Canadian baseball legend Larry Walker says he’s “grateful” for the support he’s received ahead of the upcoming Baseball Hall of Fame election.
“It’s exciting to watch it and see where it’s going,” Walker said in an interview with Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy during Thursday’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers. “This year’s a little bit better than last year so it makes it exciting for everybody.
“As a Canadian, I’m proud to be in this position and hopefully I can do it.”
Walker enjoyed a 17 season MLB career with the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals. The outfielder was named National League MVP in 1997, was a seven-time Gold Glove winner and a five-time all-star.
The vote on Jan. 21 is Walker’s 10th and final chance to be elected into the hall of fame. A player needs to appear on 75 per cent of ballots to be elected and Walker is on 85 per cent of publicly revealed ballots so far.
“Being up in the 80s right now, we’ll see. I think I’m going to come a little short but there’s no problem with that,” Walker said. “If I’m not on the ballot this year, I’m good with that. I never dreamed of playing baseball in the major leagues. I played for 17 years and was on the ballot for 10 years, so to me that’s an accomplishment.”
A native of Maple Ridge, B.C., Walker was cheering on his Canucks in their only visit to Florida this season. However, when asked how much Canucks hockey he watches this season, Walker said “I do my best… but when they come on at 10 p.m. EST, I’m in bed by then.”