PITTSBURGH — As a 25-year-old man, a few months younger than Saegertown product Tyler Walters, we know a lot of the same people. From this series, I had the chance to interview several of his friends, former adversaries, and we even know some of the same people who have no connection to Crawford County.
Although we are the same age, there aren’t many other similarities that we share other than our love for baseball. While mine has always been a fan, stat junkie, and listener, Tyler Walters could play the game all the way. As one of the all-time greats to have played for Saegertown and Slippery Rock University, there really weren’t the right words in the interview I could muster at Walters to say how much I I was sorry that his five All-American selections weren’t enough for him. to earn a selection in the 2018 Major League Baseball Entry Draft.
His baseball career wasn’t to end there, as many independent teams were thrilled to be Walters to be their power hitter in the middle of their roster, but the grind just wasn’t something he wanted. . Who could blame him. When you work your whole life for a goal and you fail, it’s heartbreaking.
To this day, I think a lot of people in the baseball world are still scratching their heads or whispering a hmm to themselves as to why the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s all-time home run leader never received a shot of a Major League Baseball organization. Truly, this remains a baseball mystery and a real disgrace to anyone who knows the kind of person Walters is.
If you think of blue-collar workers, he’s one of the people that instantly comes to mind after our recent long chat. Few people in their twenties can lead a group of hundreds of people on a project, but through hard work and courage from a career in safety management, Walters manages it. It’s the kind of leadership that will make him one hell of a baseball coach someday.
Walters may be tough and old-school like many Saegertown baseball players of the early 2010s claimed to be during this series, but that’s not all he has as a player. ‘individual. The recollection of moments in games, his humble attitude and his team drive are all characteristics that have helped make him an elite baseball player and spirit.
Since 2018, he has put baseball and related pursuits aside, but his fifth birthday, when he pledged to get involved in the game again, is less than a year away. It will definitely be a reunion to watch as someone with the talent and spirit of Tyler Walters has yet to be involved in the game.
I think by now many have realized the kind of career the old Panther had in both high school and college. He graduated from high school in 2014 as a seven-time varsity letter winner between baseball and basketball, helped the Panthers win three region and district titles, helped the Panthers become the number one team in the state according to various polls, was an all-state player of the year three times, District 10 wide receiver of the year, two-time region four wide receiver of the year, a all regions three times, Meadville Tribune Player of the Year and a Meadville Tribune Dream Team winner.
Walters could have had a full career playing just baseball in high school, but thankfully he showcased his talents at The Rock en route to five All-American nominations, three consensus All-Region selections, four All-PSAC selections West, the 2018 PSAC West Player of the Year Award, the 2015 PSAC West Freshman of the Year Award, becoming the PSAC’s all-time leader in home runs and becoming Slippery Rock baseball’s all-time leader in home runs, runs, doubles, runs scored and hits. His career numbers include a career batting average of .382, 187 career games played and started, 258 hits, 190 RBI, 181 runs scored, 59 doubles, 51 homers, a career on-base percentage of .447 and a 0.732 career. percentage.
Really, there wasn’t much Walters couldn’t do as a baseball player. The limitation and wonder he has is whether a torn labrum early in his college career is what may have cost him a chance to continue playing the game professionally. Purely, this is just speculation, but the fact is that he could crush baseball.
What isn’t speculation, however, is how much Tammy and Scott Walters sacrificed to help their son pursue a dream for over 20 years. Long car drives, allowing him to play on multiple teams at once, and never holding back if it meant allowing him to make progress in his baseball career deserves great credit.
Today, Walters has settled into a hard-working life as a safety manager for Lighthouse Electric Company Inc. in Pittsburgh; a growing company working on some incredibly important projects lately. He also spent more time over the past four years fishing and hunting, as college baseball limited some of those experiences for a few years. He has had the opportunity to travel to various parts of the country to explore the wilderness, which he looks forward to doing more over the years. However, the biggest day of his life may be around a month away, as he is set to wed his fiancee, Katelyn, in August.
There are a lot of different quotes I could have taken from the interview with Tyler Walters, but I think the first thing that became the theme of the interview was “everything happens for a reason”. Personally, I don’t understand why Tyler Walters never turned pro. Although I’m not a professional scout, I’ve seen enough stats and baseball to know when someone is missed. For me, that’s what happened to Tyler Walters.
I chose to write this story from my perspective because I believe that one day he might find solace in writing down all his truths instead of letting someone like me do it. Personally, I just hope that one day this Crawford County legend can find his place in baseball again, but if not, his career in safety management, his love for the outdoors and the family he’s building remain constant and the most important aspects of his life today.