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Verlon Walker

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Verlon Walker

Verlon Lee Walker (March 7, 1929 – March 24, 1971) was an American catcher in minor league baseball and a coach for the Chicago Cubs from 1961 through 1970. He was also known as Rube Walker, nicknamed after his more famous older brother Albert, who preceded him as a catcher in the Chicago farm system, played all or parts of 11 seasons in Major League Baseball, and was an MLB pitching coach for three clubs, most notably the New York Mets.

Born in Lenoir, North Carolina, Verlon Walker never rose higher than the Class A Western League and Sally League as a minor league catcher (1948–50; 1953–61). He turned to managing in 1957 as the catcher/skipper of the Paris, Illinois, Lakers of the Class D Midwest League, where he enjoyed his finest season as a hitter, batting .321 with 20 home runs. A left-handed batter who threw right-handed, Walker stood 6' (183 cm) tall and weighed 210 pounds (95 kg).

In 1961, he was appointed to the Cubs' College of Coaches, a rotating team of instructors and "head coaches" created as an experimental alternative to the traditional baseball hierarchy of a manager and a coaching staff. He was a member of this group for the five years of its existence, then was retained as the Cubs' bullpen coach when Leo Durocher was named manager for 1966. He served under Durocher through the 1970 season and was still listed as a Cub coach when he died, the following March, from leukemia in Chicago at the age of 42.

External links

  • Baseball Reference

References

  • Spink, C.C. Johnson, ed., The Baseball Register, 1965-68 editions. St. Louis: The Sporting News.
  • Thorn, John, and Palmer, Peter, eds.., Total Baseball, New York: Warner Books, 1989.
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