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Body of former Mallard Walker found

The body of former Mallards pitcher Erik Walker was found Thursday after a boating accident on the New River near the state line separating Virginia and North Carolina on Saturday. Walker was 23 (10/15/83 – 10/21/06).
According to a report in Monday’s Charlotte Observer Walker and a companion were riding rapids when their canoe flipped. Walker’s companion safely made it to shore without injury and called for help.

Walker signed with the Mallards three weeks into the 2005 season and had an immediate impact. In 17 appearances the right-hander was 2-0 with 0.37 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 24.1 innings. He allowed only one run during his time in Madison. Walker helped the Mallards advance to the 2005 Northwoods League Championship Series.

Walker, who attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, was drafted in the 20th round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in this year’s First-Year Player Draft. He went 3-1 with a 0.48 ERA and seven saves in 20 appearances for the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League.

The thoughts and well wishes of the Mallards organization go out to Erik’s family and friends.