Mets' Taijuan Walker excited to 'soak it all in' at first MLB All-Star Game

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  • New York Mets
    New York Mets
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Taijuan Walker
    Taijuan Walker
    American baseball player
Taijuan Walker during All-Star media availability in 2021
Taijuan Walker during All-Star media availability in 2021

Mets righty Taijuan Walker spoke to media on Monday ahead of his first MLB All-Star Game appearance, and expressed how grateful he is to be there with the best players in the league.

"A little bit on the plane honestly, we were flying in and I was talking to my family, I've watched this All-Star Game for probably 15-plus-years now, and to finally be in it is crazy to me," Walker said. "I got a little choked up talking about it. I just want to soak it all in. I want to enjoy being around the best of the best. A lot of these guys I've played against, a lot of guys I know. Just to play alongside them and go out there and be on the field to compete against the best, I'm gonna soak it all in."

Walker replaced teammate Jacob deGrom as the Mets representative for the NL All-Star team after an impressive first half of the season. In his first season with the Mets he's gone 7-3 with a 2.50 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, striking out 89 hitters in 90 innings. He went on to talk about how special being an All-Star is to him, knowing the challenge it takes to get the honor.

"Yeah for sure, this is my ninth season, to finally get an All-Star nod," Walker said. "Like you said, I don't know if I'm ever going to get another one again. To finally be an All-Star, I'm gonna cherish it and I'll always have that next to my name."

He spoke about his goals during the season, saying that it's more important to contribute to the team's success than any accolade.

"The goal is to always help the team win," Walker said. "Go out there and do my best, try to put up good numbers. If I make the All-Star team, good. If not, it is what it is. If I go out there and help the team win, it's always the goal."

Walker then gave his support to Mets teammate Pete Alonso, who's set to defend his Home Run Derby crown on Monday night.

"Pete's definitely going to win it, I'm gonna be right next to him," Walker said. "He's gonna win it and take it home to all the New York fans, it's gonna be fun."