Rube Walker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rube Walker
Catcher
Born: (1926-05-16)May 16, 1926
Lenoir, North Carolina
Died: December 12, 1992(1992-12-12) (aged 66)
Morganton, North Carolina
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 20, 1948 for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
June 15, 1958 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Career statistics
Batting average .227
Home runs 35
RBI 192
Teams

Albert Bluford "Rube" Walker (May 16, 1926 – December 12, 1992) was an American Major League Baseball catcher and longtime pitching coach.

Career[edit]

A native of Lenoir, North Carolina, Walker was signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent in 1944. He made his Major League Baseball debut with the Cubs on April 20, 1948, and appeared in his final game on June 15, 1958. As a Brookyn Dodger, he was behind the plate when Bobby Thomson hit the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" on October 3, 1951, substituting for Hall of Famer Roy Campanella, who was nursing an injury.

After retiring as active player in June 1958, Walker served out the season as a Los Angeles Dodgers coach. He then was a minor league manager in the Dodgers' and New York Yankees' farm systems from 1959 through 1964. After 1965 he was a pitching coach for the Washington Senators, New York Mets, and Atlanta Braves, working closely with managers Gil Hodges, Yogi Berra and Joe Torre, among others. Walker was the Mets pitching coach for 14 seasons from 1968 through 1981 including the 1969 World Champion "Amazin'" Mets. As the Mets' pitching coach, he supervised Hall of Famers Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan. Walker scouted for the Braves and St. Louis Cardinals after his coaching career ended.

The book Carl Erskine's Tales from the Dodgers Dugout: Extra Innings (2004) includes short stories from former Dodger pitcher Carl Erskine. Walker is prominent in many of these stories.

His younger brother, Verlon "Rube" Walker, was nicknamed after him; Verlon was a longtime minor league catcher and manager, and served for 10 years (from 1961 until his death in March 1971) as a coach for the Cubs.

Death[edit]

Walker died from lung cancer on December 12, 1992, in Morganton, North Carolina at age 66. He is interred at Blue Ridge Memorial Park in Lenoir, North Carolina.

Popular culture[edit]

In the 1985 film Mask, Rocky Dennis states he is in need of Rube "Ruby" Walker baseball card to complete his 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers set.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sid Hudson
Washington Senators Pitching Coach
19651967
Succeeded by
Sid Hudson
Preceded by
Harvey Haddix
New York Mets Pitching Coach
19681981
Succeeded by
Bill Monbouquette
Preceded by
Cloyd Boyer
Atlanta Braves Pitching Coach
19821984
Succeeded by
Johnny Sain