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

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

Maple Ridge’s Larry Walker Jr. gets voted into Cooperstown

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

Maple Ridge’s Larry Walker Jr. will be the second Canadian to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

The right fielder, who played with the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinal over the course of an illustrious career, will join Chatham, Ontario’s Fergie Jenkins as a member of the exclusive club.

This was the 10th and final year of Walker Jr.’s eligibility to be voted in by the Baseball Writer’s Association.

Needing 75 percent of the vote, he received just 54.6 per cent of the vote last year and 34.1 per cent in 2018.

Momentum continued to build and Walker Jr. received 76.6 percent of the 2020 vote to narrowly slide into home.

Just this morning, he tweeted to his followers that he was not expecting to be inducted this afternoon.

“I didn’t think it was happening and I truly meant that,” Walker Jr. said in an interview on MLB Network, “I had the numbers in my head and was prepared for no call and then the opposite happens and that call comes and all of a sudden you can’t breathe… when the phone rang and I saw that number, the heart skips a beat.”

Despite having an impressive career that included five all-star game appearances, seven Golden Gloves, three batting titles and a National League MVP award in 1997, Walker Jr.’s injury history and his home field in Denver, where he spent 10 of his 17 seasons, was seen to be held against him by voters in past years.

READ MORE: Larry Walker and his father keeping expectations low for HOF induction.

Coors Field, with its high elevation and roomy outfield, is lauded as a hitters paradise. Without question, it has helped many a Rockies batter pad their statistics. According to ESPN’s MLB Park Factors, 1,266 home runs were hit at Denver stadium in 2019. That is over 200 more than the next highest park.

But a telling stat that his risen Walker Jr.’s stock is his WAR or wins-over-replacement. The stat is used to determine the additional amount of wins a player’s team has accumulated above the expected number of victories if they were substituted with a replacement-level player.

For Walker Jr., his career WAR of 68.7 on Fangraphs ranks him as 86th of all time.

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

His father, Larry Walker Sr. was delighted with the news.

“I’m very, very excited,” he said in an interview with Maple Ridge News shortly after the announcement, “I’m speechless and I’ve got butterflies.

“I’ve got tears in my eyes,” he continued, “And I’m very happy. Very happy for him as well as our whole family and the people of Canada.”

Walker Sr. said the B.C.-born slugger has always represented Canada well.

“Larry’s always kept his Canadian citizenship,” he said, “He’s very proud to be Canadian and he was excited to be given the opportunity for this honour.

“He still coaches the national team and he’s happy to be involved.”

The proud dad thinks the world of what his son’s accomplished.

“He’s had 17 years of major league experience. He’s been an all star. He’s been the most valuable player in the league. He’s been on the ballot of ten years and a lot of people don’t even get on it,”Walker Sr. said, “We’re pretty happy with that and this is just a feather in the cap.”

Fans of Walker Jr.’s are just as impressed by his wardrobe choice as his induction.

Although a park in Maple Ridge is already named after Walker Jr. a small push is materializing to get a statue too.



mailto:ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

Annette Code passed away in 2017. (Special to The News)
A special room at Pitt Meadows Museum dedicated to Code

Annette Code was a long-time museum volunteer, school board trustee

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

School sign at Pitt Meadows secondary, which is one of the schools in the district with a recent exposure to COVID-19. (The News files)
Five schools added to list of those with COVID-19 exposures

Surge in cases at Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows schools

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

Most Read