Happy Birthday to Rockies and Expos legend Larry Walker
Happy Birthday to Larry Walker
Scroll down this year's Hall of Fame ballot and you'll see plenty of luminaries on there like Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman to go along with the wonderfully nicknamed Fred "Crime Dog" McGriff and Randy "Just like DJ Khaled, All I Do Is" Winn (What? That wasn't his nickname?)
But there's only one player on there nicknamed Booger: None other than Canada's finest, Larry Walker.
With a laser cannon from right field, Walker caught down at least five pitchers before they ever reached first base in the Minors, along with infielder Tony Fernandez in 1992, while cutting down many a runner attempting to score.
He won three batting titles and one MVP during a year in which he hit .366/.452/.720 with a league-leading 49 home runs. Sure, it was 1997 and, yeah, it was Coors Field, but even when playing a video game where you turn down the settings and the artificial intelligence and only throw yourself fastballs down the middle, it's hard to reach those numbers.
That included a three-homer day against his former team, the Expos. I wonder if he felt an internal conflict?
Despite battling a series of injuries throughout his career, Walker would go on to finish with over 2,100 hits and was one of only 16 players to hit more than 350 home runs and steal more than 200 bases.
Of course, he also was a source of pure joy at the 1997 All-Star Game when he acknowledged something we all assumed, but never knew for sure: It's terrifying to face Randy Johnson.
Now in his sixth year on the Hall of Fame ballot, Walker has an uphill climb to reach Cooperstown. But for a Canadian hero nicknamed Booger, he's doing pretty well.
At least he's spending plenty of quality time with some other baseball legends along the way.