Bucky Walters

From BR Bullpen


William Henry Walters

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Bucky Walters was an outstanding hitter for a pitcher, which is unsurprising, as he made it to the majors as a third baseman before being converted to the mound. Bill James has described him as belonging to a pitching group with Bob Lemon, another infielder-turned-pitcher. Not only was Lemon similar to Walters in having been converted from third base to pitching after reaching the majors, his pitching style was similar as well.

He represented the National League in three decades of All-Star teams: 1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1944 as a premier pitcher, and 1951 as a coach.

On May 1, 1942, he was pressed into duty as an umpire, alongside Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Chuck Klein, assisting home plate umpire George Magerkurth, because umpire Lou Jorda had the flu. The two players only worked a single inning, until Jocko Conlan, who had flown in from Pittsburgh, PA to Cincinnati, OH, made it to the ballpark. He worked another game as a fill-in umpire in 1947, sharing duties with Dick Culler of the Boston Braves.

He is the highest ranked, non-active, post-1900 pitcher or player in the Black Ink Test not in the Hall of Fame.

He hit a home run while pitching a complete game shutout in the 1940 World Series. Jesse Haines is the only other pitcher to have done this.

As determined by Total Baseball: The Official Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball, Bucky's statistical achievements are as follows: All-Time Leaders Lifetime: Total Baseball Rank (159th); Total Pitcher Index (40th); Career Shutouts (37th); Pitching Category Leader (aka Black Ink) (26th); All-Time Leaders Single Season: Total Baseball Ranking (1939) 25th

In 1939, Bucky earned the National League MVP Award by one of the largest margins of all time. Bucky finished first in all major categories and won the pitching triple crown (Wins/SO/ERA); he also batted .325 and is one of few to win 20 or more games and bat above .300 in the same season.

In addition to his stint as manager of the Cincinnati Reds in 1948 and 1949, Walters was the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers for most the 1952 season. He also served as a Boston Braves coach from 1950 through the first part of 1952 and as a Milwaukee Braves coach in 1953 and 1954. His last coaching job was with the New York Giants in 1956 and 1957.

Walters's name was on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot in which the Veterans Committee examined candidates from the pre-integration era.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 6-time NL All-Star (1937, 1939-1942 & 1944)
  • NL MVP (1939)
  • NL Pitcher's Triple Crown (1939)
  • 2-time NL ERA Leader (1939 & 1940)
  • 3-time NL Wins Leader (1939, 1940 & 1944)
  • 3-time NL Innings Pitched Leader (1939-1941)
  • NL Strikeouts Leader (1939)
  • 3-time NL Complete Games Leader (1939-1941)
  • NL Shutouts Leader (1936)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 7 (1938-1944)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 3 (1939, 1940 & 1944)
  • 25 Wins Seasons: 1 (1939)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 9 (1936-1944)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1939-1941)
  • Won a World Series with the Cincinnati Reds in 1940

1938 1939 1940
Ernie Lombardi Bucky Walters Frank McCormick
Preceded by
Johnny Neun
Cincinnati Reds Manager
Succeeded by
Luke Sewell

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1948 Cincinnati Reds National League 20-33 7th Cincinnati Reds Replaced Johnny Neun (44-56) on August 6
1949 Cincinnati Reds National League 61-90 7th Cincinnati Reds Replaced by Luke Sewell on September 30
1952 Milwaukee Brewers American Association 70-38 1st Boston Braves Lost League Finals replaced Charlie Grimm (24-15) and Red Smith (7-0) on June 7

Related Sites[edit]