Larry Walker returns to the BBWAA ballot
“He’s the most talented player I’ve ever had,” said former manager Don Baylor. “He never misses the cutoff man, he never throws to the wrong base; he has speed, power and intelligence. All you have to do is write his name down in the lineup and he’ll take care of the rest.”
He is also in rare company as a hitter. Walker is one of 19 players who have won at least three big league batting titles. Thirteen of those players are in the Hall of Fame.
Walker, who battled injuries for his entire career and played in more than 150 games in his career just once in 17 seasons, was traded to the Cardinals in 2004 and retired after the following season. His final numbers: a .313 career batting average, 383 home runs, 1,311 RBI, 230 stolen bases and seven Gold Glove Awards.
“He’s better than one of the best,” said Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox during Walker’s playing days. “He is the best.”