Will Larry Walker make the Hall of Fame in his final year?

Colorado Rockies Larry Walker catches a fly ball from Los Angeles Dodgers Adrian Beltre at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on July 26, 2004. (Photo by Jon Soohoo/Getty Images)
Colorado Rockies Larry Walker catches a fly ball from Los Angeles Dodgers Adrian Beltre at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on July 26, 2004. (Photo by Jon Soohoo/Getty Images) /

With just one more year left of eligibility, can one of the game’s best all-around outfielders finally get his call to the Hall of Fame?

Hall of Fame season is exhausting. In an age when free agents are waiting until February to sign and with the advent of Ryan Thibodaux’s tracker, the Hall of Fame takes are endless in December and January. Once the voting is actually announced, the utter meaningless of it all has already set in. But unfortunately, the Hall of Fame will never end. So, begrudgingly, let’s take a look at a player who will enter his final year of Hall of Fame eligibility in 2020: Larry Walker.

I’m not going to be making an argument about why Walker should be in the Hall of Fame. You can read about that here, here, and here. And full transparency, I’m a Rockies’ fan who watched Larry Walker growing up, so I’m certainly not the most unbiased source on the matter. If you feel the need to comment something along the lines of “but Coors,” I will gladly take that well-articulated opinion into consideration.

Walker finished with 54.6 percent of the vote in the latest round of voting, well shy of the 75 percent threshold, but an enormous jump from his 34.1 percent mark in 2018. Walker finished 87 votes shy of the threshold of making the Hall, but it’s not totally clear how many voters will be eligible next year and how many will actually send in their ballots, so it’s impossible to say the exact number of votes Walker will need to be inducted next year.

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But we do know that players get a boost in their last year on the ballot.

Tim Raines

received 69.8 percent of the vote in his second-to-last year before gaining induction with 86 percent in his final year.

Edgar Martinez

went from 70.4 percent to 85.4 percent in his final year. Clearly, Walker will need more than either Raines or Martinez gained in their final year, but it’s certainly possible.

Tom Tango of MLB Advanced Media posted an interesting Twitter thread where he considered the amount of no’s flipped into yes’s by Walker in comparison to Raines and Martinez. He posits that Walker will have to flip 45 percent of the no’s next year to gain induction, which is less than the percentage of votes that Martinez and Raines flipped in their final year. This is slightly misleading, as Walker has more no votes that he has to flip in comparison to Raines and Martinez, but it certainly makes Walker’s induction look attainable.

The good news for Walker is that the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot is far less crowded than this year. Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, Roy Halladay, and Edgar Martinez all gained induction and Fred McGriff fell off the ballot. Derek Jeter is likely the only first-ballot player who is going to make it next year. Needless to say, there will be a lot more room on writers’ ballots to include Larry Walker.

Next. The all-wait HOF team. dark

Larry Walker has an uphill battle in making the Hall of Fame, but even if he doesn’t, it’s always possible that he gets into the Hall by some sort of committee. But the biggest take away from this entire process is that nothing matters and we’re all going to die someday.