I remember growing up having a Weebles playset that was basically a track for the Weebles. You’d set four Weebles at one end, and then start the track, which would shake back and forth, causing the Weebles to spasmodically move down the track. It was a dumb toy, but I enjoyed it. In one of the spring cleanings around the house, my parents got rid of the Weeble race set without asking me. I was devastated enough that they actually ended up buying a new one. Of course, I played with the second one a handful of times and then tossed it aside. My parents, of course, thought they could get rid of the Weeble set again. I, of course, raised hell again when they did. My parents dug through the trash and were able to recover the Weeble set for the third time, God bless ’em.
Wobbling, yet not falling down. Amazing.
My Weeble set was the Cubs’ Chico Walker. Except the Weebles played a better outfield.
If Chico Walker had been any good, I could certainly understand the Cubs signing him once. Heck, I could even understand them signing him the second time. And, yeah, I might question the third time they signed him, but if he produced, I’d say, “Hey. They know what they’re doing.”
One problem. Chico wasn’t any good. He showed the same kind of power at the plate that you might expect from a guy swinging a paper towel roll. A wet paper towel roll. But he was the Cubs’ white whale in the mid-80’s and early 90’s. They had to have Chico, and so they did. And we watched. And we laughed. And we died a little inside.
Low Point: When even the Cubs realized that they needed to release him as he put up a .115 average with a .200 OBP in the first month of the 1992 season.
Did You Know? Walker holds the record for the most at-bats in a professional game, collecting 14 at-bats for the Pawtucket Red Sox in a game against the Rochester Red Wings in the triple-A International League. The game went 33 innnings, and Pawtucket eventually won 3-2. Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. and Wade Boggs also played in the game.