The left-handed hitting Walker was a blend of power and average that few other hitters possess.
However, his accomplishments were typically looked down upon because of the Coors Field effect.
In Colorado, with the elevation being so high, offense tends to be inflated.
Walker’s best years came in Colorado.
Regardless, he was still one of the best hitters of that time and he finally got recognized for it.
In 2019, alongside Derek Jeter, Walker was voted into the Hall of Fame.
Visualizing Larry Walker’s path to the Hall of Fame is a beautiful thing. pic.twitter.com/GxJkmnXqUM
— Adam Darowski (@baseballtwit) January 10, 2021
Here is a look at the recent Hall of Famer’s career and what he is up to now.
A Well-Rounded Player
Walker was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Montreal Expos in 1985.
Larry Walker with the Montreal Expos was a good thing pic.twitter.com/tvrrvlbvXe
— CirclinTheBases (@CirclinTheBases) December 25, 2020
Due to his raw talent and lack of experienced playing organized baseball, he spent four seasons in the minor leagues.
He made his debut in 1989 and struggled in 20 games, hitting just .170 with zero home runs and four RBI.
In his first full season, he did better but still struggled.
He hit just .241 with 19 home runs and 21 stolen bases.
However, he began to find more success starting in the 1991 season as he upped his average to .290 with similar power numbers.
1992 would be his best season though, as he hit .301 with 23 home runs and his first career All-Star appearance.
After a statistical step back in 1993, Walker stood out during the 1994 strike season.
He hit .322 with a league leading 44 doubles and 19 home runs.
Following that season, with the Expos looking to reduce payroll, Walker was granted free agency where he commanded a high value.
Walker Becomes Dominant
Prior to the 1995 season, Walker signed a four-year, $22.5 million contract with the Rockies.
This was the largest contract signed at the time after the strike.
His first season in Colorado saw Walker put up stellar numbers.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) December 28, 2016
In 131 games, Walker slugged 36 home runs and had a .306 average.
However, he took his play to another level starting in 1997.
That season, Walker led the MLB in home runs (49), on-base percentage (.452), SLG and OPS.
He also added a .366 batting average and 33 stolen bases., creating one of the most dominant seasons ever from a hitter.
Walker handedly won the MVP award because of his stats.
OTD in 1997: Larry Walker was named National League MVP.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) November 14, 2017
This wasn’t just luck either, as Walker put together six straight seasons with an average above .300.
That includes three seasons in 1998, 1999 and 2001 where he led the league in batting average.
The aging Walker would ultimately stay in the league just a few more years but remained a threat at the plate.
His playing time was limited due to injuries, but he still posted averages above .280.
By the end of his career, he totaled 2,160 hits, 383 home runs and a .313 average.
On top of this, he won seven Gold Gloves making himself into the perfect five-tool player.
He also has one of the best six-year peaks of any play in MLB history.
Because of this, he was elected to the Hall of Fame with 76.57% of the vote on his final ballot year.
Walker After Retirement
Since retiring, Walker has remained around the sport.
He has a major impact on the sport in Canada, where he is seen as an inspiration to any other players trying to come from his native country.
In 2008, he began as an instructor on the St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training staff.
His coaching didn’t stop there, as he has been the hitting coach from the Canadian national team in the last three World Baseball Classics.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) March 10, 2013
Walker was one of the most dominant hitters of his generation.
He has been recognized for his achievements in the sport, and he continues to give back to baseball by mentoring younger players.