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Harry Walker

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Harry William Walker (Harry The Hat)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 190 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

"Harry the Hat" Walker played 11 seasons in the big leagues with an overall .296 average, leading the 1947 National League in batting. He also managed nine years in the majors.

He was the son of Ewart "Dixie" Walker, brother of Fred "Dixie" Walker, and nephew of Ernie Walker. Until the Hairstons arrived, the Walkers were the only set of major-leaguers to have two generations in a row of brothers.

Walker entered the Army in November 1943 and was discharged in January 1946.

He began his career with the St. Louis Cardinals and earned the nickname "Harry the Hat" because of his habit of adjusting his cap between pitches. He is most famous for getting the hit that scored Enos Slaughter all the way from first base in the 9th inning of the 7th game of the 1946 World Series, which proved to be the winning run for the Cardinals against the Boston Red Sox. In 1947, he won the NL batting title after being traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies on May 3. He is the only National League player to win a batting title while playing for more than one team in the league during the season. Willie McGee won the 1990 title after being traded to the American League late in the season, while Dale Alexander accomplished the same feat in the AL in 1932.

Walker was a player-manager for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1955, his last year as a player, and a coach for the team from 1959 to 1962. He later went on to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1965 to 1967 and the Houston Astros from 1968 to 1972. He was also the first baseball coach at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He was long considered as a great hitting guru after being credited for turning Matty Alou from a failed prospect to a batting champion when he came to the Pirates. A number of teams hired him to work with similar types of players over the years - fast outfielders with little power, but none was as successful as Alou. In 2009 he was elected to the International League Hall of Fame.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 2-time NL All-Star (1943 & 1947)
  • NL Batting Average Leader (1947)
  • NL On-Base Percentage Leader (1947)
  • NL Triples Leader (1947)
  • Won two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals (1942 & 1946)


Preceded by
Eddie Stanky
St. Louis Cardinals Manager
1955
Succeeded by
Fred Hutchinson
Preceded by
Danny Murtaugh
Pittsburgh Pirates Manager
1965-1967
Succeeded by
Danny Murtaugh
Preceded by
Grady Hatton
Houston Astros Manager
1969-1972
Succeeded by
Leo Durocher

[edit] Year-By-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1951 Columbus Red Birds American Association 53-101 8th St. Louis Cardinals
1952 Rochester Red Wings International League 80-74 3rd St. Louis Cardinals League Champs
1953 Rochester Red Wings International League 97-57 1st St. Louis Cardinals Lost League Finals
1954 Rochester Red Wings International League 86-68 3rd St. Louis Cardinals Lost in 1st round
1955 Rochester Red Wings International League 21-17 -- St. Louis Cardinals replaced by Lou Kahn May 28
St. Louis Cardinals National League 51-67 7th St. Louis Cardinals replaced Eddie Stanky (17-19) on May 28
1956 Houston Buffaloes Texas League 96-58 1st St. Louis Cardinals League Champs
1957 Houston Buffaloes Texas League 97-57 2nd St. Louis Cardinals League Champs
1958 Houston Buffaloes Texas League 79-74 2nd St. Louis Cardinals Lost in 1st round
1963 Atlanta Crackers International League 85-68 2nd St. Louis Cardinals Lost League Finals
1964 Jacksonville Suns International League 89-62 1st St. Louis Cardinals Lost in 1st round
1965 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 90-72 3rd Pittsburgh Pirates
1966 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 92-70 3rd Pittsburgh Pirates
1967 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 42-42 -- Pittsburgh Pirates replaced by Danny Murtaugh on July 18
1968 Houston Astros National League 49-52 10th Houston Astros replaced Grady Hatton (23-38) on June 18
1969 Houston Astros National League 81-81 5th Houston Astros
1970 Houston Astros National League 79-83 4th Houston Astros
1971 Houston Astros National League 79-83 4th Houston Astros
1972 Houston Astros National League 67-54 -- Houston Astros replaced by Salty Parker on August 25

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