“See the ball, hit the ball”–Cal Ripken, Sr.
“I’m just trying to hit the ball hard and hoping it falls where no one’s standing. I’ve just been trying to step in the box, see the ball, trust my hands and use the whole field. I’m not worried about where to hit it, what else is going on.”—Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates
We have repeatedly mentioned that one of the reasons we loved Neil Walker coming into the season was just how hungry he was to be in the big leagues. His voice exhibited that fact, his facial expressions, hell, everything about the conversation was focused on MLB.
The other thing we enjoyed was how humble he was. It came up again yesterday.
“I certainly wasn’t trying to hit those balls out. My line-drive approach, once in a while, you’ll catch some balls up front or up in the zone that you can hit out of the ballpark. We weren’t playing at PNC Park, either. A couple of these balls wouldn’t have gotten out at home. But I’ll take them here.” Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates
Here’s hoping Walker’s hit numbers grow one last time in the month of September. The numbers say it will be a challenge, but Walker has done it all season. He seems relaxed and comfortable at the plate. A natural. If he can feast on some Nationals pitching this weekend at PNC could he have a swinging chance at getting a few ROY votes?
We can’t think of a player that deserves it more.
John Bowker was recalled from AAA prior to the game yesterday.