Former Pirate Neil Walker to receive Graduate of the Year award in Pittsburgh |
Pine Creek

Former Pirate Neil Walker to receive Graduate of the Year award in Pittsburgh

Greg Macafee
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Neil Walker was a standout player at Pine-Richland before being selected by the Pirates in the first round of 2004 draft.

In the middle of May, Pine-Richland alum Neil Walker, a former Pittsburgh Pirate and current Miami Marlin was named the 2019 American Legion Graduate of the Year, an award given to a former Legion baseball player and current major leaguer for his character, leadership, playing abilities and community service.

As a part of the award, players have the opportunity to choose when he receives the award. In the past, players have used the sport’s biggest stages to accept the award. When Alex Gordon was named as the Graduate of the Year in 2015, he received the award at the World Series.

While the stage might be a little smaller, it will have a special feeling for Walker as he will receive his award Sept. 3, when the Marlins are in town to take on the Pirates.

“I think it will feel great,” Walker said about how he’ll feel when receiving the award in front of a hometown crowd. “Pittsburgh is the town where I grew up learning sports, particularly the game of baseball. The Pirates were the organization that gave me my first opportunity, so it only feels natural to have it be there.”

Top Sports Videos

When Walker heard the news he was being named the Graduate of the Year, he didn’t want to make any plans because of the uncertainty surrounding the MLB trade deadline.

The list of players who have received the award include Ted Williams, Jeff Bagwell, Chipper Jones, Justin Verlander, Tony Gwynn, Greg Maddux, Carlton Fisk and Albert Pujols. That list certainly caught Walker’s attention.

“I’ve seen the list before, and it’s humbling,” Walker said. “American Legion baseball is such a good program from teaching kids the right way to play and learning valuable lessons through the veteran’s program. I was really excited to know that I was a part of the list.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Other Local
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.