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Baseball is more than sport for Walters

Harrison+Walters+waves+home+Bowen+Gray+during+a+rec+game+at+Ed+Rinehart+Park+in+New+Caney.+
Sydney Ortiz
Harrison Walters waves home Bowen Gray during a rec game at Ed Rinehart Park in New Caney.

Harrison Walters knelt at the third-base line during a pitching change. He tied a 9-year-old’s shoes while talking strategy with another.

Walters, who began coaching the 9-year-old Giants in the East Montgomery County rec league this spring, leads practices, helps with the pitchers and teaches the catchers.

“The players really look up to (Walters),” head coach Dustin Lindsey said. “They see him as an older brother.”

Junior Harrison Walters talks to Bowen Gray during a pitching change on March 28 at Ed Rinehart Park in New Caney. Walters started helping coach the team at the beginning of the spring. (Sydney Ortiz)

In a recent win against the EMC Pirates, Walters spent part of pregame warmups helping his starting pitcher adjust his grip on his change-up before coaching the team to a dominant win.

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Baseball has always been a huge part of Walters’ life. Baseball filled his schedule during the first week of April. He coached his young Giants one day. Walters watched Astros starter Rolen Blanco throw a no-hitter at Minute Maid Park another day. He finished his week off as a closer in a 7-4 JV win against Nacogdoches.

“His love for baseball is a passion that runs deep,” Walters’ mom Beth Friedman Walters said. “He loves everything about it, from the rules to performance to the stats.”

Walters hopes to be just like his uncle Andrew Friedman, who played college baseball at Tulane University and is the current President of Baseball Operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Walters takes two friends with him to Los Angeles for a week each summer. During that time he gets to watch the Dodgers and spend time with his uncle.

“I learned how to look at the game differently,” Walters said. “More than a baseball player – on the outside looking in.”

Friedman has shared his love for baseball with his nephew. Growing up, Walters’s mother remembers her younger brother sitting at the local Chinese restaurant reading the sports section of the newspaper and spitting out all his newly acquired facts.

“Harrison has the same love for the game – the rules, the stats,” Beth Friedman Walters said.

Although Walters has always been surrounded by baseball, he did not start playing until he was 10 years old. Originally soccer was the plan. At 10, he went straight into a player-pitch league. He started out as a first baseman and third baseman.

While Walters loves playing baseball, his dream is to work in the front office for a Major League Baseball team.

Harrison takes a picture with his uncle Andrew Friedman during the 2017 World Series. Friedman is the President of Baseball Operation for the Dodgers. Photo submitted by Beth Friedman Walters.

Because of his uncle, Walters has had baseball opportunities most fans never get. He met Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer David Ortiz and his favorite player Joc Pederson. The Kingwood Park junior has been on the field before games and he has seen what goes on behind-the-scenes.

He attended all three of the Astros’ home games against the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series with his cousin Ethan Friedman.

His mom still teases him that he and Ethan jinxed the Dodgers in Game 5. After the Dodgers took an early 3-0 lead, the boys went to buy ice cream. They walked around the concourse yelling excitedly about the Dodgers. The Astros came back to win 13-12 in 10 innings.

Despite the outcome, the 5½ hour game is still the most memorable game Walters has ever watched.

“I remember not sitting down at all during the game and feeling a roller coaster of emotions as the score kept flip-flopping,” Walters said. “It was absolutely crazy.”

Walters’s end goal is to win a ring in the Major Leagues like his uncle won with the 2020 Dodgers.

“That’s definitely something that motivates me to continue to learn the game,” Walters said.

For now, Walters is happy continuing to watch, play and coach baseball at every opportunity. His main focus is on trying to lift his 9-year-old Giants to a league title, which just may come with a ring.

This story was originally published on Park Times on April 22, 2024.