So much for home-field advantage.
After a stellar career with the Colorado Rockies, Larry Walker thinks he knows why he hasn’t yet made it into the Baseball Hall of Fame after having been on the ballot eight times: Coors Field.
“I can’t fault myself. I played for a major league team that happened to be in Denver,” Walker told TSN Montreal 690 on Friday about the Hall of Fame voting last week. “If that’s a problem and if that’s going to be an issue for them, then get rid of the team and move it elsewhere if it’s going to be that big of an issue.
“No needles went in my ass. I played the game clean, but I played in the ballpark and it’s almost like Coors Field is my PED.”
Walker was named on 34.1 percent of the ballots — a personal high — on Jan. 24. A player needs 75 percent of the vote to be inducted into the Hall, and Walker can appear on the ballot only twice more.
Walker, a five-tool player who also played for the Montreal Expos and St. Louis Cardinals, left the game in 2005. He played 10 of his 17 seasons with the Rockies, with whom he won the 1997 NL MVP. He had a .313 career batting average with 383 home runs and 1,311 RBIs.
The five-time All-Star selection won three batting titles and led the majors with 49 home runs in 1997. He won seven Gold Glove awards and three Silver Slugger awards.
“It’s frustrating,” Walker said of the criticism about his playing at Coors Field. “But at the same time, I get it.”