By George Castle
Monday, August 31st, 2015
Something about Verlon (Rube) Walker's drawling rural persona, his effect on those in his orbit and the good works that followed in his wake brought out the best even in the most questionable of people.
As then-Cubs pitching coach Walker lay dying at Wesley Memorial Hospital — now Northwestern Memorial Hospital — in the winter of 1971, who should show up but his amoral managerial boss, Leo Durocher, one of the most despised men in baseball who would emulate The Caine Mutiny's Captain Queeg in pushing his Cubs into a state of rebellion later in the '71 season.
"Leo came to see him in the hospital when he was sick," recalled Walker's daughter, Leigh-Ann Young.