With Ken Walker’s untimely passing on Thursday, June 28, Milford lost a mentor, coach and friend. In its first game at Foran High since the tragic loss, Milford Post 196 baseball players talked with reverence and pride about their former coach on Sunday.
“It was an absolute tribute,” said Ed Michaud, who graduated from Foran in 2011.
“This game was one hundred percent dedicated to him as you can see by the KW all over the field.
“Today was solely for him. It was awful, just awful, but it was good to get a win for him.
“He taught us to have fun and forget about [the pressure of ] winning. It was all about enjoying the competition.”
Cliff Bugyi, manager of the Milford Legion squad, spoke fondly of Walker.
“We were best of friends,” Bugyi said. “We grew up together, we played ball together, went to college together.
“Just knowing Ken as I did, he’d want you to play. He used to come to all our games. He was just a quality guy, it’s a shame. He was too young [to pass].
“We’ve played the past three days and the first day Friday night was probably the toughest. We have a lot of kids that have played for him.”
Opposing manager from Stratford, Mo Scioletti, spoke of Walker and how the Milford squad honored him.
“Those who knew him and how he taught them really showcased what he was all about,” Scioletti said.
“He was obviously a great guy and a mentor to many. Our sympathies go out from the entire community of Stratford to the people of Milford.
“They lost a legend, but he leaves a legacy.”
Milford defeated Stratford, 10-1, after honoring their fallen coach in a pre-game ceremony, and Scioletti showed his admiration for Milford’s pride and inspiration.
“Today was a game inspired by the unfortunate and tragic incident to Coach Walker,” Scioletti said.
“They came out with inspiration in front a big crowd here. These guys came out inspired to play.
“They were ready, they wanted to show an example of what pride is in a community.”