Pirates fans got their first up close look at second baseman Neil Walker in another team’s uniform on Tuesday, the first game of a three-game series after Monday’s rained out game. In December, Walker was traded to the Mets for Jon Niese, who started the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader.
Walker told the media during a press conference before Monday’s postponed game, “This is a place that I have a lot of great memories — a lot of great friendships on the field, off the field, in the community. I bled black and gold for a long, long time. It will still run through my veins for a long, long time. I can’t say enough about the fans and about the city and about the community and about the organization.”
As Walker stepped to the plate for his first at-bat in the top of the second inning, he received a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd at PNC Park.
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Pretty cool moment, and it was great of Walker to tip his helmet to the crowd. In parts of seven seasons with the Pirates, Walker hit .272/.338/.431 with 93 home runs and 418 RBI. He’s been quite good for the Mets so far this season, hitting .279/.348/.505 with 13 home runs and 25 RBI in 210 plate appearances.