Canada’s Larry Walker elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown

Canada’s Larry Walker is headed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Walker, from Maple Ridge, B.C., received 76.6 per cent of the vote by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in his 10th and final year on the ballot, narrowly surpassing the 75 per cent required for induction.

“I think I was quoted earlier saying that I didn’t think it would happen and I actually truly meant that,” Walker told MLB Network after the vote was revealed, referencing a tweet he sent out earlier in the day. “I had the numbers in my head and was prepared for no call and then the opposite happened and that call comes and all of a sudden you can’t breathe.

“The day flew by pretty quick but when that phone rang and I saw that number, yeah, the heart skips a beat.”

The former Colorado Rockies and Montreal Expos slugger is the second Canadian elected to the Hall of Fame. Pitcher Fergie Jenkins of Chatham, Ont., was inducted in 1991.

The 77-year-old Jenkins sent Walker a congratulatory message on Twitter moments after the announcement.

“As the first Canadian Hall of Famer ever inducted, I couldn’t be prouder and happier to welcome my friend and fellow Canadian Larry Walker to the Hall!” he said.

Walker, a five-time all-star and the 1997 National League MVP, is joined in this year’s induction class by New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who amassed 99.7 per cent of the vote. Jeter fell short of a unanimous ballot by just one vote in his first year of eligibility.

The induction ceremony will be held in Cooperstown in July.

Walker is a career .313 hitter over 17 seasons, including 10 with Colorado.

He won the NL MVP award in 1997 with the Rockies, when he hit an eye-popping .366 with a league-best 49 homers, 46 doubles and a career-high 130 runs batted in. His .452 on-base percentage that year, as well as his .720 slugging, also topped the NL.

Walker is also a three-time NL batting champion — hitting .363 in 1998, .379 in 1999 and .350 in 2001.

Walker signed with the Expos as an amateur free agent as a 17-year-old in 1984, five years before Canadians were first eligible for the MLB draft.

He made his MLB debut in 1989 and played six seasons with Montreal before signing a free-agent deal with Colorado. He capped his career with 144 games over parts of two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2004-05.

Walker had received 54.6 per cent of the votes last year in his ninth year on the ballot, up from the 34.1 per cent he received in 2018.

He is the first Rockies player to be inducted into the Hall.

Congratulatory messages poured in for Walker from various Canadian players on social media.

“Unbelievably well deserved ↕Cdnmooselips33,” Atlanta Braves right-hander and Calgary native Mike Soroka tweeted. “Amazing to see it happen to such a great person as well.”

“Congrats to ↕Cdnmooselips33 on finally getting into the hall of fame,” said Mississauga, Ont., native Dalton Pompey on Twitter. “More than well deserved! Proud moment for any Canadian.”

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

Just Posted

Only 13 new COVID-19 cases confirmed by Alberta gov’t Saturday

There’s currently only two active cases in province’s central zone

Food Truck Fridays to start new Drive and Dash events next week

Events will be held in Westerner Park parking lot Thursday evenings, Friday afternoons all June

Alberta gov’t to expand mental health supports

The Government of Alberta says a $21.6-million investment will expand online resources… Continue reading

City of Red Deer encouraged residents to participate in Food Bank Ninja Challenge

The City of Red Deer is encouraging residents to participate in a… Continue reading

READER VIDEO: American White Pelicans spotted in Red Deer River

A Red Deer Advocate reader spotted a group of American White Pelicans… Continue reading

Protesters rally in Toronto against anti-black, Indigenous racism

TORONTO — Thousands of people are taking part in a rally on… Continue reading

Another COVID-19 case reported in northern New Brunswick on Saturday

CAMPBELLTON, N.B. — People from a city in northern New Brunswick lined… Continue reading

B.C. sees second day in a row with no COVID-19 deaths as schools ready to reopen

VICTORIA — British Columbia announced no new deaths from COVID-19 for the… Continue reading

UN sets pandemic voting rules for Canada’s Security Council campaign

OTTAWA — The United Nations has confirmed that the election for non-permanent… Continue reading

Police watchdog investigating death of Richmond man

RICHMOND, B.C. — British Columbia’s police watchdog has been called in to… Continue reading

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Tooting the importance of whistling

OK, so someone who tattles on another person is a whistleblower, and… Continue reading

Police see increase in speedy drivers on quieter streets during pandemic

Police across the country say they’ve been dealing with more complaints about loud, fast vehicles

Most Read