In his eighth year on the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, Larry Walker finally saw a significant boost in voter support. He saw his name appear on 34.1 percent of all ballots, up 12.2 percent from 2017, getting the biggest jump in voting among holdover candidates.
It's still well below the 75 percent threshold for enshrinement in the hallowed hallways of Cooperstown.
Frustrated with the lack of recognition for his efforts over his 17-year career between the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies, and St. Louis Cardinals, Walker told Mitch Melnick on Montreal 690 that he feels like he's being penalized for where he played.
"I can't fault myself. I played for a major-league team that happened to be in Denver," he said. "If that's a problem, and there's going to be an issue, then get rid of the team and move it elsewhere if it's going to be that big of an issue. No needles went in my ass, I played the game clean, but I played in a ballpark. And it's almost like Coors Field is my PED."
His tenure with the Rockies was legendary. He won National League batting titles in 1998, 1999, and 2000 after claiming MVP honors in 1997 when he totaled 49 bombs, 130 RBIs, and 33 stolen bases.
Part of the issue is the perception that he received an advantage because he got to hit at Coors Field half the time, which is known for its elevation and the ease with which the ball travels.
And he did perform better in Colorado than he did elsewhere. Walker played 597 games at Coors and hit .381/.462/.710 with 154 home runs, 178 doubles, 31 triples, and 521 RBIs over that span.
Walker said he finds it especially frustrating when players who were either linked to steroids or known to be PED users are getting a larger portion of the vote than him.
"They cheated and they're getting twice as many votes as I am, so take that how you will," he said.
Walker has two more years of eligibility remaining before it will be left up to the Expansion Era Committee down the road.