The Rockies announce they will retire number 33 in honor of OF Larry Walker on April 19.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 17, 2020
Walker in Colorado
Larry Walker had great success while playing for the Rockies. He made four All-Star games during that span and earned five Gold Glove awards. In 1997, Walker won the MVP after he hit .366/.452/.720 with 49 home runs, 130 RBI, and 33 stolen bases. He led the league in home runs, OBP, slugging percentage, OPS, and total bases.
Walker only played 38 games for the Rockies in 2004 before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. From 1995-2003 Walker hit .334/.425/.618 with 252 home runs, 828 RBI, 124 stolen bases, and a 147 OPS+.
Considered by many to be a five-tool player, Walker showed off his arm and ability to field in Colorado. He had 94 outfield assists, and he never made more than four errors in any season with Colorado. As far as advanced stats are concerned, his RF/9 typically sat in the low 2.0 or lower range. This shows that he totaled twice as many putouts or assists as innings played.
Also playing in to his reputation as a five-tool player was his exceptional baserunning. For his career, he was one of the best at stealing bases, taking extra bases, and scoring from first base on a double. This was skill was on display in Colorado as well.
Rockies Retired Numbers
There are only two numbers currently retired by the Rockies. That includes Jackie Robinson, who’s number 42 is retired across all of MLB. Walker will join Todd Helton as the lone Rockie players to have their careers held in such high regard.
Helton had his number 17 retired in 2014 after spending his entire 17-year career with Colorado. Additionally, Helton owns franchise records in most offensive categories such as home runs and total bases, and he also holds the records for games played, at bats, and WAR.
Truly, Helton had an iconic career in franchise history, and that further signifies the magnitude of Walker’s Rockie career to join a player like Helton with a retired number.
Walker In the Hall of Fame
Larry Walker is in his final year of eligibility on the Hall of Fame ballot, and he has a good chance to be elected this season. As of Friday morning, Walker has gained an additional 28 votes compared to last season with just under 40% of the ballots made public, and this is the third highest increase of anyone on the ballot, according to Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) on Twitter.
Additionally, Walker had the highest net change of of votes when he gained 67 more votes last year. According to Thibodaux, Walker has received 85% of the vote thus far.
Net gained votes through 164 ballots (~39.8% of the vote):
— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) January 17, 2020
When all of the ballots are released, it will be a close call on if Walker gets in. Regardless if he does, the Rockies have made a great decision to honor one of the best players their franchise has ever seen.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images