Larry Walker, longtime Rockies star, announces he has COVID-19

MLB: USA TODAY Sports-Archive
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Longtime Colorado Rockies star outfielder and 1997 MVP Larry Walker won’t be attending this week’s All-Star festivities in Denver because he has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced Sunday night on social media.

“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,” Walker said in a tweet.

Walker, who spent 10 seasons with the Rockies and will be the franchise’s first inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame later this year, was scheduled to play in a celebrity softball game on Sunday, according to the Denver Post.

In early 2020, Walker and Yankees star shortstop Derek Jeter received enough votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for Hall of Fame induction, but the ceremony was not held due to the pandemic. Those festivities have been scheduled for Sept. 8 at the shrine in Cooperstown, N.Y.

In a separate vote by the Modern Era Committee late in 2019, players union boss Marvin Miller and catcher Ted Simmons also were voted into the Hall of Fame and will be honored in September, although Miller’s will come posthumously. He died in 2012.

No further players were voted for induction in 2021.

Walker began his career with the then-Montreal Expos, playing for six seasons before signing as a free agent with the Rockies in 1995. The team was in its third season after debuting in 1993 as an expansion franchise.

Walker was traded to St. Louis during the 2004 season, and the Cardinals made it to the World Series. He retired after the 2005 season, finishing with 383 home runs, a .313 batting average, an on-base mark of .400 and a career slugging percentage of .565. He also stole 230 bases.

In his MVP season in 1997, Walker led the National League with 49 home runs, while batting .366 and driving in 130 runs and stealing 33 bases. His .452 on-base percentage led the National League, and he led the majors in slugging (.720), on-base plus slugging (1.172), and total bases (409).

–Field Level Media