Though their season met an untimely end, the Milkmen have plenty of individual accolades to take pride in.
First, it was Myles Smith who took home “pitcher of the year” honors. Then, first year pitcher, Nate Hadley was announced as the “rookie of the year” after appearing in 35 games and sporting an ERA of 1.56 with 44 strikeouts and 13 saves.
To complete the “best player trinity”, Adam Brett Walker joins his teammates as the player of the year! This is the second consecutive season Walker has been given this honor, receiving the nod over other worthy candidates such as Kyle Martin and Jose Sermo.
Last season was good, this season was better.
Though his 2020 campaign was impressive, Walker blew those stats out of the water with his performance this season.
Walker led the league with 33 homeruns which broke the single season homerun record. He was second in the league in RBIs (101) & Hits (132). His slash line ended at .320/.369/.636 with a OPS total of 1.005. Walker was the only player in the association to play in all 100 games. Another boost to his resume included several walk off hits to keep the Milkmen in contention, and warranting the name Adam “walk-off” Walker.
In short, Walker gave Milkmen fans a lot of reasons to cheer.
American Association History
Dating back to the revival of the league back in 2006, no player has ever had multiple player of the year honors, let alone back to back. There have been instances were teams had back to back players, but never one single individual.
Walker is the first & only player to accomplish this honor. As interest in the American Association, and independent baseball, continues to increase and players continue to join, Walker has set a high bar for others to reach for.
What Walker has done in his time in Milwaukee is impressive and deserving of our admiration. Hitting in baseball, no matter what level, is one of the most difficult things an athlete can do. Yet Walker for these past two seasons has posted video game like numbers in addition to leading the Milkmen to a championship in 2020.
The future is however uncertain; will Walker wear the pin-strips for Milwaukee again? One has to wonder if some team would consider giving him one last shot at the show. He certainly has put in the work to deserve an opportunity.
If Walker should not return, there is no doubt he has been exactly what this organization has needed to make a name for themselves in a city where there is a major league team 20 minutes up the road. Walker has gifted the team memorable moments, excitement for fans, and the community a championship.
Wherever ABW ends up, the kid from the Northside has made his city proud.
It has been so incredible watching @walkoff28 up close and in person the last two seasons. A great human who has done all the work and been a tremendous example in the community. Truly no one more deserving of the accolades!@MKEMilkmen https://t.co/FyRYGh3Yqk
— Kyle Lesniewski (@Kyle_Lesniewski) September 9, 2021
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Numbers courtesy of pointstreak & the American Association.