We knew it was going to happen for some time, but Wednesday’s announcement made it official. Larry Walker still isn’t in the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Colorado Rockies still don’t have a player represented in Cooperstown.
With 442 ballots cast, Walker finished with a vote on 97 of them. That’s a 21.9 percent rate.
In his seventh year on the Hall of Fame ballot, Walker did improve on his 15.5 percent vote from last year’s balloting. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the “Coors Field” asterisk seems to be something that Walker may never be able to shake. As Jon Heyman said in his article, “He had amazing talent and an incredible slash line, even if it was Coors-enhanced.”
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That’s the prevailing thought for most Hall of Fame voters it seems. Heyman also brought up the amount of injuries that Walker endured during his career. Yes, those are things that stick in the voters’ mind as well it seems.
You’ve seen all of the reasons why Walker should be in the Hall of Fame. We broke them down in this article. You’ve seen our thoughts on why playing at altitude must be worse than taking performance-enhancing drugs. We tackled that in this article. There’s little more that can be said or explained about Walker’s Hall of Fame legitimacy. This, however, sums a lot of things up in a very simple statistical comparison…
As a reminder, Todd Helton is eligible for Hall of Fame voting in 2019. That’s the next potential former Rockies player who could join Walker on the ballot. Will he face the same scrutiny because of his home park? Absolutely, just like Nolan Arenado or any other future Hall of Fame candidate might who played at 20th and Blake.
Again this year, Larry Walker is on the outside looking in. It’s a sad commentary on a bias that exists within the majority of voters regarding Coors Field. A player can only play the game to the best of his ability. Again this year, Hall of Fame voters told Larry Walker that that simply wasn’t enough.