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Larry Walker

Larry Kenneth Robert Walker (born December 1, 1966 in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada) is a Major League Baseball player. He is widely regarded as the best Canadian position player in the history of the game, if not the best Canadian baseball player ever. His 1997 season, for which he won the National League MVP award, is regarded as one of the best all-round seasons in Major League history. He hit .366 with 49 home runs, 130 RBIs, 33 SBs and 409 total bases -- at the time, the most total bases in a single season since 1948.

Table of contents
1 Early Career
2 Best Years
3 Accomplishments
4 Teams
5 External Links

Early Career

Larry 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.

Larry was signed by the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent in 1984 and made his debut on August 16, 1989. During his first several seasons, Larry was an above average batter in all respects, hitting for some power, stealing 20-30 bases, and regularly batting near the .300 mark. In 1994, the Montreal team -- and Larry himself -- appeared to be rising to its potential. Grounded by rising young stars Pedro Martinez, Moises Alou, Cliff Floyd, Mike Lansing and Jeff Fassero, Montreal was off to a 74-40 start, leading the National League Eastern Division. Larry, with 86 RBIs, was well on his way to his first 100 RBI season. 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.

Best Years

Larry signed in the off-season prior to 1995 with the Colorado Rockies, where the thin air of Coors Field was an instant boon to his statistics. Larry was a big producer in Colorado's winning 1995 season, hitting 36 home runs and knocking in 101 runs.

Larry's best season came in 1997, when he hit 49 home runs, had 130 RBIs, batted .366, and stole 33 bases, en route to becoming the first Canadian player to win an MVP award. Many Canadians were disappointed when Larry lost the 1997 Canadian Male Athlete of the Year award to CART driver Jacques Villeneuve. Larry 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.

Larry has been plagued by injuries over the past several years but has nevertheless continued to produce. His 351 career home runs rank 65th all-time.



External Links