OTTAWA –Maple Ridge, British Columbia’s Larry Walker will be officially inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on July 26th, 2020 it was announced this evening after the 17-year Major League Baseball veteran achieved 76.6% of the voting ballot to earn the minimum 75% required to be elected.
Walker will join Chatham, Ontario native and 1991 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Fergie Jenkins as the only Canadian players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“This is truly an amazing moment for Canadian baseball and Canadian baseball fans but most importantly for Larry Walker and his family,” said Baseball Canada Director of National Teams Greg Hamilton. “Larry was a tremendous talent on the baseball field and was an athlete that young Canadian ball players could look up to and someone that Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast were thrilled to call their own.
“A proud Canadian who still impacts the game north of the border through his association with our national team, Baseball Canada could not be more proud for Larry on achieving this honour that he so richly deserves."
“On behalf of the entire membership of Baseball Canada, we’d like to congratulate Larry on this amazing accomplishment and fitting tribute to an amazing career he had as a big league player,” added Baseball Canada President Jason Dickson. “I speak personally when I say that Larry was someone that young Canadian players could look up to not only for what he did on the field but for how he carried himself as a professional athlete and for the manner in which he represented our great country.”
After signing with the Montréal Expos as an amateur free agent in 1984, Walker broke into the big leagues in 1989 and so began a 17-year-career with the Expos (’89-’94), Rockies (’95-’04) and Cardinals (’04-’05) that saw him earn the 1997 National League MVP and capture seven Gold Glove Awards, three Silver Slugger Awards, win three batting title while being named a National League All-Star on five occasions.
A cornerstone of the Rockies’ franchise for ten seasons, Walker’s famous #33 will be retired by the club in April.
Widely considered the greatest Canadian position player of all-time Walker could impact a baseball game in many ways by virtue of his prowess in the batter’s box, in right field and on the base paths where he swiped 230 bases including 33 of them in his 1997 MVP season.
Walker helped the St. Louis Cardinals reach the 2004 World Series where he smacked a pair of home runs with the Boston Red Sox ultimately coming away with the title in a four-game sweep.
Following his retirement at the conclusion of the 2005 season, Walker began a coach stint with the Baseball Canada’s Senior National Team that still stands today. He’s been a member of the Canadian coaching staff for some notable events including all four World Baseball Classics, the 2015 Pan Am Games where Canada captured the gold medal on home soil in Toronto, the 2009 Baseball World Cup and more recently the 2015 and 2019 Premier 12 events.
Larry once said:
"I'm in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, I'm in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the B.C. Hall of Fame, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. I am a Hall of Famer.”
Now, there’s one more Hall of Fame that you can add your name to, Larry - the National Baseball Hall of Fame!