Walkers’ plans up in the air?

Posted January 22, 2010


Walkers’ plans up in the air?

Brothers Mark and Ryan Walker left their mark in more than one way in their first season in the Powerline Baseball League.

Younger brother Mark, who ended up being a very late addition to an already young Armena Royals squad batted .367 on the season (third on the team) and knocked in 10 runs.

“He was a very pleasant surprise,” said newly named player coach Jason Buzzell. “He got cut late from a junior team and his brother’s team (Leduc) and the Camrose Axemen had too many guys. Luckily we didn’t turn him away because we ended up being short on guys, and he was a real good player for such a young kid.”

Ryan, was an all-star on defence and on the mound, with the eventual 2009 PBL Champion Leduc Milleteers was bested by his younger brother at the plate, sporting just a .289 average and 9 RBIs. But his 1.5 ERA and his solid play at third base earned him a trip to Camrose in his rookie season.

So at the end of the 2009 season it seemed pretty straight forward the two would join up in Leduc and Armena would lose an emerging PBL star – almost a Daniel and Henrik Sedin situation.

Or did it?

“I don’t want to start rumours, and these kind of things get taken out of context, but obviously the two probably want to play together if both play men’s ball next year,” Buzzell said, eluding to the fact Mark is young enough to try his hand at Junior again. “Leduc pretty much stated Ryan was theirs at the end of last year so we all felt we might lose Mark unfortunately, which would be a shame.

“At the same time, Mark is welcomed back in 2010 for sure. I just can’t get a hold of the little guy. Mark, have your agent call me or Joel (Boettger) or someone. Let us know what your plans are.”

On the other side, Ryan’s stellar play wasn’t the only thing that made headlines in 2009. His propensity for a little chirpiness on and off the field caused for some sandpaper moments. Buzzell said despite that reputation, sometimes the antics can be dealt with, while skill is too hard to pass up.

“He’s Leduc’s guy, we don’t want to burn any bridges, but if you’re asking me if we’d take both Ryan and Mark for next year, well how could we say no?” Buzzell said. “I’m not a huge fan of (Ryan’s), well, confidence I’ll call it, but he is a very good ball player.”

Posted on January 22, 2010 by Jason Buzzell

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