Colorado Rockies fans have been wondering if and when the franchise would retire Larry Walker‘s number. On Friday morning, they didn’t have to wonder any longer.
The Colorado Rockies will retire Walker’s number in a Sunday afternoon game against the St. Louis Cardinals (another team Walker called home at the end of his career) on April 19 at Coors Field. The festivities will allow Walker to join Todd Helton as the only Rockies players to have their numbers retired. Keli McGregor, Rockies’ late president, and Jackie Robinson‘s number 42 are the only other people honored by the club with their numbers/initials hanging over the visitors bullpen at Coors Field.
Fans hope that Walker’s official jersey retirement will be part of a history-making year for Walker and the Rockies. Colorado has yet to have a player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and Walker is in his 10th and final year of eligibility from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Results will be announced on Tuesday.
Only one other player (Justin Morneau) has worn number 33 for the Rockies since Walker was traded to the Cardinals in August of 2004. A fellow Canadian, Morneau asked Walker for his permission to wear the number. During his two years in Colorado, Morneau did the number proud, winning the league’s batting title with a .319 average in 2014.
More from Colorado Rockies News
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: 3 things we appreciated from Tuesday in San Francisco
- What Bill Schmidt’s comments mean for the Colorado Rockies in 2023
Walker played nearly a decade with the Rockies, donning the purple pinstripes from 1995 until his trade in 2004. During his time in Colorado, he batted .334. That included 297 doubles, 44 triples, 258 home runs, 848 RBI, 126 stolen bases and 584 walks.
The Hall of Fame candidate ranks first or second in Rockies history in several categories, including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He ranks second, behind Helton, in runs, hits, doubles, home runs and RBI.
In 1997, Walker became the only player in Rockies history to win the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award after leading MLB with a .720 slugging percentage, a 1.172 OPS and 409 total bases. His 49 homers that season led the National League. He remains tied with Helton (49 in 2001) for the most single-season home runs in club history.
"“Larry Walker carried all five tools, and was the most instinctive player I have ever seen play the game,” said Rockies Owner/Chairman & CEO Dick Monfort. “He put together 17 incredible years in the big leagues. Number 33 hanging in Coors Field will be a constant reminder of the vast talent of Larry Walker that we were all so lucky to witness here in Colorado.”"