MLB Baseball

Larry Walker makes strides in HOF vote, but still short

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

By PAT GRAHAM

AP Sports Writer

DENVER (AP) Larry Walker joined the conference call with reporters and quickly announced his arrival.

"54.6 percent here," the longtime player with the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals cracked.

That's his percentage in this year's Hall of Fame vote. Keep up this sort of jump, though, and he may be able to proclaim something different next season in his 10th and final year on the ballot: Hall of Famer.

Walker's vote total rose 20.5 percent from a year ago, but the seven-time Gold Glove outfielder still fell short of the necessary 75 percent threshold. The 2019 Hall of Fame class elected Tuesday included reliever Mariano Rivera, designated hitter Edgar Martinez and pitchers Roy Halladay - a Denver native who died in November 2017 when an airplane he was flying crashed - and Mike Mussina.

The 52-year-old Walker took it all in stride.

"I don't get set up for heartbreak or heartache if something doesn't happen," Walker said. "I'm a pretty level-headed guy."

Still, Walker acknowledged being emotionally invested in the days before the vote was officially revealed. He saw on Twitter that at one point he was trending at nearly 66 percent on some of the ballots made public.

In the end, he was on 232 of the 425 ballots cast.

"I don't want to get too involved with that again next year, because your heart rate's going up and down," Walker said. "Part of me almost doesn't want to make it, because doing that speech in Cooperstown, probably would have a heart attack before I got up there to do it."

Growing up in Canada, Walker was more interested in being an NHL goaltender than a baseball player. He didn't really learn the nuances of the game until he started out in the minor leagues. A quick study, he hit .313 with 383 homers and 1,311 RBIs in 17 seasons. He won three batting titles and an NL MVP award.

"It was never in my mind as a kid growing up: It was playing in Stanley Cup Finals, not talking about the Hall of Fame ballot," Walker said. "Baseball was never on my radar, until I was offered $1,500 U.S. ... I couldn't wait to sign that contract to get that 2-grand Canadian, and off I went."

Walker thinks his surge is due in part to analytics, even if he really doesn't understand such stats as dWAR (defensive wins above replacement).

"I remember telling somebody a couple weeks ago, dWAR, I don't even know if that refers to a pitcher or hitter," Walker said. "I'm kind of clueless on all those things."

One thing he's hoping eventually changes: having Coors Field held against him. Walker was a lifetime .381 batter with 154 homers inside the hitter-friendly park.

"I took advantage of Coors Field as good as I possibly could and I'm glad I did it," Walker said. "I'm not sad about it one bit."

Another Coors Field case study: Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, who received 16.5 percent in his first year on the ballot. Helton played 17 seasons with the Rockies and finished with a .316 lifetime average.

"Todd was an amazing player," Walker said. "Unfortunately, if I'm falling into the Coors Field bias, then Todd falls into it more, because he spent his whole career there."

Should Walker fail to get in next year, there's always the Today's Game Era committee, which voted in reliever Lee Smith and outfielder/DH Harold Baines.

"I have some things that are Hall of Fame worthy, and I have some things that aren't," Walker said. "I've heard them all. I've seen them all. I've read them all. I'm good with both sides of the fence of it."

---

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Updated January 22, 2019

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2019 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

