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RIP Joe Walker, blind Atlanta sports announcer

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Steak Snabler, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    If you ever covered a major sporting event in Atlanta, you probably met him or worked alongside him. Died earlier this week at 81 from complications of Alzheimer's:

  2. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Where/for whom did he work?

    Thought the story might tell me, but it's the AJC. Sigh.
  3. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    WAOK 1380 AM in Atlanta. Here's a little bit more about his career:

  4. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    And an awesome career it seems to have been.
    Never heard of this guy but condolences to the extended family and friends and congrats to the man, posthumously, on a life well-lived.
  5. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    First time I met Joe, it was during a game he was calling. I was a young pup and I'll never forget what happened. "Dale Murphy at bat, here's a 1-2 pitch (BAM) and he lines a clean single to center."
    It happened that way and the man NEVER SAW THE PLAY. RIP.
  6. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    The stories don't seem to explain how he did it -- okay, he could hear the bat and knew where the ball was going. How did he know which outfielder, say, got it in the gap? How did he know if a pitcher threw a fastball or slider?

    Another question -- was he doing Braves play-by-play on their main station, or do the Braves have multiple radio outlets in Atlanta?
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Good guy, busted his ass and could take the inevitable ribbing that comes from being around baseball so much.

    The Whitey Herzog story is legendary. I was not there but I heard it enough times from reliable people that I believe it.

    Joe says, "Whitey, I saw you ***"
    And Herzog cuts him off and says, "Joe. You didn't see shit. You're blind."

    Got a good laugh out of everybody, including Joe.

    RIP Mr. Walker.
  8. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    There's also a great story involving Joe and Robert Parish. Anybody else heard it?
  9. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    You mean the one in which Joe reached out to shake hands and nearly shook something else?

    Yeah. Heard that one.

    There are a trillion legendary Joe Walker stories. Like when he was led over to Terry Bradshaw for an interview and when Bradshaw realized Joe was blind, he started testing him by making silly faces at him while Joe was asking his questions.

    Don't know how true all of them are, but there are a bunch of Joe stories out there.

    I just remember him complaining about umpires' and referees' calls. Maybe he could see better than them.
  10. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    I've looked through every story I can find on the Net and none of them mentions specific stations Joe worked for. All of them conclude that he was a well-known sports media figure in Atlanta (after indeed working for the campus station at Clark Atlanta U. when he was a student there years ago) but it would be interesting to find out who he was employed by during his career and what games or sports he was allowed to broadcast.
  11. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Think about it. Parish was seven feet tall and naked in the postgame locker room.
  12. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    And Steak Snabler put a hint for you in his avatar.

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