Can You Find Verlon Walker's Voice?

Courtesy Leigh Ann Young

Who's Verlon Walker? Follow along below for an interesting story, and a quest, dear reader.

Verlon Walker, sometimes known as "Rube", was a Cubs coach from 1961 through 1970; part of the College of Coaches, it had been announced that he would become Cubs pitching coach in 1971. Unfortunately, he died from leukemia March 24, 1971, just before the season started, at the age of 42.

(Walker is occasionally confused with his brother, Albert Walker, also known as "Rube", who played for the Cubs from 1948-1951, later for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and was also a longtime major-league coach for the Washington Senators, the Mets, and the Braves.)

I recently heard from Leigh Ann Young, who is Verlon Walker's daughter. He passed away when she was just three years old. Here's a photo of the two of them, taken at Wrigley Field in 1969 (you can tell the year by the 100th Anniversary patch on Walker's sleeve):

Leigh Ann is on a quest to find a recording of her dad's voice. Before you suggest checking with the Cubs or WGN, she's already done that; Pat Hughes, in particular, has been quite helpful to her, but they were unable to find anything. I also checked with BCBer kaseyi, who has quite a number of old recordings, but he was unable to locate anything from that era.

So that's why I'm asking you. Perhaps there's someone out there who has a recording of Walker being interviewed on WGN radio or TV during his decade as a Cubs coach, and for some reason saved that tape, or maybe you know of someone else who might have it.

If you have any info that might help Leigh Ann in her search, contact me and I'll put you in touch with her.

You can read more about Leigh Ann's story at her personal blog, which contains more vintage photos and stories about her dad, about baseball, about the leukemia center at Northwestern Hospital named after him and the baseball park in Walker's home town of Lenoir, North Carolina, also named after him.

It's a cool story, even if you don't know of any audio recordings of Verlon Walker, and if, somehow, you do, you'd make a woman searching for her dad's voice very happy indeed.

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