Oct 28, 2010

Old Time New York Giants Pitcher: Bill Walker (1927-1933)

William Henry Walker was born on October 7th, 1903 in East St. Louis Illinois. Long before there was an Arch on the other side of the Mississippi, Walker was playing baseball in the St. Louis area. He was brought up by the New York Giants back in 1927 & got his feet wet his first two seasons mostly in relief. In 1929 he emerged as the Giants #3 starter behind Carl Hubbell & Freddie Fritzmorris, winning 14 games against 7 losses. His 3.09 ERA was the best in the National League surprising many people.

In 1930 he was 3rd in ERA with a 3.90, 4th in wins with 17, 6th in strikeouts with 105, but he also lost 15 games. His last good season was 1931 when he led the NL in both ERA (2.26), and shutouts (6). He won 19 games (16-9) and threw 239 innings striking out 121 against only 64 walks.

Things turned sour the nest season going 8-12 with his ERA doubling to 4.14. He also gave up a league leading 23 HRs after only giving up six the previous season. He was traded to his hometown St. Louis Cardinals in 1933 and was a member of the famous 1934 Gas House Gang World Series champions. He was 12-4 with a .750 winning percent and a 3.12 ERA, as pretty much the fifth starter on a team behind 30 game winner Dizzy Dean & his brother Paul. In the 1934 World Series he took two losses in relief allowing five earned runs in six innings.

Bill won 13 games the next season and retired after the 1936 season with a lifetime 97-77 record And a 3.59 ERA, two ERA titles and a World Series championship. He remained in East St. Louis until his death in 1966 at age 62.

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