Montreal Expos right fielder Larry Walker is seen in 1994. Less than a year later, he was off to Colorado. On Tuesday, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, just the second Canadian--after Ferguson Jenkins--to be elected. (The Canadian Press/AP)

At long last love: Larry Walker’s going to the Baseball Hall of Fame

As usual, he was right on the edge, but in the end he prevailed–pretty much like he always did on a baseball field.

Walker becomes the first position player from Canada ever to be elected to the Hall and the second Canadian, following pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, from Chatham, Ontario, who was voted in in 1991.

It was Walker’s 10th and final chance to be voted in by the baseball writers and he barely made it above the minimum 75 per cent of the votes required, but he will now have a place to go during the last week of July every summer when members of the Hall of Fame gather to celebrate.

And that weekend will sit just fine for Walker, a man possessed with the ability–as was one of his mentors, Tim Wallach–to make everyone around him feel terrific.

Walker is greeted by his teammate, friend  and mentor Tim Wallach, left, after Walker hit a two-run home run in 1990. (Mary Butkus/Associated Press)

Walker, who was born and raised in British Columbia, first gained fame as a member of the Montreal Expos and was on the team in 1994, the year a work stoppage cost the team what everybody said was a legit shot to become World Series champions.

The team was dismantled the following spring, and Walker moved on to Colorado, where he excelled.

But the sensational numbers he put up were said to be tainted--at least by many HOF voters–because the thin mountain air allows a baseball to travel a whole lot further, so it wasn’t a fair fight–or so the experts said.

But as the Sabermetrics guys proliferated across the game, so did new respect for Walker.

Gradually, people began to realize that playing in Colorado was not the piece of cake everybody thought it was.

And so, Walker, finally–and legitimately–has made it to Cooperstown.

About time, I say.

But I confess, I am prejudiced. I really, really like the guy.

Gregarious, generous, and a possessor of immaculate comic timing, he was someone you wanted to be around and last night he was feeling pretty good about life when he spoke to the CBC’s Andrew Chang.

Never mind Hall of Fame Ballplayer, Walker’s always been a Hall of Game Guy.

A mutual friend of ours is Richard Griffin, who is the director of baseball media for the Toronto Blue Jays, after being the top baseball writer and columnist for the Toronto Star.

Before that, Griffin was Expos media relations director, a job that saw him spend a lot of hours with Walker.

Griffin joined me by phone from his home in Toronto today to talk about Walker, the person, Walker, the ballplayer, and Walker, the Canadian.

Categories: Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *