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Former Marshall University baseball standout Walt Garnett, right, talks with former Thundering Herd coach Jack Cook during the Thundering Herd's Homecoming week Oct. 19, 2018 in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — Former Marshall University baseball standout Walt Garnett died Wednesday. He was 82.

Garnett graduated from Marshall in 1970. He joined the Thundering Herd baseball team as a 26-year-old and was one of the program’s better hitters. He went on to retire from International Nickel in Huntington in 1989 and moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he owned and operated several restaurants, including Wild Wing Cafe, a popular stop for Marshall sports fans.

“I can honestly say there’s never been a person that I’ve ever met who has made everyone feel like they are his best friend,” former MU baseball star Larry Verbage said. “Walt Garnett certainly did. The nicest, kindest, caring, loving, happiest person that I ever had the pleasure of meeting.”

Garnett died of congestive heart failure.

Debbie Pappas, formerly of Huntington, was Garnett’s neighbor in the Belmont Park section of Huntington.

“I am so sad to hear this,” Pappas said. “Danny and I loved Walt.”

Former Cabell Midland High School teacher Vickie Archer took the news of Garnett’s death hard.

“Walt was one of a kind and I loved him,” she said. “He would talk to anyone he met like he’d known them forever and he never forgot a face. To say he will be missed is an understatement.”

Former Marshall basketball star and coach Greg White said Garnett will be missed.

“One of a kind,” White said. “Wonderful friend. Never be another Walt.”

Funeral arrangements were incomplete as of press time.

Tim Stephens is a sports writer with The Herald-Dispatch.

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