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Walker makes most of Series debut10/24/2004 2:12 AM ET
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
BOSTON -- It was an incredible offensive outburst under any circumstances, but to say his performance in Game 1 of the World Series was the stuff Larry Walker dreamed of as a kid would be a little north of the truth. It was cold in Boston on Saturday night, but he wasn't on ice. He did his damage with a bat, not a stick. And this was, after all, the World Series, not the Stanley Cup. But for the last 20 years of his 38-year-old life, the native of British Columbia and former wannabe hockey star has in fact dreamed of reaching the World Series. As for dreaming up his debut Saturday night, that's a different story.
Besides, after his performance in the Cardinals' Game 1 loss to the Red Sox, the quirky Canadian didn't even list his 4-for-5 night with a homer and two doubles as the highlight of his night."Actually, I was more excited about being a few steps away from Steven Tyler," Walker said, giving props to the Aerosmith front man and national anthem singer. "That was really cool." Um, Larry? So is coming a triple shy of the cycle in your first World Series game. But the real reason Walker wasn't talking in glowing terms about his individual achievement was that the Cardinals had lost, 11-9, and his efforts simply weren't enough to stave off the Red Sox and their remarkable lineup. "I was glad I was able to contribute but I would have rather had a win," Walker said. "I just tried to treat this like another game, that's always been my approach. I try not to keep too high or too down, so it really didn't seem all that different for me tonight."
"It was nice that we came back from being five down, and then they added two more," Walker said. "We battled and so did they. I think you saw why both of these teams got this far, both have a lot of talent and both can come back."At least Game 1 starter and loser Woody Williams could appreciate the greatness of what Walker accomplished Saturday night. "Incredible," Williams said. "I'm sure a lot of people don't even realize what he did, because it was such an exciting game, back and forth. But four hits is unbelievable, much less on this stage here. He's been solid ever since we got him, and it's obviously nice to have him on our team." What's left for an encore for Walker? It would be hard to top that individual performance. But he knows the Cardinals can top their team performance, and that would be more important to him than standing next to Steven Tyler or scoring a goal in a Stanley Cup game. "You don't expect to get to the World Series and sweep, that doesn't happen very often," Walker said. "The goal now is to get out of here 1-1. This team has come back before. We were down, 3-2, to a good team in the Astros that really played us tough, and we got through that."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.