Published: Wed, January 22, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Derek Jeter, Larry Walker selected to Hall of Fame

Derek Jeter, Larry Walker selected to Hall of Fame

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. "That call comes, and all of the sudden you can't breathe", Walker said in an interview on MLB Network.

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

He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 and remains active with the national team program as a first base coach for Baseball Canada. Among pitchers from that country, only Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins had more WAR (82.2).

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

The New York Yankees legend earned 396 of 397 votes (99.7 percent) to be selected for the 2020 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame. But Coors Field is a major-league ballpark, just like Fenway Park in Boston with its unique Green Monster wall in left field and a right-field line that has the most shallow outfield fence in the majors at only 302 feet. He will certainly enter the Hall of Fame wearing a Colorado Rockies cap after playing 10 seasons there, winning the National League MVP award in 1997 and three batting titles (1998, 1999 and 2001). He scored 100 or more runs 13 times, hit.310 for his career, and ranks sixth all-time with 3,465 career hits.

"He had 10 years in Colorado and five years in Montreal, so I don't have a problem". He played longer than any great Yankee.

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Known for his athleticism and strong arm, Walker won seven Gold Gloves during his career. But he still had solid numbers on the road, including an.865 on-base plus slugging percentage that's higher than the total OPS of some current Hall of Famers - George Brett, Tony Gwynn, Reggie Jackson and Roberto Clemente included. The first was his teammate Mariano Rivera a year ago.

The Expos signed Walker to a $1,500 contract as a free agent after watching him play at the 1984 World Youth Baseball Championships in Kindersley, Sask. The outfielder retired in 2005 as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.

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.

The Rockies announced last week that they will be retiring Walkers No. 33 this season.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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