Walter Niels Christensen
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 6½", Weight 156 lb.
- Debut April 13, 1926
- Final Game August 4, 1927
- Born October 24, 1899 in San Francisco, CA USA
- Died December 20, 1984 in Menlo Park, CA USA
Cuckoo Christensen was a big success in 1926 in the major leagues. When he slumped in his second year, he left, never to return. However, he had a long minor league career from at least 1921-1933, and afterwards was an umpire who worked college and semi-pro games and sometimes filled in at the Pacific Coast League.
Christensen was nicknamed "seacap" or "cuckoo christy". He liked to get attention by doing things like somersaults before he caught fly balls.
As a rookie in the majors with the Cincinnati Reds in 1926, his batting average of .350 was second in the league and his on-base percentage was first in the league. However, he had no power, hitting no home run in 114 games. His team finished only two games behind the pennant-winning St. Louis Cardinals managed by Rogers Hornsby. In 1927, he slumped to .254, with only 6 extra-base hits in 185 at-bats and washed out of the league.
Before coming to the Reds, Christensen had spent four seasons with the St. Paul Saints, leading the league in runs scored one season and leading the league in stolen bases another season. Teammates included Chuck Dressen and Tom Sheehan. After his major league days he spent years in the American Association and in the Pacific Coast League.
One source: 1923 St. Paul Saints.
- NL On-Base Percentage Leader (1926)