MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS 1130) — Larry Walker, 53, becomes just the second Canadian in history to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Maple Ridge native received 76.6 per cent of the vote, surpassing the 75 per cent required for induction in his final year of eligibility by six votes.
He joins Ferguson Jenkins as the only other Canadian to enter Cooperstown.
Walker was one of two players elected in 2020, alongside New York Yankees great Derek Jeter.
Larry Walker has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He becomes just the second Canadian in history to be elected, joining Fergie Jenkins. This was his final year of eligibility. @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/u04MsMd4yX
— Adam Forsythe (@adamforsythe) January 21, 2020
A 17-year MLB veteran, Walker started his career with the Montreal Expos, where he played for six years before joining the Colorado Rockies for the next 10 seasons. The outfielder retired in 2005 as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
During his career, he amassed an NL MVP award, five all-star nods, seven Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers and three batting titles. Walker had a career .313 batting average with a .965 OPS, 383 home runs, 1,311 RBI and 72.7 WAR.
“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 in a statement. “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.
— National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (@baseballhall) January 21, 2020
“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.”
A 20-year major leaguer, Jeter won five World Series with the Yankees, and was crowned World Series MVP in 2000. He was elected an all-star 14 times, earning MVP honours in the 2006 game, along with five Gold Gloves, five Silver Sluggers and Rookie of the Year in 1998. Jeter received 99.7 per cent of the votes, one vote shy of becoming the second player to be elected unanimously.
This was his final year of eligibility.