Colorado Rockies and the Hall of Fame: If I had a ballot…
By Kevin Henry
Later today, the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame will be announced. Sadly, former Colorado Rockies slugger Larry Walker will not be among the names mentioned.
When I went to Cooperstown in October, I must admit that it was one of the best moments of this baseball fan’s life. It was also a little bit of a realization that it would be an uphill battle for Walker or any member of the Rockies to reach the Hall of Fame because of, well, as we like to say on Rockies Twitter, Coors.
I wrote an article once about how altitude is still viewed as a worse thing in the eyes of many voters than PEDs. I still think any member of the Rockies will have to fight this bias to get his rightful place in the Hall of Fame. This includes Walker, Todd Helton and, if he continues on his current trajectory, Nolan Arenado.
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If I had a ballot to vote for the Hall of Fame, I would pay little attention to Joe Morgan and his “get off my lawn” rant about PEDs. Do I think they tainted the game? Yes, to an extent. However, if I back up and remember my feelings as a fan, the summer of 1998 with Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire trading home runs and then Barry Bonds shattering every record is something to behold. Even if you’re juiced, you still have to hit the ball … and that is no easy task. Some of you may scoff me for being simple, but I think there are times that we overthink the game and forget about the wonder in our eyes that we grew up watching it with when we were little.
I’m not going to penalize Edgar Martinez for being “just a designated hitter.” I’m not going to penalize Larry Walker for playing at Coors Field. I’m not going to penalize Trevor Hoffman for being “just a closer.” Each of these men were great at what they did and need to be recognized for their efforts.
With that in mind, here are my 10 hypothetical votes.
Some of you (perhaps many of you) will disagree with my selections … and that is fine. We each have our own opinions. It is part of what makes this country so great. Some local broadcasters who you would think would be a Larry Walker supporter seemingly don’t even believe Walker should be in the Hall of Fame. I disagree, but that’s his opinion. Just, please Rockies, remind him of this often during the upcoming season.
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Like you, I will be watching later today when the Hall of Fame announcements are made. Also like you, I will be anxiously awaiting next season when I hope the upward surge that Larry Walker received this season will push him into Cooperstown.