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Walker not elected, receives boost in HOF voting

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- Former Rockies star Larry Walker earned his highest total in Hall of Fame voting, receiving 34.1 percent of the votes, as announced Wednesday night on MLB Network.

Four players were elected by earning at least 75 percent of votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America -- former Braves switch-hitting star Chipper Jones, longtime outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, power-hitting Jim Thome and closer extraordinaire Trevor Hoffman. They will join former Tigers teammates Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, who were elected by the Modern Era Committee in December, to form this year's class, which will be inducted this summer.

DENVER -- Former Rockies star Larry Walker earned his highest total in Hall of Fame voting, receiving 34.1 percent of the votes, as announced Wednesday night on MLB Network.

Four players were elected by earning at least 75 percent of votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America -- former Braves switch-hitting star Chipper Jones, longtime outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, power-hitting Jim Thome and closer extraordinaire Trevor Hoffman. They will join former Tigers teammates Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, who were elected by the Modern Era Committee in December, to form this year's class, which will be inducted this summer.

Complete Hall of Fame coverage

While not in the Hall, Walker -- who spent 10 of his 17 seasons with the Rockies -- enjoyed a boost in support in his eighth year on the ballot, as voters continue to put his statistics in perspective, take into account his defense and baserunning and apparently give him a favorable look because he was not tied to the performance-enhancing drugs that were pervasive in the sport during his career. However, Walker has been penalized in the voting because of the hitter-friendly environment at Coors Field and injuries -- he exceeded 150 games played just one season.

Walker had never received more than 22.9 percent of votes before this year. But stat-conscious voters have looked at him with new eyes.

Complete 2018 HOF election results

For example:

• Walker joins five Hall of Famers -- Stan Musial, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig -- as the only players in MLB history who batted at least .300, had a .400 or better on-base percentage, a .400-plus slugging percentage and at least 450 doubles, 60 triples, 350 homers and 1,250 RBIs.

• On famed stat analyst Bill James' Hall of Fame monitor, which assesses how likely a player's career stats are to be judged Hall of Fame-worthy, Walker scores 148. A solid score is 100 and a 130 makes a player a virtual cinch.

• Walker's .278 career road batting average is higher than 33 position players in the Hall.

• Walker's .306 batting average against left-handed pitching is bettered by only two lefty-hitting Hall of Famers -- Tony Gwynn (.324) and Rod Carew (.317).

• Walker won seven Gold Glove Awards. Of right fielders not in the Hall, only Dwight Evans (eight) has more.

Next year, former Rockies star Todd Helton, who spent his entire 17-year career in Colorado, will be eligible for Hall of Fame voting.

No player who ever played for the Rockies is in the Hall of Fame. The only Hall of Famer affiliated with Colorado is Rich "Goose" Gossage, who worked as a special front-office pitching advisor in 2003. Longtime Rockies beat reporter/columnist and current MLB.com columnist Tracy Ringolsby was the winner of the 2005 J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which is presented during Hall of Fame Weekend by the BBWAA for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

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