Tom Walker (1970s pitcher)
November 7, 1948 |
|April 23, 1972, for the Montreal Expos|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 23, 1977, for the California Angels|
|Earned run average||3.87|
Robert Thomas Walker (born November 7, 1948) is a former professional baseball pitcher. Walker pitched all or part of six seasons in Major League Baseball, from 1972 until 1977, for the Montreal Expos, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals and California Angels.
Tom posted an 18–23 record in the majors. However his greatest feat came in the minor leagues in 1971, when he played for Cal Ripken Sr. in the Texas League and threw a 15-inning no-hitter for the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs to beat the Albuquerque Dodgers 1–0. He threw 193 pitches to win the game. The last batter he faced in the majors, Lyman Bostock, lined into a triple play.
Brush with death
In 1972, while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico, Tom helped Roberto Clemente load a plane carrying relief supplies to survivors of a massive earthquake in Nicaragua after Christmas. He offered to accompany Clemente on the trip to the Central American nation, but the plane was full and Clemente told him to stay behind and enjoy his New Year's Eve. A few hours later, Tom returned to his condo and saw the news reports that Clemente's plane had crashed off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico; he probably would have died in the crash if it weren't for Clemente's decision.
Tom's son, Neil Walker, currently plays for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Another son, Matt, played in the minor leagues as an outfielder in the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles systems, while another son, Sean, pitched for George Mason University. Tom is also the brother-in-law of former Montreal Expos pitcher, Chip Lang. Meanwhile Don Kelly, a utility player for the Marlins, married his daughter Carrie, a former professional basketball player, in 2007.