San Francisco Giants: Barry Bonds and My IBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot
72.6 Career WAR, .313/.400/.565/.965, 2160 hits, 383 HR’s, 1311 RBI’s, 1667 BB’s, 230 SB’s
Larry Walker was a five tool baseball player. He excelled at the plate and could hit for power. He has speed on the bases, could play great defense in right field and had a cannon for an arm. Walker did everything above average and was one of the best outfielders to ever play the game. Only ten Hall oF Famers have a higher OPS than his .965. The two factors that seem to hurt Walker the most is that he didn’t produce the power numbers you expect from outfielders and many of his prominent years were played in Coors Field. Voters have a need to create biases about a player’s career that is out of their control. The three that seem to have the most traction is designated hitters, closers and Coors Field. If a player is associated with any one of those three factors, their eligibility for the Hall of Fame includes a red flag. I’ve always maintained that it is completely unfair to judge a player for something they had no control over. Walker played in a stadium approved by Major League baseball. He did his job better than most baseball players of his era and his stats show he was an elite player over the span of his career. His incredible career WAR of 72.6 is also higher than Barry Larkin, Tony Gwynn and Ernie Banks, among others.
Of course, he is also infamous for his antics in the All-Star game vs Randy Johnson who he hit nearly .400 in his career against.
And of course, that time he forgot how many outs there were.