Biography of Walter Emmons Alston (1911-1984)

Player and coach of American baseball, better known as Smokey Alston, born in Venice (Ohio) on December 1, 1911 and died at Oxford (Ohio) on October 1, 1984. He/She went to the Brooklyn Dodgers between 1953 and 1976.

A member of a poor peasant family, Alston started playing basketball and baseball at the University of Miami (Ohio), but soon decided on this last discipline that excelled in the position of pitcher. Although he/she never enjoyed a scholarship, he/she managed to finish their studies of physical education working at the time in a camion-lavanderia and in 1936 he/she managed to climb to the first team of the Cardinals after having played in the minor leagues. Just he/she remained one year in the major leagues and in the 1940s he/she began to exercise as various teams featured, without mentioning any of them, until Branch Rickey hired him in 1947 for the lower categories (farm teams) of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In 1953 and engaged by a single season replaced Chuck Dressen in charge of the first team of the Dodgers. Arrival was providential and over the next 23 years Alston led brilliantly New York team, always with a single seasonal contracts. After a few discrete early, it won the title of the World Series in 1955, and after the transfer of the headquarters of the team to Los Angeles, repeated triumphs in 1959, 1963 and 1965. In addition, won a total of nine national leagues (NL pennants) between 1955 and 1974, which counted among its ranks with players of the likes of Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese, among others. Although criticized for conservative tactics that put on the line, it was a highly rated coach in its time for its winner and demonstrated perseverance. After his retirement in 1976, he/she returned to Ohio. In 1983 he/she was elected member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.