#116: Chico “Bad Penny” Walker

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, but not falling down.

Painting courtesy of Jason Chase. Original at http://suburbanamerican.com/WeebleSuperHero.html

Wobbling, yet not falling down. Amazing.

My Weeble set was the Cubs’ Chico Walker. Except the Weebles played a better outfield.

Here, Chico turns up in AAA Iowa.

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.


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The Bottom 126 Cubs of My Lifetime

1. Todd Hundley

2. Neifi Perez

3. Alex Gonzalez

4. LaTroy Hawkins

5. Fred McGriff

6. Corey Patterson

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8. Jeff Blauser

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10. Juan Pierre

11. Shawn Estes

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13. Julian Tavarez

14. Kyle Farnsworth

15. Mark Prior

16. Kent Mercker

17. Moises Alou

18. Dave Veres

19. Jose Macias

20. Lenny Harris

21. Jose Hernandez

22. Jacque Jones

23. The Unnamed Pitchers of the 90s

24. Freddy Bynum

25. Jerry Hairston, Jr.

26. Scott Williamson

27. Tony Womack

28. Andy Pratt

29. Will Ohman

30. Phil Nevin

31. Jeff Fassero

32. Ronny Cedeno

33. Brant Brown

34. Roosevelt Brown

35. Jason Dubois

36. Wade Miller

37. Mark Guthrie

38. Sergio Mitre

39. Juan Cruz

40. Gabor Paul II Bako

41. Ryan Dempster

42. Mike Remlinger

43. Glendon Rusch

44. Nomar Garciaparra

45. Gary Matthews, Jr.

46. Matt Clement

47. Gary Gaetti

48. Bobby Hill

49. Benito Santiago

50. Jerome Williams

51. Roberto Novoa

52. David Kelton

53. Todd Wellemeyer

54. Shane Andrews

55. Darrin Jackson

56. Frank DiPino/Terry Francona

57. John Mabry

58. Curtis Wilkerson

59. Hee Seop Choi

60. Cesar Izturis

61. Rick Wilkins

62. Jon Garland

63. Augie Ojeda

64. Jerome Walton

65. Jae Kuk Ryu

66. Todd Hollandsworth

67. Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes

68. Willie Greene

69. Michael Tucker

70. Damon Berryhill

71. Jon Leicester

72. Mitch Webster

73. Curtis/Tom Goodwin

74. Jody Gerut

75. Jim Sundberg

76. Steve Buechele

77. Darren Lewis

78. Rey Ordonez

79. Marvell Wynne

80. Tyler Houston

81. Amaury Telemaco

82. Kevin Roberson

83. Damian Jackson

84. Doug Dascenzo

85. Ismael Valdez

86. Matt Karchner

87. Jeff Huson

88. Jose Nieves

89. Ross Gload

90. Chad Hermansen

91. Luis Salazar

92. Mike Hubbard

93. Delino DeShields

94. Matt Lawton

95. Howard Johnson

96. Rondell White

97. Turk Wendell

98. Ray King

99. Gary Scott

100. Steve Rain

101. Kevin Orie

102. Rey Sanchez

103. Francis Beltran

104. Paul Noce

105. Enrique Wilson

106. Ruben Quevedo

107. Damon Buford

108. Brooks Kieschnick

109. Damian Miller

110. Scott Bullett

111. Rick Aguilera

112. Chad Meyers

113. Gary Varsho

114. Jason Bere

115. Troy O'Leary

116. Chico Walker

117. Rick Wrona

118. Leo Gomez

119. Chris Stynes

120. Dan Plesac

121. Robert Machado

122. Julio Zuleta

123. Todd Zeile

124. Chad Fox

125. Adam Greenberg

126. Sandy Martinez

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