Walt's love of baseball began when he was a
young man growing up in rural Mississippi County, Missouri.
Although, there was not "League's", he and a group of
other young men formed their own group of baseball players
and they would travel around playing against other baseball
players. He played baseball in many surrounding
communities, Dorena, MO, Charleston, MO, Sikeston, MO,
Deventer, MO, Henson,, MO and Cairo, IL. He played Out Field
position and Center Field position, and when it came his
turn to bat; he was known to HIT a Home Run.
When he relocated to Erie, Pa he joined the
Glenwood Baseball League. The Glenwood Baseball League
consist of 75 to 80 baseball teams. His team in the
league was sponsored by the Erie Post Office. He
played Center field and he batted second or third in the
line-up and sometimes he was the leadoff batter. He
has many stoies to tell about his baseball ventures.
For example, his team was playing in Warren, Pa, a town
located about 80 miles fro Erie, A young boy came up
to Walt when he was getting ready to bat and began rubbing
Walt's hands trying to get the color off; the boy's mother
came out and apologized to Walt for her son. Although
he did not say I bet his team was run out of many towns
because of their color.
Walt started umpiring in 1963. He is a
Certified ASA Umpire and he completes training every year to
keep his certification. Annual ASA Umpire training is
held in Ohio and New York. Walt was recognized for his
outstanding performance as an Umpire in 2008 when e was
inducted into the Erie, PA Hall of Fame ASA Umpire. He
was awarded the recognition by his peers and he currently is
the only "Black" Umpire to be honored in the Erie Pa Hall of
Fame A position he humbly accepts and appreciates. Walt
umpires between 150 to 200 baseball games per year. On
Saturday some baseball game tournaments start as early as
7am and finish late at night. On Sundays, baseball
game tournaments start after church at 1pm and continue
until completion. The ASA Umpire Association is well known
all over the United States.
Walt gets his license yearly to be a member
of this great association. He works (umpires games) for
young people 8 years old to senior citizens.
There is a 60 year old baseball league, a 70 year old
baseball league, and an 80 year old league of baseball
In 1959, he drove a 1950 Buick to Erie, Pa.
He arrived in Erie around 9am and went to 19th and Parade
Street and was talking to some people about how to find
work. A lady by the name of Fannie Bell told him "my
nephew will come home for dinner at 11am, you come back and
he will take you with him to his job ". Her nephew was
Bud Bell and he worked for Charlie Gold's Junk Yard.
Walt started working that same day and he worked until
Saturday afternoon and was paid $95.00. He looked at his
check and though that a mistake had been made. He took his
check to the secretary to see if she had made a mistake.
Sure enough, no mistake was made. Walter was used to
making $26.00 a week working on the farm from sun up to sun
down and 1/2 day on Saturday. When he worked on the
farm, he drove tractor, combines, chopped cotton, pulled
cotton, and chopped beans. He worked at the junk yard for
about 1 year. His next job was an over-the-road truck
driver for Johnson Brothers. He has been all over the USA
driving trucks. He worked for eight years for Johnson
Brothers. Walter retired from the Erie School District
where he was employed for 33 years. He drove a school bus
and worked in the maintenance department. As a bus driver he
knew the names of all the parents of the children that
rode his bus. As a maintenance worker, he supervised a crew
of fifteen that was responsible for tree trimming, grounds
upkeep, moving teachers from one building to another and
moping and waxing floors. Erie has about 25 school buildings
and his crew was responsible for all of them.
Walt was a member of the Mt Zion Missionary
Baptist Church where he was baptized and attended Sunday
school and church with his family.
He is currently a member of Henderson United Methodist
Church in Erie, Pa. He has been a member there since
1974 He is very active at his church where he serves as
Usher, vice president of the Trustee Board. He works in the
church's food pantry distributing, collecting and
transporting food to the needy. He attends Sunday school, he
is a member of the food committee and he personally
decorates the church's Christmas Tree every year for the
past 30 years.
He loves to cook and is well known for his
sweet potato pie, his butter rolls, his pound cake and his
7- up cake. He is active with the youth in his church and
his community. The youth attend camps, field trips, visit
the zoo, and go on fishing trips. He has driven the church
van for many years picking up his church members.
Currently, he picks up 4 senior citizen mothers every Sunday
and take them to church. He also uses his personal car to
transport sick members to Buffalo, NY, Pittsburgh, Pa
and Cleveland Ohio for cancer treatments. Walter feels that
what he is able to do is a blessing from God.
Walter was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi to
the parents of Homer and Irene Porter. He is the 3rd son of
the family. He has seven sisters. Currently, Walt and only
two sisters survive, Minnie Brown of St Louis, MO and Mary
White-Ross of Sikeston, MO.
Walter's hobbies include sports, football,
baseball, hockey, tennis, softball and every type of sports.
He also enjoys cooking. He is a member of the YMCA
where he enjoys lifting weights, swimming, and water
aerobics. Walter is a father, grandfather, and great
grandfather. His children are the joy of his life.