While I would be happy never to post anything about Nolan Arenado trade rumors ever again, at the same time, I would also be delighted to include as many pro-Larry Walker pieces as possible. Maybe even one a day until he gets in the Hall of Fame. That being said, here are some Walker tributes.
The Rockies have two numbers retired: No. 42 and No. 17. Rox Pile’s Aaron Hunt makes a solid case here that Walker’s No. 33 should join the ranks (with Keli McGregor’s initials too).
We know that it is going to be hard for any Rockies player to make it into the Hall of Fame because of people looking at altitude over all other stats. However, Hunt makes a great point that Walker has a better shot at making it into the Hall over Todd Helton, especially in the near future. Then that begs the question: shouldn’t Walker’s number also be retired?
There is no question that Helton’s number should be forever hanging on the wall at Coors Field. He played his whole career here and dominates the organization’s best-of lists. He isn’t tops in all of them though. Larry Walker is ranked No. 1 in team history in batting average (.334), on-base percentage (.426), slugging percentage (.618), OBS (1.044), adjusted OPS+ (147), offensive win percentage (.789), and power-speed # (169.3), according to Baseball Reference. Might as well throw in times hit by a pitch (98) while we are at it.
Maybe 2020 could be the time when the baseball world and the Rockies see things clearly (I promise this is the only 20-20 pun in this post) and honor Larry Walker as one of the greatest in MLB history and team history.
Should the Rockies retire Larry Walker’s number?
This poll is closed
Yes. It’s been a longtime coming.
Maybe. It depends on if he makes it into the Hall of Fame.
This is a nice shoutout to Walker from Jack Etkin where he remembers how Larry was a welcome and amazing addition in 1995 after the 1994 strike when everyone was depressed about baseball. Walker walked into the clubhouse in Rockies pinstripes and over the next 10 years thrilled Rockies fans with dazzling plays at the plate and in the field on his way to an NL MVP award, five All-Star nods, seven Gold Gloves, and three batting titles.
Etkin points out how Walker didn’t just put these numbers up at Coors Field, but also in any field. He also compares Walker’s numbers to other Hall of Famers, including the especially notable line of .313/.400/.565 being in the top seven with the likes of some players you might have heard of: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Fox, Hank Greenberg, and Rogers Hornsby.
The best anecdote of the story comes from when Etkin recollects covering Walker when he was serving as a part-time coach for the Cardinals in spring training after his playing days were done. Etkin first writes about how Larry used to fake runners and hitters out by looking like he was going to make a routine catch, when in fact the ball was going way over his head to hit off the outfield fence. He would be in the perfect spot to grab the ball off the wall and rocket it in to either prevent extra bases or send greedy baserunners back to the dugout. Etkin asked Walker about when he was going to teach that move to the Cardinals players and Walker had the best reply: “You can’t teach that.”
You can’t teach people to play the game like Walker did. He was a natural, even though he was a hockey player first. He was an amazing baseball player and one who deserves a seat in the Hall.
All the ballots for Hall of Fame voting had to be in by Tuesday, December 31. Now we count to 75 percent and wait for the announcement on Jan. 21.
Rox Pile took to Twitter to have Rockies fans vote for their favorite moment of the decade. The winner was Nolan’s walk-off cycle. It was epic. It was Father’s Day. I was at the game with my dad. It is one of the greatest memories I have with him and definitely my tops in-person moment at a sporting event.
It’s a great choice, but it’s just kinda funny that the 2000s moment of the decade (arguably) and the top play of the 2010s both involve a celebration with blood dripping from a Colorado player’s face. If you consider Matt Holliday’s slide in 2007 (yes, he touched the plate) to catapult the Rockies into the playoffs and then the World Series and then Nolan’s cycle as the greatest moments, it’s just a weird coincidence. It makes you wonder what kind of bloody epic slide or celebration will be taking about on January 1, 2030.
Taking second place was Tony Wolters’ base hit up the middle in the 13th-inning, one-game Wild Card win over the Cubs in 2018. In terms of a meaningful win, this one is huge. It cemented the first time ever the Rockies went to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. And it was against the Cubs. And Oberg. And wow. It was just beautiful.
The season of best-of and top-10 lists is coming to an end, but Purple Row still needed to chime in on the action. So we looked back at some of the best posts, including some incredible fanposts, from 2019. Even though the Rockies ended with 91 losses, there were some good moments, as well as some insightful and fun posts to reflect back on.