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William Henry (Bucky) Walters (1909 – 1991)

Help Us Get Bucky to the National Baseball Hall of Fame

Career Highlights

A Unique Career

Voting Record – Baseball Writers of America Association
Beginning in 1950 and continuing through 1970, the name Bucky Walters appeared annually on the ballot of Baseball Writers of America Association for inclusion in the Hall of Fame.

Bucky out-polled 30 future Hall of Fame players a total of 91 times including 6 pitchers.

Selected TSN All Around Player 1939
The All Around Player Award was given in 1939 to celebrate the Mythical Centennial Birth date of Baseball. The Sports Journalist that participated in the poll were: Ed Burns; Irving Vaughan; H.G. Salsinger; Sam Greene, Stoney McLinn; Daniel M. Daniel; Tom Meany; Jimmy Isaminger; Jack Malaney; Howell Stevens; Tom Swope; Ed McAuley;Francis Stan; Roy Stockton; Dick Farrington. Then TSN Editor, Edgar Brands referred to the award as The ten characteristics… most necessary for succession the diamond and as a measure of the true worth of a player on and off the field.

According to Total Baseball and Bill James Presents STATS, INC. All-Time Baseball Sourcebook, Bucky Walters won three(3) hypothetical Cy Young Awards given out to players for years which no official award existed. The years were the same in each encyclopedia: 1939;1940; and 1944.

  • Led the majors in victories over the 15-year span from 1935 to 1949.
  • Ranked 40th among pitchers in all of baseball history (Pete Palmer Total Pitching Index) There are 60 pitchers presently in the Hall of Fame.
  • Made professional appearance at every position except catcher.
  • Unusual 1937 All Star – lead the league in complete game shut-outs, also lead league in losses. All Star nominations made by managers without team representation requirement.
  • Bucky earned 5 appearances and 6 All Star nominations.
  • Stole Home April 20, 1946 -One of 14 NL pitchers to steal home
  • Ranked 4th in double plays for a pitcher (76)
  • 21.21% of Lifetime wins were by shut out (42/198)
  • 42 Shut-outs – Ranked 37th All-Time
  • 61% of games started were complete games (242/398) – Ranked 6th Best All-Time.

Historical Footnotes

Americas Team Representative – 1939/40 Worlds Fair – Babe Ruth, Chairman, nominated 8 players and 2 pitchers to represent United States at the 1940 Worlds Fair. Bucky Walters was chosen as Americas Team Representative.

Selected TSN All Around Player 1939 – A sportsmanship award given to celebrate 100-year anniversary of baseball.

Traded to Cincinnati between Vander Meers two no-hitters.

Played for Philadelphia during the first night time baseball game (May 24, 1935) against Cincinnati.

Played for Cincinnati during the first televised baseball game (August 26, 1939) against Brooklyn.

Statistical Dominance

1939 – Voted NL-MVP and The Sporting News All-Around Player of the Year

1939 – Captured the pitching Triple Crown,(Victories, ERA, Strikeouts)

1939 – Batted .325 – in top ten for batting average for season. (On short list of 20 game winners who hit .300 in the same season)

(1939 – 44) His 6-year MVP vote total found him ranked #1 among pitchers

(1939 – 44) His 6-year MVP vote total found him ranked #3 behind Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams.

(1939 – 44) Win total for those 6 years was 121,twenty more than the next highest total.

(1939 – 47) ERA below 2.83 in 7 of 8 seasons.

1939; 1940; and 1944 Bucky Walters won three (3)hypothetical Cy Young Awards

Dominance and Longevity

This is an unusually well rounded career. The career is highlighted by DOMINANCE and LONGEVITY. Regarding consideration to the National Baseball Hall of Fame… What does it really take to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame!

Career Longevity
  • Bucky led the majors in victories over a 15-year span. Only 23 pitchers have led over a 14-year span..
  • In Major League: (3rd base/Pitcher) 1931-1950 (19years)
  • Boston — 1931-1934
  • Philadelphia — 1934-1938
  • Cincinnati — 1938-1949
  • Boston Braves — 1950
More than A Player
  • Active Manager Cincinnati Reds (1948/49)
  • He was the last manager of Milwaukee minor league history (1952)
  • Milwaukee Braves pitching coach. (1950-55)
  • New York Giants pitching coach (1956-57)
  • Made professional Appearance at: every position but catcher
  • Manager
  • Minor League Manager
  • Coach
  • Pitching Coach
  • Player Scout
  • Umpired game
  • Total Baseball Career at 30 years. (1931-1960)

Made history by losing two games of a four game World Series against 1939 Yankees. Game is highlighted by errors in bottom of 9th with Reds in lead. Further, bottom of 10th is highlighted by bases loaded play at plate with two outs. King Kong Keller (HOF) knocks out Ernie Lombardie (HOF) after infield single by Joe DiMaggio (HOF). Three runs score, and Yankees win Series.

Took team back to World Series (1940), pitched two complete games, one complete game shut-out, and hit a homerun. Wins first World Series for Reds since the tainted 1919 Series vs. Black Sox.