(Photo: National Baseball Hall of Fame)
Ten years on the ballot and another year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but Maple Ridge, BC's Larry Walker was finally inducted into the place he so richly deserves, National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Walker deleivered a tremendous speech detailing his upbringing in British Columbia and his path to professional baseball that eventually led to muliple All-Star Game appearance, Gold Glove awards, Silver Slugger awards, a National League MVP and finally, the Hall of Fame.
Tributes were pouring in from all over Canada and the baseball world as Walker joined the legendary Fergie Jenkins as the only two Canadian players to be elected into the hall.
Walker paved the path for many Canadian players who dreamed of playing in the major leagues and proved that not only was it possible to make the majors, but it was possible for a Canadian player to excel at baseball's highest level.
Cincinnati Reds star and one of just three Canadian-born players to win a MVP award, Joey Votto, narrated a terrific tribute to Walker while former big league All-Star and fellow British Columbian Ryan Dempster added his own personal tribute.
Sportsnet's Shi Davidi wrote a "Big Read" piece with anecdote's referencing Walker's time as a coach with Baseball Canada's Senior National Team told by Tim Leiper and Jimmy VanOstarnd. The story also took a deep dive into what made Walker such a great player and painted a picture of what a true five-tool talent he was.
Finally, this picture of Larry Walker and Fergie Jenkins gives Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast all the feels. We now have two players right where they belong, enshrined among the greatest to ever play this game.