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Neil Walker's Dad: 'We've Been Blessed' To Have Walker Play For Pirates

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Neil Walker and his family are now talking about the Pirates second baseman getting traded to the New York Mets.

"My initial feeling is how fast this went," said Tom Walker, Neil's dad, about his son's seven seasons playing for the Pirates. "How fortunate we were to have Neil play in his hometown, and we get to see it!"

While it was no surprise that the Bucs traded him, since Walker was due to get a big raise in his final year of arbitration, the news was still a bit of a jolt.

"The actual news came to me via a plumber that was here in the house," said Tom Walker. "He says: 'Hey, Tom, did you just hear Neil got traded?'"

He says not five minutes later, his son called confirming the news.

Neil, himself, talked about it during a radio interview with 93.7 The Fan: "Obviously, I grew up as a Pirates' fan, and I got to live the dream of many young kids to play for their hometown team."

"The fan base here is just incredible and that's something I'm certainly going to miss," he said.

Neil Walker has chosen number 20 in New York, because his dad wore number twenty when he was a pitcher for Montreal.

Walker is looking forward: "You're going to a team that competed in the World Series last year," said his dad Tom Walker.

And as for his son's time as a Pirate: "It's been great having him here. We've been blessed."

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