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Getting Moore for First Pitch: Nationals player speaks at celebration

February 9, 2013

Former Mississippi State player Tyler Moore of the Washington Nationals prepares to catch a fly ball last season. Moore is the guest speaker at this year's First Pitch/Fan Day celebration at the Palmeiro Center. (Photo by Alex Brandon, AP)

Tyler Moore has had experience at several different positions during his baseball career.

As a member of the Washington Nationals last season, Moore spent time in left field, right field and first base.

It was a good experience for Moore as Washington won a division title and reached the National League playoffs.

Now that the Nationals have tasted a little bit of success, Moore would like for that to continue with another playoff run next season.

Before he goes to spring training in about another week, Moore will be the guest speaker at Mississippi State's First Pitch/Fan Day celebration today.

Moore, who has faced some of the toughest pitchers the major leagues has to offer, will try not to be too intimidated when it comes time to address the crowd at the Palmeiro Center.

"I tried not to get myself too worked up (about a speech)," Moore told Jim Ellis on the Sports Edge radio program. "I just don't want to embarrass myself on stage. It's supposed to be a question and answer thing so hopefully someone will help me out."

After his time at Northwest Rankin High School and Meridian Community College, Moore was a first baseman at MSU in 2008. He hit .299 with 11 doubles, 14 home runs and 46 runs batted in.

He was selected in the 16th round by Washington following his one-year stay with the Bulldogs. It was the third time the Nationals had drafted Moore as he was chosen in the 41st round in 2005 out of high school and 33rd round in 2006.

Moore played four years of minor league baseball before getting the call to the major leagues last April. He made his major league debut April 29.

"It seemed like it took forever, but I've matured as a baseball player and as a man coming up through the minors," Moore said. "Not every day was easy, but once you get to a particular level, it's much easier.

"It's like when you have a bad truck your whole life and when you get a new one, it makes you want to take care of it. I was very blessed and got some opportunities, was able to come through and hopefully it continues for a long time."

Moore hit .263 in 55 games with 35 starts in left field, right field and first base for Washington.

One of the highlights of the season for Moore was a game-winning hit in the first round of the postseason for the Nationals.

Moore was happy to be part of something special for the organization that hadn't had a great history of winning.

"It wasn't a solid hit, but it was a flare that got the job done," Moore said. "It was crazy how the city just came around us, mostly toward the end of the year because our big league team hadn't been that great and last year we'd seen flashes of it. (Last) year we kind of put it together and we finished with the best record in the National League. It was just a fun time to come to the park every day because the fans filled the place up every day and rallied behind."

MSU fans are expected to fill the Palmeiro Center for today's events that begin at 11 a.m. lunch in the Griffis Boardroom, then an autograph session with the 2013 MSU team in the Palmeiro Center.

Coach John Cohen will emcee the program that starts at 12:45 p.m. Moore will speak during that time.
There will also be an intrasquad scrimmage held at 2:15 p.m.

"I'm anxious to return to Starkville and see some of the people I've built relationships with," Moore said. "I'm excited about my little brother coming up there too. He just signed with Mississippi State."

Tickets for the celebration will be available at the door for $12 each.

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