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Friday, December 30, 2022

Wally Moon was challenged by teaching process; Played 12 seasons in bigs, then worked as coach

A veteran of 12 major league seasons as a player and work since as a coach in the minors and in college, Wally Moon spoke to The Baltimore Evening Sun in July 1990 about his continuing motivations.

Moon then, at age 60, served as manager at high-A Frederick in the Orioles organization.

"I'm challenged by the teaching process," Moon told The Evening Sun. "I'm interested in young people. I like to be around them, work with them, see them do things."

Years earlier, Moon was a young person himself - winning the National League Rookie of the Year award as a player, beating out such other notable young players as Ernie Banks and Hank Aaron.

Moon's long career in baseball began in 1950, signed by the Cardinals out of Texas A&M University.

Moon started at single-A Omaha. He made AAA Rochester in 1953, then made St. Louis in 1954.

His big league shot came as the Cardinals sent Enos Slaughter to the Yankees. Moon then went out and hit .304, with 12 home runs and 18 stolen bases over 151 games and came in as the league's top rookie.

"I know it was my chance," Moon told The Associated Press mid-year of the Slaughter move. "Had they not sold Slaughter I'd have spent another year in Rochester."

Moon continued with the Cardinals through 1958, becoming an All-Star for 1957. The Cardinals then traded Moon to the Dodgers and he became an All-Star again in 1959.

Moon continued with the Dodgers through 1965. He hit .328 in 1961 with 17 home runs. He ended his 12-season career with a .289 average and 142 home runs

Moon then soon turned to coaching. In 1969, he's credited as serving as an assistant coach with the Padres. 

A decade later, he was in San Antonio, as owner of the AA Dodgers for at least three seasons. He also served as head baseball coach at small John Brown University before San Antonio and signed on for 1980 as owner of the independent Salem Senators.

Moon joined the Yankees for 1987 as manager at single-A Prince William. He stayed there two seasons. He joined the Orioles as manager at Frederick for 1990, also staying for two seasons.

Upon his passing in 2018 at the age of 87, his daughter Zola Moon recalled her father's work in baseball to

"He loved baseball, but he loved teaching the game of baseball and teaching the game of life," Zola Moon said, according to "One of Dad's legacies is how many men he taught to be good men, as well as good ballplayers."

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,101
Made the Majors:1,359-33.1%-X
Never Made Majors:2,742-66.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:553
10+ Seasons in the Minors:336

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