Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Harry Walker

Harry Walker (1916-1999)

Here's a card I bought on eBay recently.

Harry Walker began his career playing in the majors on 9/25/40 with St. Louis. He missed playing pro ball 1944-45 while serving in 65th Infantry Division during WWII.

Here's an interesting article about Walker I found on Baseball in Wartime

"Walker was wounded in combat and earned a Bronze Star for "meritorious service in connection with military operations" and a Purple Heart for wounds received on March 22, 1945. At one time Walker's unit was ordered to hold a bridge and stop German troops trying to get across. Manning a machine gun on a Jeep, Walker was faced with an enemy that refused to stop. "So that's when I had to start shooting," he told author Frederick Turner, "and I just cut through the whole mess, and they were scattered everywhere, firing back and forth at you, and you're just out there on point like a sitting duck."

On another occasion he was on patrol when he ran into three German guards. "They came within ten feet of us," he recalled. "The only thing that saved us was they thought we were Germans retreating from fighting.

"Those three guards walked up to us, and one of them asked me, in German, where the Americans were. I asked them, in English, to surrender. Instead, he threw his rifle up in my face.

"I had a .45 caliber revolver, one that I'd bought myself ... I shot all three Germans. Five shots, and all five hit them.

"But it was close. That rifle was only about four feet from me when I started shooting. What saved me was that he was trying to get his safety bolt off. He couldn't get it off before I was able to get him."

Days later the war in Europe was over and Walker's next assignment was to organize baseball games for the troops. He located earthmoving equipment in Czechoslovakia and built a ballfield in Linz, Austria."

Before and just after the war he played in the World Series with the Cardinals (1942 and 1946).

As Player:
St. Louis Cardinals (1940-1943, 1946-1947, 1950-1951, 1955)
Philadelphia Phillies (1947-1948)
Chicago Cubs (1949)
Cincinnati Reds (1949)

As Manager:
St. Louis Cardinals (1955)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1965-1967)
Houston Astros (1968-1972)

Career Highlights:
World Series champion: 1942, 1946
National League pennant: 1943
2-time National League All-Star
National League batting champion: 1947

1 comment:

  1. Always good to see some baseball related war stories (or war related baseball stories). Nice research. That card looks very similar to the one I am about to post.