|Team||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Years of Experience||16 years|
|Height||6 ft 3 in|
|Place of Birth||Maple Ridge, British Columbia|
|Selection||Amateur Free Agent draft, 1984|
|Drafted by||Montreal Expos|
|Major League Debut||August 16, 1989|
Larry Kenneth Robert Walker (born December 1, 1966 in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada) was a right fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1989 through 2005, Walker has played for the Montreal Expos (1989-94), Colorado Rockies (1995-2004) and St. Louis Cardinals (2004-2005). He bats left handed and throws right handed. Walker announced his retirement after Game 6 of the 2005 National League Championship Series.
Walker is widely regarded as the best Canadian position player in the history of the game, if not the best Canadian baseball player ever. He enjoyed the typical Canadian passions as a child and, like everyone his age, aspired to be an ice hockey player. In time, he found handling a bat more natural than wielding a stick.
Signed by the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent in 1984, Walker made his debut with Montreal on August 16, 1989. During his first several seasons, he was an above average hitter in all respects, hitting for some power, stealing 20-30 bases, and regularly batting near the .300 mark.
In 1994, the Expos team – and Walker himself – appeared to be rising to its potential. Grounded by rising young stars Pedro Martínez, Moisés Alou, Cliff Floyd, Mike Lansing and Jeff Fassero, Montreal was off to a 74-40 start, leading the National League Eastern Division. Walker, with 86 RBI, was well on his way to his first 100-RBI year. The season, however, was stopped due to the 1994 players' strike. No World Series, which the Expos appeared to be destined for, was played and Montreal lost many of its players during the next season due to free agency and salary constraints. The 1994 Montreal Expos team that could have been remains one of baseball's hot discussion points.
Before the 1995 season, Walker signed with the Colorado Rockies, where the thin air of Coors Field was an instant boon to his statistics. Walker was a major contributor in Colorado's winning 1995 season, hitting 36 home runs and 101 RBI.
Walker's best season came in 1997, when he hit .366 with 49 home runs, 130 RBI, 33 stolen bases, and 409 total bases, en route to becoming the first Canadian player to win a MVP Award. Walker lost the 1997 Lou Marsh Award for Canadian Male Athlete of the Year award to Formula One driver Jacques Villeneuve. He did, however, win the award the following year. Combined with 12 outfield assists, the season remains one of the finest all around performances in recent baseball history.
Walker has been plagued by several injuries over the past years but he has nevertheless continued to produce. In August 2004, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for three minor league players. As of the end of the season, his 368 career home runs ranked him 61st in the all-time list.
- Lou Marsh Trophy (1998)
- 5-time All-Star (1992, 1997-99, 2001)
- 6-time National League Gold Glove Award winner (1992-93, 1997-98, 2001-02)
- 9-time Tip O'Neill Award winner (1987, 1990, 1992, 1994-95, 1997-98, 2001 - with Corey Koskie, 2002 - with Eric Gagné)
- National League MVP award (1997)
- 3-time Top 10 MVP (1992, 5th; 1995, 7th; 1995, 10th)
- 3-time Silver Slugger Award (1992, 1997, 1999)
- Walker's 409 total bases in 1997 were the most in a ML season since Stan Musial's 1948 season, although the mark was bettered by Barry Bonds in 2001 (411), Luis Gonzalez in 2001 (419), and twice by Sammy Sosa, in 1998 (416) and 2001 (425). Between 1948 and then, the mark was achieved only by Jim Rice in 1978 (406).