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January 4, 2011

Cooperstown 2011: Larry Walker

First Year on Ballot

PLAYING CAREER: Montreal Expos (1989–1994), Colorado Rockies (1995–2004) and St. Louis Cardinals (2004–2005)

ACHIEVEMENTS:  Career batting average of .313 with 2160 hits, 383 home runs, 1355 runs scored and 1311 RBI.  1997 National League MVP.  Led the National League in batting three times (1998, 1999 and 2001).  Hit better than .300 nine times and drove in 110 runs or more five times.  Twice stole more than 30 bases and hit more than 30 home runsin a season.  Walker's 409 total bases in 1997 were the most by a National Leaguer since Stan Musial's 1948 season...the mark was bettered by Barry Bonds in 2001 (411).  The same year, Walker became and remains the only player to have at least 25 stolen bases and a slugging percentage of more than .700 in a season.  Seven-time Gold Glove Award winner (1992-1993, 1997-1999 and 2001-2002).  Five-time All-Star selection (1992, 1997-1999 and 2001).


@FigureFilbert:  Glad to see another Walker supporter out there. Anyone who voted for Jim Rice has no excuse not to vote for Larry Walker.

@boxcar_fritz:  Larry Walker should make the HOF solely for being part of the most awesome and unpredicted trade of all time in 2004

@jonahkeri:  Larry Walker is my 2nd-favorite player ever. Many smart colleagues think he's HoF guy. I lean just slightly against. Am I crazy?

HOVG THOUGHTS:  Any other year, a guy like Walker (and Jeff Bagwell for that matter) gets some serious, serious Hall of Fame consideration.  Unfortunately, Bert Blyleven is the current darling and the cloud of steroids (in the form of Rafael Palmeiro) looms large over Walker's candidacy.  To me, I like uniqueness...and with only one other Canuck in the Hall of Fame, I've gotta put in a guy who nine times took home the Tip O'Neill Award courtesy of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

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