From BR Bullpen
Jesse Walker (Hoss, Deuce, Aussa)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 190 lb.
Hoss Walker played in the Negro Leagues for almost two decades and was also a manager for several years.
Walker made his debut with the 1929 Atlantic City Bacharach Giants, hitting .284 as a 16-year-old third basema. He was a backup for the team in 1930 and batted .228 as shortstop of the 1931 Cleveland Cubs. He was a backup infielder for the Nashville Elite Giants from 1932-1934 and for the Columbus Elite Giants in 1935; the team had Sammy Hughes, Sam Bankhead and Felton Snow from second base to third base. When Bankhead left for the Pittsburgh Crawfords, Walker became the starting shortstop in 1936 and hit .380. Had he qualified, he would have been second in the Negro National League behind Shifty Jim West in an uncharacteristically strong season.
Hoss fell to .145 in 1937, .190 for the 1938 Elite Giants and was a backup to Pee Wee Butts for the club in 1939. That fall, he went 0 for 3 against Bob Feller and Lee Stine. The Texan veteran moved to the New York Black Yankees in 1940 and hit .181 as their regular shortstop. Walker next joined the Birmingham Black Barons, where he was a sub for three years. In the 1943 Negro World Series, he went 2 for 17.
Walker was dealt to the Cincinnati-Indianapolis Clowns for John Britton and hit .230 as their main shortstop in 1944, his last year as a starter. He also was the club's manager, a role he held until partway through 1947, when Willie Wells replaced him. Hoss returned to the Elite Giants as their skipper in 1948 and 1949. He managed the East to victory in the 1949 East-West Game and a loss in the 1950 East-West Game. Walker remained active in the Negro Leagues as they were dying in the 1950s, holding posts with Birmingham and Detroit.
In the integrated California Winter League, the light-hitting shortstop did far better at the plate, hitting .328 in 73 career games. In 1932-1933, he hit .349 with 10 doubles, tied for the league lead, and slugged .589.