Former Pirates second baseman and multi-sport star from Pine-Richland high school standout Neil Walker announced via his personal Twitter account that he has retired from professional baseball on Tuesday.
Walker spent a dozen seasons in the MLB with the Pirates. Walker, the Gibsonia, Pennsylvania native, was a career .267 batter and hit 149 home runs over his 12 seasons in the big leagues.
“Officially retired, thank you to everyone that helped me in my journey to live out my childhood dream of being a Major Leaguer, I loved & cherished every day,” Walker wrote on Twitter. “From Pittsburgh, NY Mets & Yankees, Milwaukee, Miami, and Philly, nothing but love to those Organizations, Cities & Fans!”
In his senior year of high school, Walker hit .657 with 13 home runs and helped Pine-Richland to a WPIAL title. His No. 24 was retired in 2010 and he was inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame in 2012. Walker was a three-sport standout in basketball and football for the Rams as well.
The Pirates drafted Walker in the first round — 11th overall — in June of 2004, right out of high school. After making He spent the first seven years of his career in Pittsburgh, finishing fifth in 2010 Rookie of the Year and helped the Pirates to their last playoff appearance in 2015. Walker won a Silver Slugger award with them in 2014, during which he hit 23 home runs and posted a .809 OPS.
Walker was traded to the New York Mets on Dec. 9, 2015. He spent the remainder of his career with the Marlins, Brewers, Yankees and Phillies. He last played in 2020, when he made 18 appearances for Philadelphia.