After a hugely successful auction that featured collectibles from the estate of Don Drysdale, SCP now lets us know about their next auction. They will be hosting memorabilia from the career of Hall of Fame Dodger manager Walter Alston. Per SCP:
A single at-bat, which resulted in a strikeout, comprised the playing career of the late Walter Alston. But four World Series titles, seven National League pennants, and 2,040 regular-season triumphs later – all realized in a managerial capacity at the helm of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers – cobbled his path to Cooperstown.
A native Ohioan, Alston earned the nickname “Smokey” in high school because of his blazing fastball. He attended Miami of Ohio University where he lettered in baseball and basketball before signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1935. In 1940, when it became apparent he wasn't in the Cardinals’ future plans as a player, Alston was given the opportunity to play and manage in their farm system. He was released by St. Louis in 1944, but was spotted by the keen eye of former Cardinals General Manager and then-Brooklyn President Branch Rickey who signed him to play and manage in the Dodgers minor league system. Following the ‘53 season, Brooklyn Skipper Charlie Dressen insisted on a multi-year contract to continue as Dodgers’ skipper. Brooklyn Owner Walter O'Malley balked at the demand and to everyone's surprise chose the little known Alston to pilot the club.