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Pittsburgher Walker living hometown dream

Neil Walker, 2B, Pirates

Neil Walker is the envy of every kid who has grown up dreaming about playing for the team they grow up rooting for. The "hometown kid" was drafted by the Bucs in the first round in 2004, and he has grown into one of the top second basemen in the National League.

The Pine-Richland High School product was very well known in western Pennsylvania. However, the Pirates didn't just draft Walker because he was a Pittsburgh native. USA Today had tabbed Walker as an All-American out of high school.

"I think this is where obviously I want to be," Walker said at the time of his debut. "I get a chance to get back home and play in front of the hometown fans. It's something I've dreamed about since I've been seven or eight years old."

Walker is not the first in his family to make it to the Majors, either. His father, Tom, pitched with Montreal, Detroit and St. Louis during a six-year career in the bigs.

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for
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