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Dixie Walker

Dixie Walker

Fred Dixie Walker

Position(s):
OF, 1B
Nicknames:
The Peoples Cherce
Born:
September 24, 1910
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 1"
Weight:
175 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-28-1931 with NYA

Intro

Popular Brooklyn outfielder Dixie Walker came from a baseball family. His father, the original Dixie Walker, pitched for the Senators, his uncle Ernie Walker was an outfielder with the Browns, and his brother Harry won a batting title. Dixie, who was older than Harry, won a batting title of his own in 1944, batting .357 for the Dodgers. Walker was so immensely popular with Dodger fans that he was dubbed "The People's Cherce." The line-drive hitting left-hander batted .300 or better seven times for the Dodgers, but was traded to the Pirates after the 1947 season. Walker, a Georgia-native, was never excited about having Jackie Robinson as a teammate, and his exile to Pittsburgh was at least partially due to his bigoted views.

Best Season

Walker led the National League with a .357 average and finished third in Most Valuable Player voting. He also finished second in MVP voting in 1946.

Factoid 1

Starting in the 1940s, when Dixie Walker came to the plate at Ebbets Field, organist Gladys Goodding would play the tune "My Buddy," a tune made popular by Al Jolson and others.

Factoid 2

Dixie Walker and Harry Walker are the only brothers to each win a batting title in the major leagues. Dixie won the NL crown in 1944, and Harry won it in 1947.

Transition

May 1, 1936: Selected off waivers by the Chicago White Sox from the New York Yankees. The Yankees gave up on Walker because of his shoulder problems. December 2, 1937: Traded by the Chicago White Sox with Vern Kennedy and Tony Piet to the Detroit Tigers for Marv Owen, Mike Tresh, and Gee Walker. July 24, 1939: Selected off waivers by the Brooklyn Dodgers from the Detroit Tigers. December 8, 1947: Traded by the Brooklyn Dodgers with Hal Gregg and Vic Lombardi to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Preacher Roe, Billy Cox, and Gene Mauch. This swap helped set up the Dodgers for their 1950s dominance in the National League. Roe was a staple in the rotation, and Cox was a fixture at third base. October 1, 1949: Released by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Strengths

One of the reasons the Dodger fans loved Dixie so much was his success against the Giants. He terrorized Giant pitching, batting over .400 against them in two different seasons... Dixie also rarely struck out.

Weaknesses

He was never a very good outfielder.

Description

Walker was always in the middle of things. He loved to talk, and he usually had some nuggets to share with the opposition, which often led to confrontations. He and Phil Cavarretta scrapped once, and he fought Len Merullo before a game even started. In 1945, he tore into Braves' catcher Ewald Pyle when he tripped Eddie Stanky as he crossed the plate with a run. Walker was in the on-deck circle. Walker wasn't afraid to throw his fists in anger.

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