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Walk's talk a special one for Sewickley Senior Men's Club

| Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster Bob Walk discusses the baseball team's upcoming 2014 season with members of the Senior Mens Club during the club's weekly meeting on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. Walk pitched for the Pirates from 1984-1993.

Bob Walk makes a trip to speak with the Sewickley Senior Men's Club regularly.

So regularly that they made him an honorary member after the 10th time.

“I have been doing this for 14 straight years,” the former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher and current broadcaster said. “I have really gotten to know and recognize a lot of these guys. I enjoy talking to these gentleman just not about baseball but what they did in their lives. I am not sure we do that enough as a society.”

Walk spent an hour speaking to a packed room at the Sewickley Valley YMCA. Walk spent the first 30 minutes talking about the Pirates reaching their first winning season in 20 years in 2013 as well as topics like A.J. Burnett's future and the rise of right fielder Gregory Polanco.

He then spent more than a half hour in a question and answer session. The group questioned Walk about topics from pitching prospects in the minors to doping in baseball to what is the hardest pitch on the elbow.

“I give them an overview of what I thought of last year and what I think about the upcoming season,” Walk said. “And they really challenge me with the questions they come up with.

“I tend to be a little more open with them. I will give them a little more than what I would say on the radio.”

Trustee Paul Collier described Walk as the group's most popular speaker.

“We have been averaging about 80 members a meeting and that might be a little bit of an exaggeration,” Collier said.

“Today we had 107. It makes us feel really proud that he takes time to do this every year.”

The group welcomes in speakers throughout the year. On April 11, former Pirates and Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland will return after speaking to the group several times in the past.

Collier said many of the speakers appear free of charge due to the group being made up of 80 percent military veterans.

“We bring in a variety of speakers,” Collier said. “We tell them we are veterans. That is a big plus for us.”

The Sewickley Senior Men's Club — which completed 5,000 hours of community service in the area last year — introduced its new members to start the event, including president Jerry Keller, vice president of membership Earl Edwards, vice president of programs Bob Ford, vice president of community service Joe Eiden and trustees Dave Cotton, Don Brainerd and Collier.

The group also donated a check for $3,000 to the Sewickley YMCA's Changing Lives Campaign.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at nsmith@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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