Better late than never. On his 10th and final time on the Hall of Fame ballot, Canadian legend Larry Walker has been voted into Cooperstown with 76.6 percent of votes.
In doing so, Walker became the second Canadian ever to be inducted to baseball’s Hall of Fame, joining Fergie Jenkins who was voted in back in 1991. Walker is undoubtedly the best Canadian baseball player of all-time and it’s a huge win for Canadian baseball to finally see him get enshrined in Cooperstown.
STAND UP, CANADA! 🇨🇦
MAPLE RIDGE, BC NATIVE LARRY WALKER IS HEADED TO COOPERSTOWN! 👏👏👏
— Baseball Canada (@baseballcanada) January 21, 2020
Hall of Famer Larry Walker wearing a Hall of Fame shirt. pic.twitter.com/yiik3GQzkH
— Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) January 21, 2020
This was Walker’s final go-around on the Hall of Fame ballot. If he didn’t get voted in this year, there was a decent chance he never would, unless the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee got him in. This is a pretty monumental shift for Walker, as he managed just 34.1 percent in 2018 was nearly voted off the ballot with 10.2 percent in 2014.
Walker was never drafted, but began his career with the Montreal Expos in 1989. He spent six seasons in Montreal before signing in free agency with the Colorado Rockies, where he would blossom into a legitimate superstar. Walker slashed a .224/.426/.618 line over 10 seasons with the Rockies, earning the National League MVP in 1997. He would also spend a year-and-a-half in St. Louis at the end of his career, coming up just short of winning the World Series in 2004.
All told, Walker slashed a career .313/.400/.565 line with 383 home runs, 1311 RBIs, 230 stolen bases, a 1231 strikeout to 913 walk ratio, seven gold glove awards, three silver slugger awards, five All-Star appearances, and an MVP.
For those who want to make the Coors Field argument…
Derek Jeter, career: .310/.377/.440
Larry Walker, career on the road:
— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) January 21, 2020
Oh, yeah, and Derek Jeter also got inducted today too. He missed being unanimous by one vote. Boy oh boy, that brave soul who didn’t vote for him better not step foot into a New York bar ever again. Hey, at least there’ll be one former MVP on the stage this year!
Larry Walker on going into the Hall of Fame alongside Derek Jeter: "Remember those old 45's we used to listen to, and they had the song on the A side, and song the B side you really didn't know about? I'm the B side."
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) January 21, 2020