NBA Scoreboard
Philadelphia 12:00 PT1:00 MT2:00 CT3:00 ET19:00 GMT3:00 12:00 MST1:00 CST2:00 EST23:00 UAE21:0015:00 ET2:00 CT18:00
Preview
Brooklyn 
Denver 2:30 PT3:30 MT4:30 CT5:30 ET21:30 GMT5:30 2:30 MST3:30 CST4:30 EST1:30 UAE (+1)23:3017:30 ET4:30 CT20:30
Preview
San Antonio 
Milwaukee 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST6:00 CST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CT23:00
Preview
Detroit 
Houston 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 MST8:30 CST9:30 EST6:30 UAE (+1)04:3022:30 ET9:30 CT1:30
Preview
Utah 
NHL Scoreboard
Dallas 12:00 PT1:00 MT2:00 CT3:00 ET19:00 GMT3:00 12:00 MST1:00 CST2:00 EST23:00 UAE15:00 ET16:00 BRT
Preview
Nashville 
Winnipeg 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST5:00 CST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT
Preview
St. Louis 
Carolina 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST6:00 CST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET21:00 BRT
Preview
Washington 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Atlanta 1:10 PT2:10 MT3:10 CT4:10 ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 MST3:10 EST2:10 CST3:40 VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 CT
Cleveland 
Atlanta 4:40 PT5:40 MT6:40 CT7:40 ET19:40 ET23:40 GMT7:40 4:40 MST6:40 EST5:40 CST7:10 VEN3:40 UAE (+1)6:40 CT
Cleveland 
American League
Kansas City010:05 PT11:05 MT12:05 CT1:05 ET13:05 ET17:05 GMT1:05 10:05 MST12:05 EST12:35 VEN21:05 UAE12:05 CT
Preview
NY Yankees0
Chi White Sox Postponed
Detroit 
Minnesota 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET16:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST2:05 CST3:35 VEN0:05 UAE (+1)3:05 CT
Baltimore 
Toronto 1:07 PT2:07 MT3:07 CT4:07 ET16:07 ET20:07 GMT4:07 1:07 MST3:07 EST2:07 CST3:37 VEN0:07 UAE (+1)3:07 CT
Preview
Oakland 
Boston 3:10 PT4:10 MT5:10 CT6:10 ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 MST5:10 EST4:10 CST5:40 VEN2:10 UAE (+1)5:10 CT
Preview
Tampa Bay 
Minnesota 4:35 PT5:35 MT6:35 CT7:35 ET19:35 ET23:35 GMT7:35 4:35 MST6:35 EST5:35 CST7:05 VEN3:35 UAE (+1)6:35 CT
Preview
Baltimore 
Houston 5:05 PT6:05 MT7:05 CT8:05 ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 MST7:05 EST6:05 CST7:35 VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 CT
Preview
Texas 
Seattle 6:07 PT7:07 MT8:07 CT9:07 ET21:07 ET1:07 GMT9:07 6:07 MST8:07 EST7:07 CST8:37 VEN5:07 UAE (+1)8:07 CT
Preview
LA Angels 
National League
NY Mets011:15 PT12:15 MT1:15 CT2:15 ET14:15 ET18:15 GMT2:15 11:15 MST1:15 EST1:45 VEN22:15 UAE1:15 CT
Preview
St. Louis0
Arizona 11:20 PT12:20 MT1:20 CT2:20 ET14:20 ET18:20 GMT2:20 11:20 MST1:20 EST12:20 CST1:50 VEN22:20 UAE1:20 CT
Preview
Chi Cubs 
San Francisco 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET16:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 MST3:05 EST2:05 CST3:35 VEN0:05 UAE (+1)3:05 CT
Pittsburgh 
Washington 3:10 PT4:10 MT5:10 CT6:10 ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 MST5:10 EST4:10 CST5:40 VEN2:10 UAE (+1)5:10 CT
Preview
Miami 
LA Dodgers 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST5:10 CST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Milwaukee 
Philadelphia 5:10 PT6:10 MT7:10 CT8:10 ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 MST7:10 EST6:10 CST7:40 VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 CT
Preview
Colorado 
Cincinnati 5:40 PT6:40 MT7:40 CT8:40 ET20:40 ET0:40 GMT8:40 5:40 MST7:40 EST6:40 CST8:10 VEN4:40 UAE (+1)7:40 CT
Preview
San Diego 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Pawtucket 10:05 PT11:05 MT12:05 CT1:05 ET11:05 MT1:05 ET6:05 GMT2:05 北京时间
Syracuse 
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 10:05 PT11:05 MT12:05 CT1:05 ET11:05 MT1:05 ET6:05 GMT2:05 北京时间
Buffalo 
Pawtucket 12:35 PT1:35 MT2:35 CT3:35 ET1:35 MT3:35 ET8:35 GMT4:35 北京时间
Syracuse 
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 12:35 PT1:35 MT2:35 CT3:35 ET1:35 MT3:35 ET8:35 GMT4:35 北京时间
Buffalo 
Columbus 2:05 PT3:05 MT4:05 CT5:05 ET3:05 MT5:05 ET10:05 GMT6:05 北京时间
Toledo 
Gwinnett 2:05 PT3:05 MT4:05 CT5:05 ET3:05 MT5:05 ET10:05 GMT6:05 北京时间
Durham 
Charlotte 2:05 PT3:05 MT4:05 CT5:05 ET3:05 MT5:05 ET10:05 GMT6:05 北京时间
Norfolk 
Rochester 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET4:35 MT6:35 ET11:35 GMT7:35 北京时间
Lehigh Valley 
Louisville 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET5:05 MT7:05 ET12:05 GMT8:05 北京时间
Indianapolis 
Gwinnett 4:35 PT5:35 MT6:35 CT7:35 ET5:35 MT7:35 ET12:35 GMT8:35 北京时间
Durham 
Charlotte 4:35 PT5:35 MT6:35 CT7:35 ET5:35 MT7:35 ET12:35 GMT8:35 北京时间
Norfolk 
ATP Scoreboard
Saturday, Apr. 20
Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (ATP)
Semifinals
(10) D. Medvedev5 1    
D. Lajovic7 6    
(2) R. Nadal4 2    
(13) F. Fognini6 6