Colorado Rockies’ Larry Walker, of Maple Ridge, B.C. watches the flight of his two-run home run on a pitch from San Diego Padres starting pitcher Kevin Jarvis in the third inning in Denver’s Coors Field on Monday, June 25, 2001. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, David Zalubowski

Larry Walker and his father keeping expectations low for HOF induction

Walker needs 75 percent of votes in order to be inducted into Cooperstown

Maple Ridge’s Larry Walker Jr. and his father are trying to keep their expectations low for a big announcement this afternoon.

The local baseball star is in the running to be the second Canadian enshrined in the baseball hall of fame.

This is the tenth and final year that Walker is eligible to be voted into the hall. He needs 75 percent of the votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to make the cut.

As of Tuesday morning, Walker Jr. was sitting at 83.5 percent of the vote with 52.9 percent of the ballots being publicly known.

READ MORE: Votto, Morneau want Hall of Fame recognition for Larry Walker

Despite what might look like a comfortable margin, Walker Jr. is not quite ready to count chickens.

“Although I believe I’m going to come up a little short today, I still wanna thank all you that have been pulling for me and showing your support,” he tweeted.

“I’m grateful for all of you! It’s been fun leading up to today reading everyone’s thoughts. Cheers.”

While many Canadians from coast-to-coast eagerly await the decision, his most ardent supporter says Walker Jr. is keeping an even keel.

“Winning would be great, but [Larry] doesn’t have an ego,” said his father, Larry Walker Sr. and Maple Ridge resident.

“He’s very calm and collected. ‘If it doesn’t happen, so be it,’ he says. ‘I’ve got this far and I’ve done very well for myself,’” Larry Sr. added.

“He’s got the mindset where he thinks he’s going to be a few votes low and he’s not expecting to get in, but it might be a subconscious thing that he’s doing, too. I don’t know.”

READ MORE: Larry Walker Sr. still at the diamonds in Maple Ridge

The slugger’s father is following a similar thought pattern.

“I’m thinking he’s not going to make it because I read a few reports out of ESPN who say he’s going to be short probably.”

Walker Sr., who has been a fixture on Maple Ridge’s baseball diamonds, where he still calls local games from behind the plate, plans to wait on the announcement at home with his wife, Mary.

His son played for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals, appearing in five all-star games and winning seven gold gloves, three batting titles and an MVP award in 1997.



mailto:ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

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