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Larry Walker

Right fielder
Born: December 1, 1966 (1966-12-01) (age 43)
Maple Ridge, British Columbia
Batted: Left Threw: Right 
MLB debut
August 16, 1989 for the Montreal Expos
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 2005 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
Batting average     .313
Home runs     383
Runs batted in     1,311
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Larry Kenneth Robert Walker (born December 1, 1966 in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada) is a former right fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1989 through 2005, Walker played for the Montreal Expos (1989-1994), Colorado Rockies (1995-2004) and St. Louis Cardinals (2004-2005). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed. Walker announced his retirement after Game 6 of the 2005 National League Championship Series.

Contents

Career season (1997)

Walker's career season came in 1997, when he hit .366 with 49 home runs, 130 RBI, 33 stolen bases, and 409 total bases, en route to becoming the first Canadian player to win the MVP Award.

In 1998, Walker won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canadian athlete of the year after finishing runner-up the previous year to Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve.

Combined with 12 outfield assists, the season remains one of the finest all around performances in recent baseball history. Even more impressively, Walker's breakout season came just one year after various injuries limited him to 83 games and 272 at-bats, although the NL Comeback Player of the Year award went to Darren Daulton.

Later years

Walker was plagued by injuries for the last several years of his career, but nevertheless continued to produce. Although he would never have 500 at-bats in a season after 1997, he hit .363 in 1998 in limited action, and .379 (a Rockies record) with 37 homers and 115 RBI in just 438 at-bats the year after.

After spending most of the 2000 season on the disabled list (albeit hitting .309 in limited action), Walker returned to form, hitting .350 and .338 the next two seasons with more than 100 RBI both years.

In July of 2004, the Texas Rangers agreed with the Rockies to send, then-minor-leaguer, Ian Kinsler and prospect right-hander Erik Thompson to Colorado for Walker, but Walker vetoed the trade.[1]

In August 2004, the injured (but batting .324) Walker desired a trade to a contender and went to the St. Louis Cardinals for three minor league players. Now playing for the Cardinal powerhouse, Walker contributed briefly to the pennant-winning 2004 squad and the 2005 division winners. The Houston Astros defeated the Cardinals in the 2005 NLCS ending Busch Stadium's existence and Walker's career.

He ended his career with 383 home runs, at the time 50th (currently 52nd) on the all-time list. As of 2008, Walker is currently an instructor on the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training staff under manager Tony La Russa and does fill-in training with the Cardinals staff. He was considered for and offered a full time position but opted instead to remain out of full-time involvement with the game and spend time with his children.[1]

Walker served as the hitting coach for the Canadian team at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Accomplishments

Facts

  • Walker's 409 total bases in 1997 were the most in an NL season since Stan Musial's 1948 season, although the mark was bettered by Barry Bonds in 2001 (411), Luis Gonzalez in 2001 (419), and twice by Sammy Sosa, in 1998 (416) and 2001 (425). Between 1948 and then, the mark of 400 was achieved only by Jim Rice in the AL in 1978 (406).
  • Walker was the first MVP of a non-playoff team (excluding the 1994 season) since Major League Baseball realigned to two three-division leagues in 1994.
  • Walker's theme song is "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne.
  • Walker and his wife, Angela have two daughters Canaan Rose-Lynn (b. 2001) and Shayna Kaitlin (b. 2003) and he has another daughter Brittany Marie (b. July 1993) from a previous relationship[2]

See also

References

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ken Caminiti
Jeff Kent
National League Player of the Month
April 1997
July 2002
Succeeded by
Tony Gwynn
Barry Bonds
Preceded by
Andrés Galarraga
National League Home Run Champion
1997
Succeeded by
Mark McGwire
Preceded by
Ken Caminiti
National League Most Valuable Player
1997
Succeeded by
Sammy Sosa
Preceded by
Tony Gwynn
Todd Helton
National League Batting Champion
1998–99
2001
Succeeded by
Todd Helton
Barry Bonds
Preceded by
Mark McGwire
National League Slugging Percentage Champion
1999
Succeeded by
Todd Helton
Preceded by
Jacques Villeneuve
Lou Marsh Trophy winner
1998
Succeeded by
Caroline Brunet
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