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Duane Walker

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1984 Fleer Stickers #41 Duane Walker

Duane Allen Walker

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[edit] Biographical Information

Duane Walker played five seasons in the majors, getting 861 at-bats. He hit two homers off Nolan Ryan as a rookie on 8/16/82.

Walker was born in Pasadena, TX, in the Houston area, and went to high school there. He started in the minors in 1976 and played all or part of 10 seasons there.

Duane moved up steadily in the minors, spending 1976 with Eugene and Tampa, 1977 with Tampa, 1978-79 with Nashville, and 1980-82 with Indianapolis. He was an outfielder, and moved up the system with Scott Brown, Bruce Berenyi and Jay Howell.

In May 1982 Duane got his chance in the majors, and appeared in 86 games that year for the 1982 Cincinnati Reds, a team which lost 101 games under two managers. Duane had the most at-bats of any back-up on the team, serving as the fourth outfielder behind Cesar Cedeno, Paul Householder and Eddie Milner.

Walker appeared in more major league games in 1983 but had fewer at-bats. This time he was the fifth outfielder as Gary Redus, who was also 26, became a regular. Walker and Redus had both previously been on the 1979 Nashville team and the 1982 Indianapolis team.

In 1984 Duane began to hit much better, with a line of .292/.391/.528 in 195 at-bats. He was again the fifth outfielder as Dave Parker joined the team as an outfielder. Eric Davis was a rookie outfielder on the team, beginning to get playing time.

Pete Rose took over the managerial duties for the Reds near the end of the 1984 season, and continued as manager in 1985. In July 1985 Walker was traded as the Reds picked up Buddy Bell. Duane had hit only .167 with the Reds in 48 at-bats, while with the 1985 Texas Rangers he hit .174 in in 132 at-bats. He was released by the Rangers in late March 1986.

The Houston Astros immediately signed Duane and put him at Tucson, where he hit .299. In spite of that, he was released on August 1 and quickly signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards put him at Louisville in 1986-88, and in 1987 he hit .293 with 16 home runs.

He came up to the major league 1988 Cardinals for 22 at-bats under manager Whitey Herzog. Duane was 31 at the time, the same age as catcher Tony Pena.

After baseball he bacame a manufacturer's represenative for a number of companies in the masonry industry. He moved up in 2006 to become regional sales manager for Nawkaw Corporation, based in the Houston area.

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