Walter Alston

Walter Emmons Alston
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1983
Primary team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Primary position: Manager

His big league playing career consisted of exactly one at-bat – one that ended in a strikeout.

But a little more than 46 years after his Sept. 27, 1936 debut for the St. Louis Cardinals, Walter Alston was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In between, Alston established himself as one of the best managers in major league history.

“He might be taken for a farmer who came to manage the town team on a Saturday,” wrote Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Journal.

But beneath Alston’s quiet exterior was the heart of a champion.

In 1954, Alston took over a Dodgers team coming off two straight National League pennants – and two straight World Series losses to the Yankees. Brooklyn finished second in the National League that year, but in 1955 Alston guided the Bums to their only World Series championship in Brooklyn.

After another NL pennant in 1956, Alston moved with the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958. The following year, a transitioning Dodger club featuring a mix of veterans and youngsters won the NL pennant – giving Alston three flags in six years. Los Angeles went on the win the World Series over the Chicago White Sox.

Four years later, Alston picked up his third World Series ring when the Dodgers – behind NL Most Valuable Player Sandy Koufax – defeated New York again in the World Series. Alston and the Dodgers then won back-to-back NL flags in 1965 and 1966, winning the World Series over the Twins in ’65.

Alston’s Dodgers picked up one more NL pennant in 1974 before the beloved skipper called it a career and went home to Ohio in the waning days of the 1976 season. His final record: 2,040-1,613, good for a .558 winning percentage, seven NL pennants and four World Series titles.

His four Fall Classic wins are topped by only Casey Stengel (seven), Joe McCarthy (seven) and Connie Mack (five).

Alston was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983. He passed away on Oct. 1, 1984.

"He might be taken for a farmer who came to manage the town team on a Saturday. "
Furman Bisher

Career stats

Year Inducted: 1983
Primary Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position Played: Manager
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Venice, Ohio
Birth year: 1911
Died: 1984, Oxford, Ohio
Played for:
St. Louis Cardinals (1936)
Brooklyn Dodgers (1954-1957)
Los Angeles Dodgers (1958-1976)
Winning %Winning %