Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Harry "the Hat" Walker

On the outside, looking in, it appears the baseball Hall of Fame is for players who put up fantastic numbers offensively, could handle their position adequately when in the field with longevity.

Hall of Famers are usually so talented at their craft that their opponents had to alter their approach if they had any chance of beating the skilled player's team. It's often said that a Hall of Famer changed the game.

Well, how about if you coached players onto greatness that eventually led your pupils into Cooperstown, New York?

Harry "the Hat" Walker was acredited with helping Stan Musial, Roberto Clemente, Matty Alou and probably had something to do with Joe Morgan, since he was manager of the Houston Astros before the blockbuster trade between the Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros took place. (Houston sent Morgan, Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo and Denis Menke to Cincy for Lee May, Tommy Helms and Jimmy "Not a Wonderful Life" Stewart.)

Roberto was never really comfortable with Danny Murtaugh, as was learned on a biography done on "the Great One" with Jimmy Smits as the narrator and Matty Alou became a league leading hitter once under the guidance of Harry "the Hat."

It just seems to me, aside from winning a set number of games and having respectable numbers as a player, it'd be nice to induct someone without whose guidance some players may have never attained the legendary status most of us attribute to that player.

(Note: It was Joe Morgan and Al Holland who were dealt by the San Francisco Giants to the Philadelphia Phillies in order to obtain Mike Krukow, Mark Davis and somebody named Charles Penigar. And ever since that day, December 14, 1982, we fans have had to endure the voice whose signature phrase is: Ride Some Pine, Meat!!!!)

Kevin Marquez