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BRADENTON, Fla. (KDKA) — It hasn’t been that long since the Pittsburgh Kid thrilled the crowds at PNC Park with his glove and his bat, ……but now he’s wearing the New York Yankees’ pinstripes.
“As an older guy in this game, that’s all I wanted, a chance to be in a winning environment and have the possibility of winning a World Series,” said Walker.
WATCH: KDKA’s John Shumway’s Full Interview With Neil Walker —
Walker lingered in the free agent pool much longer than anyone expected before the Yankees signed him this week for one year, at a reported $5 million.
“I’m going to be bouncing around, playing some first, second and third,” he said.
Walker is amazed by the talent pool around him.
“You look up and down the lineup, and you’ve got the Stanton and Judges of the world,” said Walker. “It’s something that’s really exciting to watch these guys play and get ready for the season.”
Meanwhile, Walker is staying in touch with his former Pirates’ teammates.
“The relationship that were made over those times, there’s nothing like winning,” Walker said.
Only a couple of his teammates remain on the current Pirates’ squad. Walker says he understands the Pirates’ business decision that led to Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole leaving Pittsburgh, which closed the chapter on their era with the team.
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“Those guys were excited for the opportunity, but we always reflect on the times we had together in Pittsburgh – ’13, ’14, ’15 – when we had a great run,” said Walker. “We’ll always have those memories.”
But now is the time to make new ones as a member of the Yankees, along with his wife, Nikki, and now 19-month-old Norah.
“It’s been wonderful, and the way the off season went, I had another month and a couple weeks with them, so you try to take the silver lining out of things and that’s certainly one of them,” said Walker.