Hall of Famer
Inducted in 2007
Tip O'Neill Award, Canadian baseball player of the year
Gold Glove Award, National League Outfielder
Silver Slugger Award, National League Outfielder
National League Home Run Champion
Lou Marsh Award
"Larry Walker...he's a walking bag of ice," quipped Dave McKay, a St. Louis Cardinals coach and fellow Canadian, describing Walker's heroic hitting and fielding brilliance late in the player's injury-plagued, 17-year career. The frozen water metaphor was apt for a player who once dreamed of being an NHL goalie. Instead Larry Walker chose the diamond. His 1,988 games played, 2160 hits, 383 home runs, 1,355 runs scored, 1,311 RBIs, and 230 stolen bases, are all the highest totals achieved by the more than 225 Canadians who have played Major League Baseball. "They're numbers warranting his serious consideration for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown when he becomes eligible in 2011," says Tom Valcke, CEO of Canada's Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, Ontario. After making his debut in 1989 for the Montreal Expos, Walker became a permanent part of the roster the next season. Within two years he was a National League all-star, and by 1994 he was a bona fide leader who by August had 19 home runs and 86 RBIs and was hitting .322. Then came the infamous shut down of the majors at a time when the Expos had the best record in baseball at 74-40. They were early World Series favourites. The season never resumed, and by next year Larry Walker and many of the team's best players had left. He was signed by the expansion Colorado Rockies and blossomed into a superstar, culminating in his National League MVP season of 1997 when he achieved career highs of 153 games, 568 at bats, 49 home runs, and 130 RBIs. In future seasons he led the league in batting on three occasions, including 1999 when he hit a career-high .379. He made four All-Star Game appearances for the Rockies and won seven Gold Glove honours for excellence in the outfield. Walker was traded to the Cardinals in 2004 and finally had the World Series appearance he had been denied in 1994. Unfortunately, the Boston Red Sox swept the Cards, but Walker himself batted .357 and hit two homers. Walker now lives in Florida and works with the Cardinals at spring training, but on the streets of Maple Ridge, Larry Walker, Sr. notes, "I'm just thrilled to have kids come up to me and tell me my son is their idol. He deserves everything he's got."