The results of the balloting for the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 will be announced on Wednesday (2 p.m. EST on MLB Network). First-timers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, and hold-over Craig Biggio seem like locks as players to be inducted this summer.
One player who likely won’t get the nod — in 2014 or ever — is outfielder Larry Walker. All the former Expos, Rockies and Cardinals outfielder did in his 17-year major league career was slash at a .313./.400/.565 clip with 383 home runs and 1,311 RBIs.
Walker also had a cannon for an arm and won seven Gold Glove awards. His defensive prowess surely came to the surprise of White Sox scout Larry Monroe, who in 1985 turned in a lukewarm evaluation of Walker (see below) based on his play on the Expos’ Instructional League team in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Among Monroe’s comments:
• Hasn’t played much baseball and can’t rule him out
• Need more pop for 1st base
• Below average defensively
• Stroke gives him a chance, but many areas to improve
Walker improved enough to make five National League All-Star teams and win the NL MVP in 1997.
However, since he played the prime of his career in the light air of Coors Field during the “Steroid Era,” his offensive numbers seem to mean very little to Baseball Writers’ Assn. of America members. They have named Walker on anywhere from 20 to 23 percent of ballots in his three years of eligibility thus far, well short of the 75 percent needed for election.
Walker will have to settle for his legacy as the best Canadian-born position player in MLB history.