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Junior Walsh

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James Gerald Walsh

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 185 lb.

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Junior Walsh would spend twelve seasons in professional baseball after signing as an amateur free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 1941 season. The stocky right-hander would remain with the Pittsburgh organization the entire run of his pro baseball career.

The 22-year-old pitcher was assigned to the Oil City Oilers of the Pennsylvania State Association, where he went 16-10 with a 3.83 ERA while pitching 207 innings his first year out.

Walsh would spend the next two seasons (1942-43) with three different teams, winning 18 games and losing 22 before entering the United States Military Service in 1944 and '45, during World War II. During these two seasons, Walsh would set single-game strikeout records of 16 for the Hutchinson Pirates of the Western Association in 1942 and 18 for the York White Roses of the Interstate League in 1943.

Back and ready for baseball in 1946, Junior would spend the season with the York club again and also with the Albany Senators of the Eastern League, going 7-12 with a 4.33 ERA overall. He was then called up for a late season look by the major league 1946 Pittsburgh Pirates. He appeared in four games, pitching 10 innings and came away with an 0-1 record.

York and Albany would be Walsh's home again in 1947 and he responded with a 12-6 record with a 2.52 ERA while pitching 161 innings in the split season year. Walsh would split time between the Indianapolis Indians and the 1948 and 1949 big league Pittsburgh club, winning 19 and losing 6 over the two years for Indianapolis but going just 2-4 for in the same years for the Forbes Field club.

Walsh would stay with the 1950 and 1951 Pittsburgh team, with no trips to the minors. During this time, he was used exclusively in relief, going 2-5, walking more batters than he was striking out. This would end his time in the big leagues with a five-season 4-10 record while appearing in 89 games.

Walsh, now 33 years old, would drop back to the minors and spend the next four seasons (1952-55) in the Pacific Coast League, where he won 44 times with 35 losses. In 1956, he finished out his pro baseball career with the Buffalo Bisons of the IL with no decisions in two games. This brought his minor league stats to a 116-91 record with a 3.31 ERA while pitching 1,736 innings.

While pitching at Hollywood of the PCL, where he was a 16-game winner in 1953, he had a role as an extra in the baseball film, Angels in the Outfield. Walsh passed away on November 12, 1990 in Olyphant, PA, where he was retired from a trucking company.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s

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