Neil Walker dropped by the Rumbunter Podcast to talk about the 2013 season. Walker was enjoying a rare off day, but took the time to give plenty of reasons for fans of the Buccos to believe in this exciting ball club that is just two games out of first-place in the competitive National League Central.
Pirates fans have had more than their share of disappointments over the past twenty years, but it’s hard to argue that the pain of 2012 still echoes in the ears of the Bucs faithful. The team is riding high through a soft May schedule and are stacking up the wins.
We asked Walker about why he chose to play football in high school when his baseball draft stock targeted him as a first-rounder. Certainly that was risky, wasn’t it? Recently, ROOT Sports Pittsburgh re-aired the classic 2002 WPIAL matchup up of Walker’s Pine Richland and Paul Posluzny’s powerful Hopewell teams. It was a battle that found Walker on his back around the three-yard line at Heinz Field after a spirited comeback fell just short.
When you hear the Pittsburgh Kid talk about football, it’s easy to understand why he is so beloved in this town. He won over his teammates with his play on the field.
“Hometown” Walker is a guy that hates to miss out on action, which makes the time he missed in 2012 – and this season with a cleat wound that left him with stitches in his hand and a spot on the 15-day disabled list – such a tough pill to swallow .
The switch-hitting Walker also talks extensively about the challenges he has faced against left-handed pitching. Batting right-handed is the Bucs second-baseman’s natural side of the plate, and he discusses it at length with Cocktails and Smitty.
A special secret about one of Walker’s Buccos teammates is quite eye-opening near the end of the show. Enjoy.
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