Matt Walker did not bring his car with him when the Orioles bought his contract from independent Sioux Falls on June 14. Even if he found a volunteer to get it, there was another problem: where to deliver it.
Walker, an outfielder, was assigned to Class A Frederick on June 14. The next day, he moved to Class AA Bowie. He moved back to Frederick on June 27. And last Friday, he was promoted from Frederick to Class AAA Ottawa.
To summarize: In a span of 17 days, Walker played for all three of the Orioles' upper-level minor league teams.
Walker, 26, likely didn't mind the travel. He nearly gave up the sport after being cut by the Detroit Tigers in spring training. Walker hit .268 with nine home runs for Class AA Erie, a Tigers affiliate, last year.
He said he played for Sioux Falls only because it gave him a chance to work with former Cleveland Indians manager Doc Edwards. He hit .313 in 23 games there.
"He's a good organizational player," Bowie Manager Dave Trembley said. "I remembered him from last year, when he was with Erie. His brother's pretty good, too."
Neil Walker, 18, was the 11th overall pick in the 2004 draft by the Pirates. Neil Walker is a catcher from Pine-Richland High near Pittsburgh.
Neil Walker was drafted in the same week Matt Walker moved to the Orioles. That also was the week middle sister Carrie signed to play professional basketball in Ireland. Carrie Walker recently graduated from Wagner and was a 1,000-point scorer.
"It was a pretty exciting time for my family," Matt Walker said in an interview soon after he joined Bowie. "It was great to be bought by a major league club like the Orioles."
Things indeed have moved well for Matt Walker, who played at George Washington in 2000, his senior year. He had played at South Carolina for three seasons.
"I was about ready to see what that marketing degree was good for," he said. "I'm glad I held off."
Notes: Yesterday's game between Frederick and Myrtle Beach was suspended because of rain in the bottom of the third inning with no score. The game will be resumed today at 12:05 p.m., followed by a seven-inning game.