Colorado Rockies fans paid homage to an old friend Saturday night at Coors Field.
As part of a weekend of special activities, the Rockies retired the No. 33 jersey number worn by Larry Walker, who became the first franchise player to earn induction into the Hall of Fame earlier this month.
On Saturday afternoon, Larry Walker talked about the honor of having his jersey number retired by the Colorado Rockies.
Larry Walker retired in 2005 and played for the Colorado Rockies, Montreal Expos and St. Louis Cardinals during his 17-year Major League career.
He was selected the National League MVP in 1997 when he hit .366, slammed 49 homers, and drove in 130 runs with 208 hits in 153 games. He had a slugging percentage of .720 and an OPS of 1.172 for the season. He won three NL batting titles in a four-year span (1998, 1999, 2001).
Walker spoke with the media, including Rox Pile, before the game on Saturday and before he made his speech to the Coors Field faithful about how honored he was to have the Rockies retire his #33.
“There is no bigger honor, as I mention in my speech before the game, that a club can give you,” said Walker, who was inducted Sept. 8 in Cooperstown, N.Y., as part of the 2020 class along with Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, and Ted Simmons.
“I am thrilled by it,” added the five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner as an outfielder and occasional first baseman. “When I got the phone call and (Rockies owner) Dick (Monfort) told me, you hang up the phone and you hold it, ‘Oh, my God, no one is going to wear 33 again.’ It is an incredible gesture by them.…”
Before Saturday night’s San Francisco-Colorado contest, speeches by former teammate Vinny Castilla and former Colorado General Manager Bob Gebhard, who signed Walker to a Rockies contract, and a video montage of Walker’s career preceded the unveiling of No. 33 on the mezzanine level in right field at Coors Field.
Walker then capped the festivities by addressing an adoring Rockies crowd in attendance.
Ironically, he became the 333rd player to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame.
Walker joins Todd Helton (No. 17) as the only two Rockies players to have their jersey numbers retired by the organization.
In addition, fans had the opportunity Saturday to take photos with Walker’s Hall of Fame plaque, which was sent from Cooperstown to Coors Field for a special one-day viewing before being returned to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
The activities Saturday were a part of the celebration of Larry Walker weekend.
Following the San Francisco-Colorado game Friday night, the more than 41,000 fans in attendance enjoyed a fireworks extravaganza. All fans attending Saturday night’s game were given Walker bobbleheads. In the series finale later today between the Giants and Rockies on Sunday, special lapel pins displaying the No. 33 will be distributed to the first 15,000 fans in attendance.