Wednesday, December 22, 2010
#417) CHICO WALKER
Chico Walker was claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs by the New York Mets on May 7, 1992. "His versatility is a plus," said manager Jeff Torborg when he was added. "But most of all he gives us another outfielder." Important because injuries to Vince Coleman and Dave Gallagher left the Mets roster short an outfielder. The switch-hitting Chico proved to be a great addition to the club. Playing in 107 games and posting a team best .308 batting average.
Walker avoided arbitration, and was resigned by the Mets to a one-year contract for the 1993 season. His second year in New York did not prove to be as successful for Chico or the club in general. Facing the Astros he appeared as a pinch-hitter and was the final out of Darryl Kile's no-hitter against the team on September 8th in Houston, Texas. Twelve days later the Mets reached 100 losses for the season. "First of all, they'll tell me, 'I told you so,'" commented Walker. "Because coming in, I thought we had as good a chance of winning as anyone. A lot of my colleagues back home in Chicago told me no. With 100 losses, I'll take a lot of ribbing. We went from potentially one of the best teams in baseball to losing 100 games. Look at the Mets' roster opening day. How can this be?" Prior to the game on October 3rd, New York informed Chico that he was being given his release. Walker played in that final contest of the season and hit a two-run home run in Florida to end a rain shortened 9-2 Mets victory. With the heavy showers Marlins' right fielder Darrell Whitmore had no idea where Chico's ball was until it landed in the stands behind him. It would prove to be Walker's last at-bat in the major-leagues.
Chico Walker signed his card in the set for my good friend, Jessie at the MAB Celebrity Services "Hot Corner Show" in Secaucus, New Jersey on November 13, 2010.