Colorado Rockies: MLB Network’s Hall of Fame Roundtable on Helton, Walker

19 Apr 2001: Larry Walker #33 of the Colorado Rockies looks on during the game against the San Diego Padres at Qualcomm Park in San Diego, California. The Rockies defeated the Padres 4-0.Mandatory Credit: Donald Miralle /Allsport
19 Apr 2001: Larry Walker #33 of the Colorado Rockies looks on during the game against the San Diego Padres at Qualcomm Park in San Diego, California. The Rockies defeated the Padres 4-0.Mandatory Credit: Donald Miralle /Allsport /
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On Tuesday evening, MLB Network aired their Hall of Fame Roundtable discussion as the announcement for the results of the 2019 Hall of Fame election will be announced next week.

MLB Network’s Hall of Fame roundtable, as always, included an interesting cast of characters, including two people who had votes involving the Hall of Fame this year. The roundtable was comprised of host Brian Kenny, 2018 Ford C. Frick Award winner Bob Costas, the host of MLB Network’s High Heat and SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Unleashed, Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, 2011 MLB Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar, and Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, who is a BBWAA voting member.

In addition to Verducci having an actual ballot, Alomar was one of the 16 members of the Veterans Committee this year that inducted Lee Smith and Harold Baines into the Hall of Fame, the latter of which was discussed during the hour long show.

All of them had varying opinions on both Helton and Walker, which included Brian Kenny saying both are Hall of Famers, Chris Russo saying neither are, and Bob Costas saying that Walker is and Helton is not (at least by his mock Hall of Fame ballot that he showed on High Heat earlier this week). However, the two most important people on the show are the people who actually have/had votes for this cycle.

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Verducci on Helton and Walker

Verducci did not reveal his entire ballot (as is usually customary on the show) but he did reveal his thoughts on both Helton and Walker. For Helton, he said that he “came really close” to voting for him but, ultimately, he did not.

As you may expect, he cited Helton’s difference between his home and road splits. He said that by “[j]ust looking at his road numbers, he’s essentially John Olerud…and Will Clark. Great players (but) not Hall of Fame players.” He also added that the other main reason why he did not put him on his ballot was that after his age 30 season, he did not have a single All-Star Game selection, 30+ home run season, or a 100+ RBI season. In other words, his peak performance was early and did not last as long as most Hall of Famers.

For Walker, he cited one main thing: durability. Walker was frequently injured and never played 145+ games in back-to-back seasons. In fact, he never played in 145+ games in a season in 2 seasons at all, as he only played more than that in 1997, when he played in 153 games and won the NL MVP.

Verducci says that he was one of the most talented players that he ever saw but with being injured so often, he cannot (and has not) voted for Walker.

Alomar on Walker

While Alomar did not talk much on Helton (although he did say he thought he was a Hall of Famer), he made more of a case for Walker. Towards the end of the show, each of the five made a case for a player that has not garnered much support in the past.

Kenny, Costas, and Verducci each made the case for Fred McGriff, who is on his 10th and final ballot this year. Russo made his case for Jeff Kent but Alomar made his for Walker. He said that he was one of the best players that he ever played against and he was a great five-tool player. Essentially, he made the same point that Verducci did but he does not hold his injury history against him. He mentioned his MVP season in 1997 and how dominate he was too.

Final Thoughts

As of Wednesday night, Ryan Thibodaux has 182 ballots in his ballot tracker and Helton is tracking at just under 20 percent. Walker, on the other hand, is trending way higher than Helton and where he did last year as he is 67 percent. He has also gained 38 votes from voters who did not vote for him last year.

dark. Next. The Hall of Fame case for Larry Walker

Tune into MLB Network for their coverage the Hall of Fame reveal next Tuesday as their coverage will start at 1 PM MT and the reveal will come at 4 PM MT.

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