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GETTING TO KNOW The N.Y. Mets Second Baseman Neil Walker

Ari Hirsch of The Vues had

the opportunity to interview Neil Walker in Florida during spring training.

Name: Neil Martin Walker

Born: September 10, 1985 (age 30) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Drafted by: his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of the 2004 MLB Draft and made his major league debut with them in 2009

Bats: Switch Throws: Right Height & Weight: 6’3”, 210 lbs.

Salary: On January 29, 2016, Walker signed a one-year, $10.55 million deal avoiding arbitration.

Q: Welcome to New York. Besides playing baseball, what is your favorite things to do in New York? A: My wife and I are kind of foodies, so we like to find every genre of food, I guess you could say. We try to keep a little list of places we’ve gone and kind of give ’em our own rating of whether we go back or not. Anytime we’ve gone there in the past, we’ve tried to venture … off the beaten path to find the best spots, and we’re never disappointed.

Q:Favorite type of food? A: Italian Q: Where are you living in New York this year? A: Manhattan

Q: Why Manhattan? A: My wife & I wanted to be right in the heart of the city. We wanted to do it the right way this year. There’s a lot of guys that stay in Manhattan, and they spoke highly of it.

Q: What do you think about your new team? A: There’s confidence in this group that was similar to what I felt in Pittsburgh the last several years, and winning obviously does that to individuals and to teams. It’s a great clubhouse. Guys are pulling for each other. Everybody wants to win. … Guys look forward to working, to pushing one another, and when you have that type of camaraderie and you have those type of players pushing each other, it makes for a great atmosphere and a competitive atmosphere and an atmosphere that breeds winning. Q: What drives you? A: I think every baseball player wants to win a World Series, wants to maximize their abilities as much as they can — whether it’s in the off season working out, or helping a teammate out or whatever capacity it may be. You want to see how good you can be, and then when you reach goals or you reach pinnacles in your career, you want to try to take that next step. Those are the things that I think about when I’m in the off season working out when nobody’s around. You gotta work harder, particularly when nobody’s watching, to get yourself better to see how good you can be. Q:Toughest pitcher you ever faced? A:Clayton Kershaw Q: Second basemen you currently enjoy watching? A: I love watching Robinson Cano. He hits, he hits for power, he hits for average, he plays the second base position very well. Q: Hobbies?

A: I don’t really have one to be honest with you. … I like golfing, I like fishing, I like doing stuff like that, but I don’t really have anything that I go overboard with. I just kind of like to do a whole lot of everything. Q: What was your first job? A: At a batting cage, cleaning up balls Q:Favorite Baseball Players Growing up: A:Andy Van Slyke, Ken Griffey Jr. & Chipper Jones

Q: Who are athletes in other sports you admire? A: LeBron James, Tom Brady. Year after year after year, you think that this is gonna be the year that they slow down and they just keep progressing. Q: Favorite movie? A: “Dumb and Dumber.” Q:Favorite Baseball Movie: A: “Field of Dreams”  Q: Favorite singer/entertainer?

A: Jack White

Q:If you weren’t a baseball player you would be….

A: Something to do with business. Not sure.