Jerry Walker

From BR Bullpen

140 pix

Jerry Allen Walker

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Jerry Walker played eight seasons in the big leagues and is remembered for being the youngest pitcher ever to start an All-Star Game. Since his playing days, he has been a minor league manager, scout, big league coach, and front office executive.

Walker was born in Ada, Oklahoma, southeast of Oklahoma City, and went to high school in nearby Byng, Oklahoma. He was signed by the Baltimore Orioles for a reported $60,000 as a bonus baby in 1957 and, as a result, came to the majors in July of that year.[1] In his rookie campaign, he posted a 2.93 ERA in 13 outings.

Walker made just 6 appearances in the majors in 1958 and spent most of the year with the Knoxville Smokies, going 18-4. He rejoined the Orioles the following summer, and after starting the season 6-3 with a 2.90 ERA, he was chosen to start the second All-Star Game that year. At age 20, he became the youngest man to ever take the mound to start the Midsummer Classic, and he pitched 3 innings and earned the win. Overall, he won a career-best 11 games that season and was fifth in the American League with a 2.92 ERA.

In April 1961, Walker was traded to the Kansas City Athletics and spent 1961 and 1962 with them. He was again traded in February 1963 and spent 1963 and 1964 with the Cleveland Indians. Much of 1964 was spent with the Jacksonville Suns, where he went 10-9. He continued to pitch in the minors from 1965 to 1967.

Walker was a good hitter, as pitchers go, compiling a major league lifetime batting average of .230. His best year with the bat was 1960, when he hit .368 (14 for 38). In 1961 and 1962 he hit .250 and .263, each time roughly the same as the team average.

After his playing career ended, Walker was a minor league manager and scout. He was the New York Yankees pitching coach for part of 1981 and 1982 and held the same role with the Houston Astros from 1983 to 1985. After returning to scouting for a time, he was assistant General Manager of the Detroit Tigers in 1992 and General Manager in 1993. He then worked in the St. Louis Cardinals front office for 13 years. In 2008, he became an assistant to Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jocketty.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL All-Star (1959)

Preceded by
Joe McDonald
Detroit Tigers General Manager
Succeeded by
Joe Klein

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1968 Oneonta Yankees New York-Penn League 43-34 2nd New York Yankees
1969 Manchester Yankees Eastern League 64-75 5th New York Yankees
1970 Johnson City Yankees Appalachian League 28-27 3rd New York Yankees none
1971 Johnson City Yankees Appalachian League 24-44 8th New York Yankees none
1972 Johnson City Yankees Appalachian League 31-39 6th (t) New York Yankees none

Related Sites[edit]

  1. "Orioles Sign Oklahoma Kid Hurler for Reported 60 Gs", The Sporting News, July 10, 1957, pg. 32