St. Louis Cardinals: Former Players On The 2017 Hall Of Fame Ballot
By Trevor Hooth
Larry Walker, Right Field and Arthur Rhodes, Pitcher
These two get lumped together because they spent an underwhelming amount of time as members of the St. Louis Cardinals.
What the two have in common is that St. Louis was the last stop of their long careers. Rhodes was even a member of the 2011 World Series championship roster. That being said, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals by Texas and only threw 8.2 innings with a 4.15 ERA out of the bullpen as a Cardinal.
This is Rhodes’ first year on the ballot, but with a 4.08 career ERA and eighty-seven wins, it wouldn’t surprise many if it was his last. He had a 20-year career in the majors as primarily a middle-relief and set-up man. I have to believe it was the longevity of his career that got him a nod this year, but I don’t see him getting the five percent necessary to have longevity on the ballot.
Walker on the other hand is nearing the end of his time for consideration. This is his seventh year on the ballot, and last year he earned only 15.5 percent of voting. He may be hanging on, but it doesn’t look too good for the retired outfielder.
The last two seasons of Walker’s career were spent as a St. Louis Cardinal. That translated, however, into only 144 games. During this time, he acquired 133 hits and a .286 batting average. Following the 2005 season, he retired at the age of 38.
In seventeen total seasons, Walker was a five-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove recipient, three-time Silver Slugger, and even won an MVP for the 1997 season. His career ended with just over 2,100 hits and 383 homers.
Sabremetrics say that Walker will be forever enshrined in Cooperstown. The three most important sabremetric stats for Hall of Fame consideration are Wins Above Replacement(WAR), Hall of Fame Monitor(HOFm), and Hall of Fame Standards(HOFs). An average Cooperstown inductee will have an HOFm above 100, and an HOFs above 50.
For Walker, he has a higher WAR at 72.6 than returning favorite Raines. Walker also boasts a 148 HOFm and 58 HOFs.
I agree with the sabremetrics here; I think he is worthy of the Hall. That being said, it won’t be this year. I believe that if Cooperstown calls Walker, they are going to make him sweat a little and that his induction will take place in his ninth or tenth year on the ballot.