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Walt Alston – 1973 Topps #569

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Walter Emmons Alston  (December 1, 1911 – October 1, 1984), was an American baseball player and manager. He was born in Venice, Ohio but grew up in Darrtown. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he lettered three years in both basketball and baseball and is a member of the University’s Hall of Fame. He maintained his residence in Oxford and died there in 1984 at the age of 72. Alston was a first baseman with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1936 season. He played in his only major league game on September 27, as a substitute for future Hall of Famer Johnny Mize, who had earlier been ejected from the game. Alston struck out in his only major league at bat on three pitches, although the second strike was a long fly ball with home run distance that curved foul at the last second. After returning to the minor leagues for several years as a player and then as a manager, including a stint as the player-manager for the first U.S. based integrated baseball team after 1898, the Nashua Dodgers of the class-B New England League. He was named manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1954 season. As a manager, Alston was noted for his studious approach to the game and for signing 23 one-year contracts with the Dodgers at a time when multi-year contracts were becoming the norm in the sport. Walter Alston was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1983.

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