Even the man himself had doubts.
Hours before Larry Walker’s 10th and final appearance on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot, he conceded a loss via Twitter that many saw coming. Though Walker had risen steadily in his vote percentage since 2014, the outfielder was projected to come up just short.
But when the final tally was announced on Tuesday, Walker received a 76.6 percent vote and became the second Canadian-born MLB Hall of Famer (joining pitcher Fergie Jenkins).
After so much uncertainty surrounding Walker’s case for Cooperstown, the outpouring of support on Twitter after the announcement was quick and bountiful.
As the first Canadian Hall of Famer ever inducted, I couldn’t be prouder and happier to welcome my friend and fellow Canadian Larry Walker to the Hall! #halloffame @Cdnmooselips33 pic.twitter.com/Ve1VuGvlgO
— Fergie Jenkins (@fergieajenkins) January 21, 2020
— Luke Willson (@LWillson_82) January 21, 2020
STAND UP, CANADA!
MAPLE RIDGE, BC NATIVE LARRY WALKER IS HEADED TO COOPERSTOWN!
— Baseball Canada (@baseballcanada) January 21, 2020
Great to hear Larry Walker finally inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in his final year of eligibility. I idolized #Walker as a young ball player growing up in the lower mainland. Maple Ridge, B.C., and the rest of are proud #HOF2020 @baseballcanada
— Richard Horne (@RICHARD_H0RNE) January 21, 2020
“Larry not only will represent the Rockies, Expos and Cardinals organizations in Cooperstown, but as the greatest Canadian position player ever, he represents an entire country. This is a very well deserved achievement. My sincerest congratulations.”
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) January 22, 2020
Walker’s induction coincides with Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees shortstop who was voted in easily on his first ballot.
Jeter had a chance to become a unanimous Hall of Famer, a mark of prestige that has happened only once before (last year, for Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera).
But Jeter came up one vote short of perfection. Seriously. One vote. Of the 397 ballots cast, 396 voters checked Jeter’s box.
His near miss on perfection had some people… displeased.