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COVID-19 keeps Larry Walker out of all-star festivities

B.C. baseball great will be inducted into Hall of Fame in September
Larry Walker Jr., a former Colorado Rockies player, will not attend all-star events in Denver this week after being “bit” by COVID-19. (National Baseball Hall of Fame)

Larry Walker will not be attending the all-star festivities in Denver, because he has COVID-19.

Walker announced in a Twitter message Sunday afternoon that he wouldn’t be back in the city where he played for 10 seasons with the Colorado Rockies.

“Sorry Denver!!! I was very much looking forward to attending festivities over the next few days. Even had an awesome little surprise Tuesday… But unfortunately I have been bitten by the big ugly animal called Covid 19!!!” he tweeted.

The Maple Ridge resident is one of Canada’s greatest athletes, and Walker will be inducted into Cooperstown at a ceremony in September. He and former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter were the two players voted into the ball hall by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

READ ALSO: Hall of Fame event cancelled, Maple Ridge’s Larry Walker to wait one more year

He had been scheduled to play in a celebrity softball game on Sunday.

Walker was an all-star for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies, and St. Louis Cardinals and touted as a five-tool player who did everything well on the baseball field. Over a 17-year career from 1989-2005, he won three batting titles, seven gold gloves in the outfield and was named to the all-star game in five seasons.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge’s Larry Walker featured in new book about the Expos

He won the 1997 National League MVP honours when he hit for a .366 average with a league leading 49 home runs and 130 RBIs.

Walker will be just the second Canadian ever inducted into the hall, and the first position player. He will join pitching great Ferguson Jenkins.

Maple Ridge’s active MLB slugger Tyler O’Neill was in the fan voting race for an all-star position this year, but the Cardinals outfielder didn’t make the cut. Enjoying a great season, he is listed by CBS Sports as one of the all-star game snubs.

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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