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Robert Vernon Walk (born November 26, 1956), nicknamed "The Whirly Bird", is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies (1980), Atlanta Braves (1981–1983), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1984–1993).
|Born: November 26, 1956|
Van Nuys, California
|May 26, 1980, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 1993, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Earned run average||4.03|
|Career highlights and awards|
During his rookie season in Philadelphia, Walk recorded 11 regular season wins and a victory in Game One of the 1980 World Series, his Phillies defeating the Kansas City Royals in six games. Traded to the Braves, he bounced between the main club and Triple-A, until being released in March 1984. Walk was signed to a minor league contract by the Pirates and led the Pacific Coast League (PCL) in earned run average (ERA) and wins in 1985, earning a trip back to the majors. He was named to the All-Star team in 1988 when he won 12 games and posted a 2.71 ERA.
In his waning years, Walk served as a spot starter and swingman for the Pirates' teams that won three straight NL East titles from 1990-1992. His most memorable outing being when manager Jim Leyland removed him from the bullpen and named him a surprise starter in Game Five of the 1992 NLCS against Atlanta. Walk tossed a complete game three-hitter to stave off elimination in a series which the Pirates would eventually lose in seven games. He was also the pitcher who was warmed up in the bullpen when Francisco Cabrera hit the two-run, game-winning single against Stan Belinda, which won the series for Atlanta. Despite both Walk and Cabrera being right-handers, Leyland opted to keep Belinda (despite having walked Damon Berryhill to load the bases and giving up a deep fly ball to Ron Gant) to pitch to Cabrera.
On June 30, 2007, the Pirates honored Walk with a Stadium Give Away bobble head night, during a game against the Washington Nationals.
Walk is the father of three children, Tommy, Johnny, and Ronnie.
- "1992 Topps baseball card # 486".