968, the Astros replaced skipper Grady Hatton[5] with "Harry the Hat", still well known from his stint as manager of the Texas League's Houston Buffaloes during the late 1950s. The last-place 1968 Astros were only 23–38 under Hatton, but, featuring players like Joe Morgan, Jimmy Wynn, and Don Wilson, their record under Walker improved to 49–52. In 1969, they contended for the National League West Division title before fading to finish 12 games behind the Atlanta Braves. After back-to-back 79–83 marks in 1970 and 1971, Walker was sacked August 26, 1972, in favor of Leo Durocher; with the Astros at 67–54 and in third place at the time of the firing, it was Walker's best season in Houston. Over his managing career, he won 630 games, losing 604 (.511). After his firing, Walker returned to the Cardinals as a hitting instructor.[6]

College head baseball coach

Walker served as the head baseball coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) from 1979 to 1986. He was the program's first coach. In ten seasons he compiled a record of 211-171, good for a .552 winning percentage. In 1981 the Blazers were the champions of the Sun Belt Conference's North Division in just the third year of the program's existence. The Blazers repeated as North Division champions in 1982.

Legacy and death

Walker was profiled positively in Jim Bouton's memoir of the 1969 season, Ball Four. In the book, Walker is seen as a knowledgeable manager who has good advice for his charges. Although many of the players complain that Walker talks too much, Bouton is careful to point out that Walker always makes a good point and has good advice. This is notable because Bouton was unafraid to show his earlier manager, Joe Schultz, in a much less flattering light. Bouton even tells a humorous story of how Walker himself would follow the advice he always gave when he played in an old timer's game. The players jokingly would yell tips that Walker always said, such as "hit the ball up the middle." Walker would then proceed to single up the middle, then break up the double play, prompting Astro third baseman Doug Rader to remark, "Son of a bitch. Every year Harry gets a hit up the middle and breaks up the double play."

Walker died in Birmingham, Alabama, at the age of 82.[7] His interment was located at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Leeds.

See also


  1. ^ Cards fire Stanky; hire Harry Walker
  2. ^ Harry Walker named Manager at Pittsburgh
  3. ^ Murtaugh back as Pirates Manager- Harry Walker axed
  4. ^ Walker Astro Batting Coach
  5. ^ Astros fire Hatton, hire Harry Walker
  6. ^ Walker Cards hitting aide
  7. ^ Harry Walker dies

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Rollie Hemsley
Columbus Red Birds manager
Succeeded by
Johnny Keane
Preceded by
Johnny Keane
Rochester Red Wings manager
Succeeded by
Lou Kahn
Preceded by
Mike Ryba
Houston Buffaloes manager
Succeeded by
Rube Walker
Preceded by
Terry Moore
St. Louis Cardinals first-base coach
Succeeded by
Joe Schultz
Preceded by
Joe Schultz
Atlanta Crackers manager
Succeeded by
Jack McKeon
Preceded by
Casey Wise
Jacksonville Suns manager
Succeeded by
Grover Resinger
1786 English cricket season

1786 was the 90th English cricket season since the earliest known important match was played. The famous Walker brothers make their first appearances in senior cricket and the rare dismissal of hit the ball twice was first recorded.

1795 English cricket season

1795 was the ninth season of cricket in England since the foundation of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The enigmatic Thursday Club made its bow. In Samuel Britcher's opinion, it was the Middlesex county XI.

1946 World Series

The 1946 World Series was played in October 1946 between the St. Louis Cardinals (representing the National League) and the Boston Red Sox (representing the American League). This was the Red Sox's first appearance in a World Series since their championship of 1918.

In the eighth inning of Game 7, with the score 3–3, the Cardinals' Enos Slaughter opened the inning with a single but two batters failed to advance him. With two outs, Harry Walker walloped a hit over Johnny Pesky's head into left-center field. As Leon Culberson chased it down, Slaughter started his "mad dash". Pesky caught Culberson's throw, turned and—perhaps surprised to see Slaughter headed for the plate—supposedly hesitated just a split second before throwing home. Roy Partee had to take a few steps up the third base line to catch Pesky's toss, but Slaughter was safe without a play at the plate and Walker was credited with an RBI double. The Cardinals won the game and the Series in seven games, giving them their sixth championship.

Boston superstar Ted Williams played the Series injured and was largely ineffective but refused to use his injury as an excuse.

As the first World Series to be played after wartime travel restrictions had been lifted, it returned from the 3-4 format to the 2–3–2 format for home teams, which has been used ever since. It also saw the return of many prominent players from military service.

1947 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1947 Philadelphia Phillies season saw the Phillies finish in seventh place in the National League with a record of 62 wins and 92 losses. It was the first season for Phillies television broadcasts, which debuted on WPTZ.

1947 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1947 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 66th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 56th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 89–65 during the season and finished second in the National League.

1949 Chicago Cubs season

The 1949 Chicago Cubs season was the 78th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 74th in the National League and the 34th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 61–93.

1949 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1949 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished seventh in the National League with a record of 62–92, 35 games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1950 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1950 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 69th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 59th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 78–75 during the season and finished 5th in the National League.

