Wikia

Baseball Wiki

Larry Walker

6,878pages on
this wiki
Talk0

Larry Kenneth Robert Walker (born December 1, 1966 in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada) is a former right fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1989 through 2005, Walker played for the Montreal Expos (1989-1994), Colorado Rockies (1995-2004) and St. Louis Cardinals (2004-2005). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed. Walker announced his retirement after Game 6 of the 2005 National League Championship Series.

Early careerEdit

As a child, Walker aspired to be an ice hockey player. In time, he thought handling a bat was easier than using a stick.

Signed by the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent in 1984, Walker made his debut with Montreal on August 16, 1989. During his first several seasons, he was an above average hitter in all respects, hitting for some power, stealing 20-30 bases, and regularly batting near the .300 mark.

In 1994, the Expos team — and Walker himself — appeared to be rising to its potential. Led by rising young stars Pedro Martínez, Moisés Alou, Cliff Floyd, Mike Lansing and Jeff Fassero, Montreal was off to a 74-40 start, leading the National League Eastern Division.

Walker, with 86 RBI, was well on his way to his first 100-RBI year. The season, however, was stopped due to the 1994 players' strike. The World Series, for which the Expos appeared to be destined, was never played and Montreal lost many of its players during the next season due to free agency and salary constraints. The 1994 Montreal Expos team that remains one of baseball's hot discussion points.

Before the 1995 season, Walker signed with the Colorado Rockies, where hitter-friendly Coors Field contributed to an instant boom in his statistics. Walker was a major factor in Colorado's winning 1995 season, hitting .301 with 36 home runs and 101 RBI. He remains in the top ten in many offensive categories for the Rockies.[1]

Career SeasonEdit

Walker's career season came in 1997, when he hit .366 with 49 home runs, 130 RBI, 33 stolen bases, and 409 total bases, en route to becoming the first Canadian player to win the MVP Award.

In 1998, Walker won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canadian athlete of the year after finishing runner-up the previous year to Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve.

Combined with 12 outfield assists, the season remains one of the finest all around performances in recent baseball history. Even more impressively, Walker's breakout season came just one year after various injuries limited him to 83 games and 272 at-bats, although the NL Comeback Player of the Year award went to Darren Daulton.

Later yearsEdit

Walker was plagued by injuries for the last several years of his career, but nevertheless continued to produce. Although he would never have 500 at-bats in a season after 1997, he hit .363 in 1998 in limited action, and .379 (a Rockies record) with 37 homers and 115 RBI in just 438 at-bats the year after.

After spending most of the 2000 season on the disabled list (albeit hitting .309 in limited action), Walker returned to form, hitting .350 and .338 the next two seasons with more than 100 RBI both years.

In August 2004, the injured (but batting .324) Walker desired a trade to a contender and went to the St. Louis Cardinals for three minor league players. Now playing for the Cardinal powerhouse, Walker contributed briefly to the pennant-winning 2004 squad and the 2005 division winners. The Houston Astros defeated the Cardinals in the 2005 NLCS ending Busch Stadium's existence and Walker's career.

He ended his career with 383 home runs, at the time 50th (currently 52nd) on the all-time list. As of 2008, Walker is currently an instructor on the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training staff under manager Tony La Russa and does fill-in training with the Cardinals staff. He was considered for and offered a full-time position but opted instead to remain out of full-time involvement with the game and spend time with his children.[1]

AccomplishmentsEdit

FactsEdit

Template:Trivia

  • Walker's 409 total bases in 1997 were the most in an NL season since Stan Musial's 1948 season, although the mark was bettered by Barry Bonds in 2001 (411), Luis Gonzalez in 2001 (419), and twice by Sammy Sosa, in 1998 (416) and 2001 (425). Between 1948 and then, the mark was achieved only by Jim Rice in 1978 (406).
  • Walker has the most home runs ever hit by a Canadian in the major leagues.
  • Walker was the first MVP of a non-playoff team (excluding the 1994 season) since Major League Baseball realigned to two three-division leagues in 1994.
  • Walker's theme song is "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by:
Ken Caminiti
Jeff Kent
National League Player of the Month
April 1997
July 2002
Succeeded by:
Tony Gwynn
Barry Bonds
Preceded by:
Andrés Galarraga
National League Home Run Champion
1997
Succeeded by:
Mark McGwire
Preceded by:
Ken Caminiti
National League Most Valuable Player
1997
Succeeded by:
Sammy Sosa
Preceded by:
Tony Gwynn
Todd Helton
National League Batting Champion
1998–99
2001
Succeeded by:
Todd Helton
Barry Bonds
Preceded by:
Mark McGwire
National League Slugging Percentage Champion
1999
Succeeded by:
Todd Helton
Preceded by:
Jacques Villeneuve
Lou Marsh Trophy winner
1998
Succeeded by:
Caroline Brunet

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki