The Top 100 Cubs Of All Time - Walt "Moose" Moryn

Moose Moryn's 1958 Topps baseball card; this gives you a good look at the 1957 Cubs cap, the only one with the white piping in between the blue panels. The '57 cap is also the first one with the current style "C" on it. Note the card shows him wearing uniform #43, but by the time he made the catch in Don Cardwell's no-hitter in 1960, he had changed to #7.

The rest of this profile was written by BCB reader Jettero2112; he also provided the mp3 file attached to this post.

Walter Joseph (Moose) Moryn was born on April 12, 1926 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers at the age of 22 as an amateur free agent before the 1948 season. He played with Sheboygan in the Wisconsin State League in 1948 and batted .338 with 23 homers and 117 RBI (second in the league). Moose made it to the majors on June 29, 1954. Moryn pinch hit for Jackie Robinson, who played left that day. In front of 51,464 at the Polo Grounds, Moryn came up in the 12th inning and singled Pee Wee Reese from 1st to 3rd. Moryn had 1 at bat, 1 hit, and 1 put out in the game. The Giants won 4-3 in 13.

Moryn played 28 games with Brooklyn, sharing the field with greats such as Jackie Robinson, Tommy Lasorda, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider and many others. Walt played with the Dodgers through the 1955 season, including their World Series win over the Yankees even though he never got into a series game.

Walt was traded to the Chicago Cubs on December 9, 1955 with Don Hoak and Russ Meyer for Randy Jackson and Don Elston. He played 140 games in RF and 1 game in LF for the Cubs in 1956, finishing with a .285 ba, driving in 67 runs.

Moryn's best years were 1957 (.289, 88 rbi's) and 1958. On May 30, 1958 Moryn hit three home runs in the 2nd game of a double header at Wrigley Field. The Cubs swept Brooklyn 3-2 and 10-8. Walt scored the winning run in the 1st game and in game two hit back to back homers with Ernie Banks in the 4th and Chuck Tanner in the 7th. His 2-run homer in the 9th gave Sandy Koufax his 1st loss of the season. Walt made the NL All-Star team, his only selection, in 1958, but did not play in the game.

On May 15, 1960, just-acquired pitcher Don Cardwell, making his first start in a Cub uniform, made one of the most impressive team debuts in sports history as he no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals in the second game of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field. The game ended in dramatic fashion with Walt making a shoestring catch off a line drive from Joe Cunningham to save the no-hitter. Jack Brickhouse screamed "Watch it now ... Hit on a line to left ... Come on, Moose! ... HE CAUGHT IT! Moryn made a fabulous catch! ... It's a no-hitter for Cardwell! ... What a catch that Moryn made, what a catch he made!" and the crowd rushed the field after Moryn's superb play. WGN radio announcer Jack Quinlan also made a great call on the play:

Click here to listen to Quinlan's call -- this is a .mp3 file -- should open if you have Windows Media Player. Changed this to a link because some people have had browser crashes as a result of the embedded .mp3 file I put in the original post.

Only a month after that great catch, on June 15, 1960, Moose was traded by the Cubs to the St. Louis Cardinals for Jim McKnight. He played for the Cards until June 15, 1961 when he was purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates. (June 15 was the trading deadline in those days.) Walt's last game was on Sept. 28, 1961 against San Francisco. Moose pinch hit for Bobby Shantz in the bottom of the 8th and hit a single. Pittsburgh released Moose on October 17, 1961, ending his major league career.

His career was fairly short as it took him six years to make the major leagues; not making it till the age of 28 meant that it took the trade to the Cubs at age 30 before he became a regular. He put up three decent seasons as a regular Cub outfielder before the inevitable decline began at age 33. Still, in four-plus seasons as a Cub, Moose hit 84 HR in 594 games and had a .272/.336/.452 line, not bad numbers for that generation. Think Jacque Jones with a little more plate discipline.

And, he left Cub fans with the indelible memory of having made a great catch for the last out of a no-hitter.

Walt "Moose" Moryn's career stats at baseball-reference.com

Walt passed away on July 21, 1996 in Winfield, Illinois and is buried in Assumption Cemetery, Wheaton, Illinois.

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