Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Larry Walker: Realist

Fresh off of Jack Morris loudly (and erroneously) proclaiming his Hall of Fame worthiness and so many others loudly (and erroneously) proclaiming Jim Rice's, it's nice to see someone being realistic about things. Larry Walker on Larry Walker:

"I would love to have a vote or two," said Walker, who played in just 1,988 games in 17 years and retired partially because of a neck injury. "That's all I would ask for. I don't think my career is worthy of Cooperstown. I'd love to go back and change the injuries. If I could get rid of the injuries in my career — I wish I could change that. But it's the way it went."

He will (and should) get more than a vote or two, but his take isn't all that far off. In my mind Walker has a much stronger case than Jim Rice, Dave Parker and a whole host of others already enshrined or soon to be.

I don't like races to the bottom, however, and just because there are some undeserving guys in Cooperstown doesn't mean that we should enshrine more undeserving guys out of some sense of fairness. As he points out himself, Walker gets demerits for his durability and, even though he's not some Bichetteian Coors creation, he should probably get some demerits for his primary home park.

I like Larry Walker an awful lot, so it's hard to relegate him to the Hall of Very Good, but the fact that he's already done it himself makes it a bit easier.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

that's nice and all of Walker, but taking out the Coors portion of his career and we get .283/.373/.501

he's not a HOF and moreso in the class of Dye, Justice, Mondesi and the elder Giles

Shyster said...

Well, you can't just "take out" the Coors portion (i.e. the prime) of his career. You can discount it some, but it still happened, and he was still an elite player during that time.

As I said, I don't think that gets him to the HoF, but I think that gets him better than Dye, Justice, Mondesi, and Giles.

Ryan said...

Doing something as simple as running him through the neutralization of stats on Baseball Reference yields the following line:

.297/.382/.536 (OPS .918)
364 HR, 224 SB, 1205 R, 1175 RBI
OPS+ 140, RC/G 8.6

Add in 7 GG, 5 All Star, 1 MVP, and you can make a reasonable case for him. Just because someone plays in Coors doesn't mean their stats don't count - you just have to adjust appropriately.

Pete Toms said...

I don't participate in HOF debates nor really read about them and to be truthful I scanned only Craig's post.

But, I do have strongly held opinions about my fellow Canadian. Larry Walker is one of the greatest Canadian athletes of my time and does not receive near the adulation here that he should. It's because he played baseball. Practically nobody here really noticed anything he did.

In his day, he did it all. Great defensive OF and great arm, great baserunner. Publicly ( I don't know anything otherwise ) a really fun guy too.