When Wally Moon first arrived on the Texas A&M campus to begin his freshman year in the late summer of 1947, it was the first time he had seen the school. It was also his first time away from his hometown of Bay, AR. And to travel the 500 miles from Bay to College Station, young Moon experienced his first train ride.
His first phone call came when A&M basketball coach Marty Karow reached him at Bay High School. Karow wanted Wally to play both basketball and baseball at Texas A&M. Karow had just added baseball coaching duties to his helm on the hard court, replacing Lil Dimmit on the top step of the Aggie dugout.
Moon remembers one of Karow's selling points for attending the school was that Wally wouldn't need a large wardrobe for his freshman year."You'll be a cadet and wear a uniform like every other student on campus," Karow said.
"That sounded good to me," Moon recalls, "but I got to school still unsure as to what an 'Aggie" was."
Upon arrival in College Station, Moon found the campus nearly deserted. The rest of the incoming freshmen were at a place called "The Annex," waiting for orientation. A&M's first year athletes, along with their upperclass teammates, would be housed on the school's main campus.
And, Wally Moon remembers discovering that was a good thing.
Wally Moon, Texas A&M Class of '51, began a 12-year Major League Baseball career by winning the National League's Rookie of the Year Award with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1954. Later traded to Los Angeles, Moon starred with the Dodgers, winning three World Series Championships with the club. After retiring as a player following LA's 1965 World Series title run, Moon coached baseball and served as athletic director at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR. Later, he returned to professional baseball, serving as both a Major League and Minor League coach.