By: William Earl Robinson Jr.
Another opportunity is here for Hall of Fame voters to cast their ballot for the Hall of Fame and another year is going to go by where they ignore a candidate who I think should be an easy choice for the Hall of Fame. That candidate is Larry Walker, who played RF and first base for the Montreal Expos, St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies. I believe that Mr. Walker is probably the most underrated player in the history of baseball and it’s all because he played for the Colorado Rockies.
First off a few stats: I’m going to put down the stats here of three players and I want you to try and tell me who the Hall of Famers are.
Player 1: Career BA .303, career OPS .930, career OPS+ 141, career average HR 26, average RBI 90, average WAR 4.7, 1 time MVP, 8 time All-Star, 2 time Silver Slugger, 0 Gold Gloves.
Player 2: Career BA .313, career OPS .965, career OPS+ 141, career average HR 24, average RBI 82, average WAR 4.5, 1 time MVP, 5 time All-Star, 3 time Silver Slugger, 7 time Gold Gloves.
Player 3 : Career BA .301, career OPS .974, career OPS+ 156, career average HR 27, average RBI 90, average WAR 3.9, 2 time MVP, 5 time All-Star, 4 time Silver Slugger, and 0 Gold Gloves.
One of these players is a first ballot Hall of Famer, one will most likely be a first ballot Hall of Famer and the other one is getting less than 20 percent of the vote. Does that seem fair? I don’t think so. Now what if I told you that the three players listed above were: Chipper Jones, Larry Walker and Frank Thomas.
To me this is a no brainer. When you look at the stats Larry is a slam dunk Hall of Famer. He had absolutely no steroid rumors and as you can see above was a far superior fielder than Frank or Chipper. The problem is that he gets punished because he played in Colorado. But that’s not necessarily fair. Admittedly his home vs. away splits show that his OPS was much better at home than away but every player that ever played is that way as well. Chipper Jones and Frank Thomas each had OPS numbers that dropped by nearly a hundred points when they were on the road. Frank Thomas’s career OPS On the road is .645, that’s two hundred points lower than Larry Walker’s.
So I personally don’t understand why Larry Walker doesn’t get some love. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and I don’t think it’s even close.