Tom Walker (1970s pitcher)

Last updated
Tom Walker
Pitcher
Born: (1948-11-07) November 7, 1948 (age 72)
Tampa, Florida
Batted: RightThrew: Right
MLB debut
April 23, 1972, for the Montreal Expos
Last MLB appearance
July 23, 1977, for the California Angels
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 18–23
Earned run average 3.87
Strikeouts 262
Teams

Robert Thomas Walker (born November 7, 1948) is a former American professional baseball pitcher. Walker pitched all or part of six seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 1972 until 1977, for the Montreal Expos, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals and California Angels. [1]

Contents

Career

Walker was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1968 January amateur draft. [1] [2] On August 4, 1971, while playing for the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs in the Double-A Dixie Association, Walker threw a 15-inning no-hitter to beat the Albuquerque Dodgers 1–0. He threw 193 pitches to win the game. [1] [2] [3] In 1972, Walker was selected by the Montreal Expos in the Rule 5 draft and made his major league debut that season. [3] He was traded along with Terry Humphrey from the Expos to the Tigers for Woodie Fryman on December 4, 1974. [4] The last batter he faced in the majors, Lyman Bostock, lined into a triple play. [5] Walker posted an 18–23 record in 191 major league appearances over six seasons. [3]

Brush with death

In 1972, while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico, Walker along with several other players helped Roberto Clemente load a plane carrying relief supplies to survivors of the Nicaragua earthquake 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, Walker returned to his condo and saw the news reports that Clemente's plane had crashed off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. [1]

Personal life

Tom's son, Neil Walker, plays in the MLB. [1] [6] 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 player for the Detroit Tigers, married his daughter Carrie, a former professional basketball player, in 2007.

In July 2015, Walker was elected to the Texas League Hall of Fame. [2]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Singer, Tom (January 3, 2013). "Living legacy: Walker carries spirit of Clemente; Father of Bucs infielder nearly took fateful plane trip that claimed life of legend". Major League Baseball . Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 "Class of 2015: Eight Elected to the Texas League Hall of Fame". Texas League . Minor League Baseball. July 1, 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 Tom Kayser; David King (31 August 2012). "45". Baseball in the Lone Star State: The Texas League's Greatest Hits. Trinity University Press. pp. 162–164. ISBN   978-1-59534-119-8 . Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  4. Durso, Joseph. "Orioles Send McNally to Expos; Allen Balks at Trade to Braves," The New York Times, Thursday, December 5, 1974. Retrieved May 3, 2020
  5. Associated Press (July 24, 1977). "Angels Turn Triple Play". Lakeland Ledger . Bloomington, Minnesota . Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  6. "Pittsburgh Pirates' Second Baseman on the Gift of Life"