Crisis averted. Larry Walker is a Hall of Famer.
The former outfielder for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals appeared on 76.6% of ballots cast by voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America this year. The days and weeks leading up to Tuesday's announcement on MLB Network were tense with regard to Walker's status, as publicly revealed ballots made it clear that Walker's induction fate would come down to the narrowest of margins.
Players must receive 75% of the vote in order to be inducted. This was Walker tenth year on the ballot. In 2014, the Hall of Fame changed the length of time a player could remain eligible for the ballot from 15 years to 10 years, a wrinkle that turned up the pressure on Walker's candidacy this year.
Walker played in the majors from 1989 to 2005, posting an impressive career-OBP of .400. His crowning achievement came in 1997, when Walker won the lone MVP Award of his career, hitting 49 home runs and driving in 130 with a batting line of .366/.452/.720 for the Colorado Rockies. Walker spent a season and a half in St. Louis to close out his storied career, playing a role on the 2004 NL pennant-winning Cardinals as well as the 2005 club that advanced to the NLCS.
Inducted alongside Walker this year, in his first time on the BBWAA ballot, was former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. There was speculation whether Jeter would follow in the footsteps of his former teammate Mariano Rivera as the second unanimous selection in the history of the vote.
Ultimately, Jeter fell one short vote of that unanimous selection, receiving votes on 396 of 397 ballots.
In addition to the pair announced as new inductees Tuesday, Marvin Miller and former Cardinal Ted Simmons were elected to the Hall of Fame by the veteran's committee back in December.
This year's induction will take place in Cooperstown, NY on July 26.