Canada's best baseballer makes it into Cooperstown
ST. MARYS, ONT. -- Larry Walker is a Hall of Famer.
The B.C. native, who grew up a goaltender, has been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame, just the second Canadian to reach the pinnacle of his sport.
In his 10th and final year on the ballot, the 53-year old-Walker received just over the 75 per cent vote threshold required for induction.
Walker was a multi-talented player over his 17-year MLB career. He was a five time All-Star, seven-time Golden Glove winner and won the batting title in 1998, 1999 and 2001.
Walker joins Chatham, Ont.'s Ferguson Jenkins as the only two Canadians in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Reached at his home in Arizona, Jenkins tells CTV News, “I was elated. Because of the fact that he’d been shortchanged for so many years past. He just couldn’t get enough votes, and finally, they got it right.”
The news of Walker’s induction was met with jumps of joy at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St.Marys, where Walker was unanimously inducted in 2009.
Scott Crawford is the director of operations at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. “It was a long time coming. We all knew it took 10 years, but he’s in. It’s so exciting for Canadian baseball.”
Adam Stern, who owns Centrefield Sports in London, Ont. was coached by Walker on Canada’s national baseball team.
He says, “A lot of us, that’s the guy we looked up to, especially for position players. He was the face of Canadian baseball. He more than deserves it.”
Walker, who now lives in Florida, will be inducted into Cooperstown this July.