TORONTO – Regardless of where the final number lands, Larry Walker’s candidacy for the Hall of Fame has taken a substantial step forward in his penultimate year on the ballot. Roughly 40 per cent of the votes for the Class of 2019 are already publicly known ahead of the Jan. 22 announcement, and he’s currently sitting at 66.1 per cent, a substantial jump from the 34.1 per cent he finished with last year.

A dip once all the results are included is probable, but either way there’s a major gain for the Canadian baseball icon from Maple Ridge, B.C., giving him a chance at induction in 2020, his 10th and final year on the ballot.

What would being a Hall of Famer mean to him?

“I already am, baby – I’m in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, I’m in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the B.C. Hall of Fame, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame – I am a Hall of Famer,” Walker quipped Saturday ahead of Baseball Canada’s annual awards banquet. “I get what you’re saying, Cooperstown is the ultimate one. You know what? I’ve been on the ballot nine years. I’m from a little town, Maple Ridge, never thinking I was going to play major league baseball. Now I’m on the ballot for a ninth year and I’ll be on it again for a final year.

“Gosh, in my eyes, that’s somewhat of an accomplishment and it brings me a lot of joy and happiness being able to do that. Not making it isn’t going to knock me down. I haven’t built myself up to be (knocked) down. I don’t feel like I’m a Hall of Famer, which makes it easy for me to accept if I don’t make it. That’s how I feel about it, as crazy as it sounds.”

Not worthy of Cooperstown? Really?

“It’s a lot easier that way,” Walker replied. “Because if I go around saying I’m a Hall of Famer and I don’t make it, I might be really upset. I’m a middle of the road type of guy, I’m happy with that. Being on the ballot for nine years is an honour for me.”

Guarding against potential disappointment is a wise approach for any Hall of Fame candidate, but especially for one surging late in his ballot eligibility like Walker. The 52-year-old admitted that he’s kept track of his gains and it’s changed his outlook, as “last …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sports news

      

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Hall of Fame no longer out of reach for Canadian Larry Walker

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