Rookie of the Year: Little Leaguer has all-star debut

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Ian Walsh is a Canton Little League pitcher whose statistics in the 2014 season were among the most impressive in the league. Walsh joined the Athletics team in April after never having played organized baseball, and just a few months later he was selected to play in the All Star game.

little league pic

Ian Walsh

“He’s very humble, quiet, reserved,” said Rick Gallery, one of the coaches of the Athletics along with Mike Rota, Tom Morrissey, and Tom Cunningham, “which is why I’m blown away by his story. He’s done great.”

Walsh, 13, is finishing seventh grade at the Galvin Middle School. He enjoys science and has been a swimmer for a number of years. He played tee ball for one year, but never tried out for Little League baseball — until this year.

“I stopped doing swimming,” he said. “I got bored. A lot of my friends play baseball and I wanted to play.”

“He tried out and was virtually the last pick in the baseball draft, making the Athletics baseball team,” Gallery said. “He worked hard and was determined to achieve.”

Walsh played third base and pitched for the Athletics. “It’s pretty fun,” he said modestly of his pitching duties. According to Coach Gallery, Walsh had a 2.00 earned run average, the lowest in the league this season.

The All Star game is held in the spring just before the end of the season. The top four players from each team are selected, as determined by their teammates and coaches, and each pitcher has the opportunity to pitch one inning.

“It was fun, but harder,” Walsh said of his first All Star game. “All the best kids in the league are in the All Star game. I was excited.”

“I think it says something about Canton Little League,” Gallery said. “A kid can come out, not ever having played. He’s given an opportunity. He played hard, put his mind to it, and had good coaching. He developed into our number one pitcher. He went to the All Star game. He made it on his own. I’m proud of him.”

Gallery hopes that both children and parents will learn from Walsh’s experience. “It sends a great message that it’s never too late for kids to start their dreams if they work hard and believe they can achieve,” he said. “It also sends a message to the parents to get your kids involved because you never know what can happen. Achieving in sports, academics, or anything else builds confidence.”

Walsh will continue playing baseball this summer with the Canton B team. He is the son of Rachel and Rick Walsh.

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avatar Posted by on Jun 19 2014. Filed under Sports, Youth Sports.
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