Harry “The Hat” Walker – He and Brother Each Win Batting Title


(October 22, 1916 – August 8, 1999)

The nickname

Harry the Hat” got his nickname from his habit during at-bats of continually adjusting his cap between pitches—there were no batting helmets in his day.

batting title

His batting title came in 1947, when he hit .363 in a season during which he was traded from his original team, theSt. Louis Cardinals, to the Philadelphia Phillies.

world series star 1946

The previous year he was one of the stars of the Cardinals’ 1946 World Series championship team. In the decisive seventh game against the Boston Red Sox, with Enos Slaughter on first base, Harry doubled to left center and Slaughter, running on the pitch and taking advantage of a slow relay from the Red Sox’ Johnny Pesky, scored from first base with the winning run. He knocked in six runs during that Series, and batted .412. Harry lacked his brother Dixie’s power—he hit only ten home runs in all or parts of 11 seasons in the National League—but he compiled a .296 lifetime batting average with the Cards, Phils, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds and was to be famed throughout his coaching and managing career as a batting tutor.

Brothers win batting titles

Harry and Dixie are the only brothers in MLB history to win batting titles, Dixie won the National League batting title with a .357 average in 1944 while playing for the Dodgers, while Harry accomplished the historical feat in 1947 after a trade from the Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies winning the National League batting title with a .363 average.

transition to managing

After prepping as a skipper in the Cardinals’ minor league system beginning in 1951, Walker was called up from Rochester in the AAA-International League on May 28, 1955, to replace Eddie Stanky as Cardinals’ manager. However, the change backfired: the Cards plummeted two places in the standings under Walker, losing 67 of 118 games. Harry was replaced by Fred Hutchinson at the end of the 1955 season, and it would be another decade before he would again manage in the majors.