Danny Gallagher is back at it again.
2021 is the 40th anniversary of the Montreal Expos winning a playoff berth for the first time and capturing the NL East championship, and the Oshawa author and former Expos beat writer is out with another book.
It’s a tome of Expos memories called Never Forgotten: Tales of Ron LeFlore, Ron Hunt and other Expos yarns from 1969-2004.
Gallagher has now written seven books about the Expos and 11 overall. This book follows on the heels of his 2020 release, Always Remembered. There are 47 chapters in the new book as Gallagher retraces memories of the franchise’s 36 seasons of existence.
Gallagher devoted 16 pages in the book to Canadian native Larry Walker, who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in an indoor, TV-only ceremony on July 25.
The chapter on Walker concentrates on 1984 when he was signed by late Expos scout Bob Rogers of Portland, Oregon after Walker appeared in two major tournaments: the Grand Forks International event in British Columbia and the World Youth Baseball Classic in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.
Gallagher tells readers how Rogers signed Walker on Nov. 14, 1984 after the scout discovered Walker had dropped out of high school in Maple Ridge, B.C. Out of pure luck, Rogers had called Walker’s father on Nov. 12 of that year to see how Walker Jr. was doing.
“Once Rogers found out Walker dropped out of school, Rogers arranged to travel to B.C. from Portland on two days’ notice to sign Walker because under Major League Baseball rules, he could not be signed if he was still attending school,” Gallagher said.
Walker Sr. told the author that Rogers advised him the Expos didn’t have much money to spend and offered $1,500 as a signing bonus.
Papa Walker looked at this son and said, “Do you think you want to play baseball for a living?” Walker Jr. replied, “Yes,” and the contract was signed.
Three other Portland-based scouts Fred (Rocco) Granato of the Twins, Andy Pienovi of the Cubs, and Larry D’Amato of the Pirates also scouted Walker but were beaten by Rogers, a walking boss foreman in his full-time job on the waterfront with Local 8 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
When Pienovi found out Walker had signed with the Expos, he was upset when he contacted Don Archer, one of Walker’s coaches in B.C. Details about the Portland scouts pursuing Walker are contained in Chapter 31.
Gallagher has dedicated his book to the 1981 Expos and has also started a ring project to honour that team who won the NL East championship. Details about the ring project can be found at jostenscanada.com/expos.
Gallagher’s book is available on Amazon and Indigo.