The University of Toronto’s Student Newspaper Since 1880

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Larry Walker became 2nd Canadian inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

A legend of the baseball field and a Canadian, Larry Walker was recognized in 2021 for his efforts in the game as he became just the second player from the Maple Leaf Country to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

A native of Maple Ridge, BC, Walker was a star in the MLB as he had a highly successful 17-year career in the league which saw him play for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies, and St. Louis Cardinals between 1989 and 2005.

In this article, we will provide you with everything that you need to know about the outfielder’s Hall of Fame career before looking at whether there will be any more fellow Canadians joining him and pitcher Ferguson Jenkins as the only men from the country to have been recognized for their contributions to the sport of professional baseball.

The reasons Larry Walker was so deserving of his place in the Hall of Fame

When you take a look at what Walker had been able to achieve during the 17-year career he had in the MLB, it is clear that he is deserving of his place in the Hall of Fame.

Among the many stats that he was able to achieve, he had managed to be the all-time leader for all Canadians in regard to home runs hit (383), the best batting average (.313), RBIs, and stolen bases. Additionally, he also managed to set a record of winning seven Gold Gloves; the most by a Canadian ever.

He may have only captured one MVP award throughout his career, however it is one that was truly deserved after he had a career year in 1997. While being a part of the Colorado Rockies organization that season, Walker managed to hit 49 home runs, 130 RBIs, and claim 33 steals, while also winning the Golden Glove in a career-best year.

It is also worth noting that this was the first time that a player had ever managed to hit at least 40 home runs, steal 30 bases and have a batting average of over .350 in the same season; a stat which just shows how good Walker had been during the 1997 campaign.

The peak of his career would come between 1997 and 2001, as he would be selected to participate in four All-Star Games while also claiming three Silver Slugger Awards throughout the nineties and being named the National League batting champion on three separate occasions.

Could we see another Canadian in the Hall of Fame soon?

Given that Canada clearly appears to be underrepresented in the Baseball Hall of Fame at the moment, there will be some that will be wondering whether there will be another player to hail from the Maple Leaf Country to be granted the recognition of this status.

Indeed, for some – especially those who like to wager on the sport – the current Toronto Blue Jays team look good value to be a contender for the World Series at the moment.

Some are already utilizing the free bets on MLB for the Canadian to reach the playoffs, with the team currently 2nd in the AL East and continuing to pile on the wins as they chase a place in the postseason.

However, there will have been some who may have been placing bets on a current Cincinnati Reds player who hails from Toronto but will have now been left feeling rather upset with the latest news to have been reported.

Could Joey Votto be next?

Indeed, some may argue that Joey Votto deserves to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he eventually hangs up his boots, as the first baseman has had a very successful MLB career to date which saw him win the NL MVP award back in 2010. Additionally, he is a six-time All-Star and has been at the Reds for the entirety of his career.

Recently, he managed to surpass Walker in terms of appearances in the MLB for a Canadian as he achieved his 1,989th career game during Cincinnati’s 8-5 win over the Chicago Cubs recently. However, he will be unable to add to that figure as it was recently confirmed that he needed to have season-ending shoulder surgery on his left rotator cuff.

Given that he is 38 now, there may be some questions about whether he will be able to effectively come back from the injury and perform for the Cincinnati Reds to the same level that he has managed to achieve thus far. Only time will tell how this story develops, and we certainly wish Joey Votto the best of luck as he looks to recover from the injury.

However, some will argue that his Hall of Fame status is not quite guaranteed at the moment because it is worth noting that Votto is still yet to achieve some of the things that Walker had managed to during his time in the league. Nonetheless, it is impossible to deny that he has been impressive throughout his career.

Larry Walker’s place among Canadian baseball legends

As we have already touched on, Larry Walker is just the second Canadian player to have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with the first being Ferguson Jenkins who was recognized for his efforts back in 1991.

Therefore, it is safe to say that Walker will go down as one of the greatest baseball players that the country has ever produced, and it would not be a surprise if he is eventually joined by another fellow Canadian in the Hall of Fame in the future.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it is clear to see that Larry Walker is a Canadian baseball legend who thoroughly deserves his place in the Hall of Fame. Given that Joey Votto currently holds the record for the most appearances by a Canadian in the MLB, some will be wondering whether he could follow in Walker’s footsteps and be inducted into Cooperstown one day.