The second of Nine inductees, Denny Walling is to be enshrined into the VBL Hall of Fame this summer during the 2023 VBL All-Star game to be held at Big Crosby Stadium on June 25th.
Denny Walling attended Clemson University in 1975 after previously attending a junior college. He made quite the impression on Tiger fans. In 1975. Walling was named ACC Player of the Year after hitting .421–the highest average in Tiger History among players with at least 100 at-bats.
Following his season with the Tigers, Walling came to the Valley and played for Waynesboro. That summer he was taken in the secondary phase of the MLB Player Draft by the Oakland Athletics. What is notable about his time following Waynesboro, is that he went straight from Playing in the Valley to making his MLB debut– on September 7, 1975 at 21 years of age– without appearing in the minors. He appeared in 6 games for the Athletics in 1975, registering 8 at-bats during his September call-up.
Walling spent 18 years in the Major Leagues, spending time with the Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros, Saint Louis Cardinals, and the Texas Rangers. He was a career .271 hitter with 799 hits over 2,945 at-bats. In 1986, Walling had one of the best seasons of his MLB career. He helped the Astros reach the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets while hitting a career-high .312 with 119 hits over 382 at-bats. Walling was best known for his pinch-hitting ability–nicknamed “Good Wood” Walling, his 108 career pitch hits are good for 13th all-time.
Congratulations on being inducted into the VBL Hall of Fame, Class of 2023.