July 26, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 96, Larry Walker (The Athletic)

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, we at The Athletic will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy. 

Larry Walker dreamed of being a hockey goalie. Well, more to the point, he dreamed of being Billy Smith, the ultra-successful New York Islanders goalie who would sooner slash you than look at you. Nothing seemed cooler to the young Walker. He grew up in a Canadian town with the wonderfully Canadian name of Maple Ridge, and as you would intuitively know, hockey was and is everything in Maple Ridge.*

*Walker grew up playing hockey with a number of players who would play professionally, most prominently NHL Hall of Famer Cam Neely. Walker remembers spending much of his time in goal just watching Neely wipe out players like some movie cowboy clearing out the…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 96, Larry Walker” at The Athletic