Walter Alston

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Walter Alston

Alston in 1955.
First baseman / Manager
Born: (1911-12-01)December 1, 1911
Venice, Ohio
Died: October 1, 1984(1984-10-01) (aged 72)
Oxford, Ohio
Batted: RightThrew: Right 
MLB debut
September 27, 1936 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1936 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
Games managed    3,658
Win-loss record    2,040–1,613
Winning %    .558
Teams

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction    1983
Vote    Veterans' Committee
 
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Walter Alston

Alston in 1955.
First baseman / Manager
Born: (1911-12-01)December 1, 1911
Venice, Ohio
Died: October 1, 1984(1984-10-01) (aged 72)
Oxford, Ohio
Batted: RightThrew: Right 
MLB debut
September 27, 1936 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1936 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
Games managed    3,658
Win-loss record    2,040–1,613
Winning %    .558
Teams

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction    1983
Vote    Veterans' Committee

Walter Emmons Alston (December 1, 1911 – October 1, 1984), nicknamed "Smokey," was an American baseball player and manager. He played professionally for the St. Louis Cardinals and managed the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Contents

Biography

Alston was born in Venice, Ohio[1] but grew up in Darrtown. He attended Milford High School (Ohio)[2] and was a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he lettered three years in both basketball and baseball and is a member of the University's Hall of Fame.

LAret24.PNG
Walter Alston's number 24 was retired by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977.

Alston was a first baseman with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1936 season. He played in his only major league game on September 27, as a substitute for future Hall of Famer Johnny Mize, who had earlier been ejected from the game. Alston struck out in his only major league at bat on three pitches – although the second strike was a long fly ball with home run distance that curved foul at the last second. After returning to the minor leagues for several years as a player and then as a manager – including a stint as the player-manager for the first U.S.-based integrated baseball team after 1898, the Nashua Dodgers of the class-B New England League – he was named manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1954 season.

A reporter once asked Alston about his playing record; he said, "Well, I came up to bat for the Cards back in '36, and Lon Warneke struck me out. That's it." He also played first base—two fielding chances, one error.

Alston won seven National League pennants in his 23 years tenure as Dodgers manager. In 1955 he led Brooklyn to the pennant and its only World Series championship; the team repeated as National League champions in 1956. After the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, Alston led the team to pennants in 1959, 1963, 1965, 1966 and 1974, and three more world championships (1959, 1963, 1965). He was the first Dodger manager to win a World Series.

Named Manager of the Year six times, Alston also guided a victorious NL All-Star squad a record seven times. He retired after the 1976 season with 2,063 wins (2,040 in the regular season and 23 in the postseason).

As a manager, Alston was noted for his studious approach to the game (he had taught school in the off-season while in the minors) and for signing 23 one-year contracts with the Dodgers at a time when multi-year contracts were becoming the norm in the sport.

Death and legacy

Alston maintained his residence in Oxford and died there in 1984 at the age of 72. He is interred at Darrtown Cemetery in Darrtown, Ohio. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1983.[3]

References

  1. ^ "Walter Alston Stats". Baseball Almanac. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=alstowa01. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "Walter Alston". Baseball-Reference.Com. http://www.baseball-reference.com/managers/alstowa01.shtml. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  3. ^ "Alston, Walter". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. http://baseballhall.org/hof/alston-walter. Retrieved November 6, 2012.

External links


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dutch Dorman
Portsmouth Red Birds
1940
Succeeded by
last manager
Preceded by
first manager
Springfield Cardinals
1941–1942
Succeeded by
last manager
Preceded by
Joe Bird
Trenton Packers
1944
Succeeded by
last manager
Preceded by
first manager
Trenton Spartans
1945
Succeeded by
last manager
Preceded by
first manager
Nashua Dodgers
1946
Succeeded by
John Dantonio
Preceded by
first manager
Pueblo Dodgers
1947
Succeeded by
John Fitzpatrick
Preceded by
Curt Davis
St. Paul Saints
1948–1949
Succeeded by
Clay Hopper
Preceded by
Clay Hopper
St. Paul Saints
1950–1953
Succeeded by
Max Macon
Preceded by
Chuck Dressen
Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers Manager
1954–1976
Succeeded by
Tommy Lasorda