Born: October 22, 1916|
Died: August 8, 1999 (aged 82)|
|September 25, 1940 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
Last MLB appearance
|August 19, 1955 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Runs batted in||214|
As College Head Coach
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, left-handed hitter, and National League batting champion. He was also the nephew of fellow Major League outfielder Ernie Walker.
World Series star, NL batting champ
"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
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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 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
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Eleven months later, on June 18,
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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 quite flatteringly 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."
- List of Major League Baseball batting champions
- List of Major League Baseball triples champions
- List of Major League Baseball player–managers
- List of St. Louis Cardinals coaches
- List of second generation MLB players
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- Harry Walker at Find a Grave
- the Baseball Page
- UAB Baseball Records