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Walt Linden

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Walter Charles Linden

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[edit] Biographical Information

Walt Linden enjoyed a three-game cup of coffee with the Boston Braves in 1950. He hit a ringing double off Robin Roberts in his first major league at-bat while pinch-hitting for fellow rookie Del Crandall. His professional career spanned from 1946 to 1954 after serving in the military during World War II from 1943 to 1945.(GB)

Linden was born on March 27, 1924, in Chicago, IL and enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1943 before enlisting in the United States Army. Upon his return, Walt was recommended by Chicago Cubs bullpen catcher Richard Paul "Red" Smith to unaffiliated Eau Claire of the Northern League where he played in the outfield and hit .310 in 78 games.

After the Boston Braves purchased his contract that off-season and converted him to catcher, Linden played for Evansville (Three-I League) and Milwaukee (American Association) in 1947; Jackson (Southeastern League) and Hartford Eastern League in 1948 before posting an All-Star season with the Denver Bears of the Class A Western League, hitting .325 with 11 homers in 1949. He was 26 years old when he made the big club out of spring training in 1950 and debuted on April 30th, only to finish his lone major league stint eight days later when he was sent down to Milwaukee. He was assigned to Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association in 1951 but only appeared in 56 games before electing to return home and finish his education. Re-signed by the Milwaukee Braves, he returned to the Western League and was named player-manager of their affiliate in Lincoln at mid-season in 1953. When a dislocated thumb thwarted a return to the majors in the spring of 1954, he was optioned to Jacksonville in the South Atlantic League, appearing in just eight games before arranging to finish his career in Lincoln.

Linden passed away in September of 2013 at the age of 89, according to a very brief obituary in the Chicago Tribune. The obituary listed neither a place or date of death, or any burial information, making it difficult for researchers to track down the exact circumstances of his passing. One possible clue was that his last place of residence was listed as Western Springs, IL. SABR researchers were able to find the missing information within a few months, however.

[edit] Further Reading

  • "Walt Linden", in Bill Carle, ed.: Biographical Research Committee Report, SABR, November/December 2013, p. 2.
  • "Walter Allen", in Bill Carle, ed.: Biographical Research Committee Report, SABR, January/February 2014, p. 2.

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