1955 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1955 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 74th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 64th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 68–86 during the season and finished seventh in the National League, 30½ games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Outfielder Bill Virdon won the Rookie of the Year Award this year, batting .281, with 17 home runs and 68 RBIs. This was the second consecutive year a Cardinal won the Rookie of the Year Award, with Wally Moon winning the previous season. The Cardinals would have this occur again in 1985 and 1986, with Vince Coleman and Todd Worrell, respectively.

1956 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1956 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 75th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 65th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 76–78 during the season and finished 4th in the National League.

David Walker (author)

David Harry Walker, CM, MBE (9 February 1911 – 5 March 1992) was a Scottish-born Canadian novelist. He was born in Dundee, Scotland, later moving to St Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, where he began his career as a writer. His work has been made into films.

Electoral results for the district of Cooroora

This is a list of electoral results for the electoral district of Cooroora in Queensland state elections.

Harry W. Wellford

Harry Walker Wellford (born August 6, 1924) is a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

Harry Walker (cricketer)

Harry Walker (1760 at Churt, near Frensham, Surrey – July 1805 at Brook, Witley, Surrey) was a noted English cricketer who played mainly for Surrey. He was a left-handed batsman who played first-class cricket from 1786 until 1802.

Harry Walker was the elder brother of the great batsman Tom Walker.

Harry Walker (disambiguation)

Harry Walker (1918–1999) was an American baseball player, manager and coach.

Harry Walker may also refer to:

Harry C. Walker (1873–1932), Lieutenant Governor of New York

Harry G. R. Walker, former mayor of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Harry Walker (cricketer) (1760–1805), English cricketer

Harry Walker (footballer) (1916–1976), English football goalkeeper

Harry G. Walker (1892–1982), Australian rules footballer

Harry Walker (politician) (1873–1950), company director and member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly

Harry Walker (rugby union) (1915–2018), English rugby union player

Harry Walker (politician)

Harry Frederick Walker (15 April 1873 – 23 October 1950) was a company director and member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly.

Harry Walker (rugby union)

Harry Walker (11 February 1915 – 5 June 2018) was an English rugby union player and was the oldest living former England international player until his death. He made his international debut on 18 January 1947 against Wales at Twickenham. His last international was against France in 1948.

He initially played as a flanker for Coventry before switching to prop. Walker celebrated his 103rd birthday with former players at a Coventry rugby club dinner held in his honour.

List of St. Louis Cardinals coaches

The St. Louis Cardinals, based in St. Louis, Missouri, are a professional baseball franchise that compete in the National League of Major League Baseball (MLB). The club employs coaches who support – and report directly to – the manager. Coaches for various aspects of the game, including pitching, hitting, baserunning and fielding, give instruction to players to assist them in exercising the major disciplines that must be successfully executed to compete at the highest level. These specialized roles are a relatively new development, as coaches initially did not have specific roles and instead had titles such as "first assistant", "second assistant", etc. St. Louis Cardinals coaches have played an important role in the team's eleven World Series titles. Many are retired players who at one time played for the team. Coaching is often part of the path for Major League managerial hopefuls, as a coach's previous experiences typically include managing and/or coaching at the minor league level. Charley O'Leary and Heinie Peitz, both former Cardinals players, became the first coaches the Cardinals employed as positions separate from the manager in 1913.

The longest-tenured coach in Cardinals' franchise history is Red Schoendienst, who has filled a variety of roles for the St. Louis Cardinals. First, he played 15 seasons as a second baseman for the Cardinals before becoming an on-field coach in 1962 in his penultimate season as an active player. He continued to coach through 1964, and the next season, became the Cardinals' manager. Returning as an on-field coach for the Cardinals in 1979, Schoendienst remained in that capacity until 1995. Since 1996, he has served as a special assistant to the general manager as a coaching advisor. In all, Schoendienst has coached for St. Louis for 38 total seasons. He has also worn a St. Louis Major League uniform in eight different decades, won four World Series titles as part of on-field personnel and two more World Series titles since moving into his role as an advisor.The current longest-tenured coach through 2015 is third-base coach José Oquendo, who has been coaching for the Cardinals since 1999. The latest addition is assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller, who was hired before the 2015 season. The longest-tenured on-field coach in franchise history is Buzzy Wares; he is also the only coach for the Cardinals with a consecutive on-field season streak of 20 or more seasons with 23. Schoendienst is the only other with 20 or more total seasons; he also had a streak of 17 consecutive seasons. Dave Duncan and Dave McKay are both tied for third with 16 total seasons and both with a streak of 16 consecutive seasons. Jose Oquendo is also tied with Duncan and McKay with 16 years during the 2015 season as it marks his 16 consecutive season as an on field coach. Others with ten or more seasons include Mike González, Johnny Lewis, Marty Mason, Gaylen Pitts and Dave Ricketts. Dal Maxvill is the only former Cardinals coach to have become a general manager for the Cardinals. Ray Blades, Ken Boyer, González, Johnny Keane, Jack Krol, Marty Marion, Bill McKechnie, Schoendienst and Harry Walker have all also managed the Cardinals. Cardinals coaches who have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum include Bob Gibson, McKechnie and Schoendienst.

Slaughter's Mad Dash

The Mad Dash, or Slaughter's Mad Dash, refers to an event in the eighth inning of the seventh game of the 1946 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox.

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