I was really pumped up to see Larry Walker get into the Hall of Fame this past week. He was only on the Cardinals for a year and half, but he seemed like he had a pretty big impact on the team during that time. Cardinals fans still talk about him, and I know he still shows up in St. Louis from time to time. There have been other Hall of Famers who have made spot appearances with the Cardinals in the last twenty years, but none as popular as Larry Walker.
Who remembers John Smoltz on the Cardinals?
What about Dennis Eckersley?
Eckersley was in St. Louis for two seasons, but clearly at the end of his career. Smoltz pitched seven regular season games at the end of the 2009 season, and also a Postseason game in the NLDS. The Cardinals got eliminated in the first round that season. Matt Holliday eating sunflower seeds.
The infield fly rule couldn't save him that time.
Walker was always a fun player to watch before he got to the Cardinals. Never minded him as an Expo or Rockie. Once he got to the Cardinals he quickly became a fan favorite, which is saying something on a team with Pujols, Rolen, Edmonds, Chris Carpenter, and some others I am probably forgetting about. It also did not hurt that Larry Walker played on the 2004 and 2005 Cardinals. Neither team won the World Series, but they were both loaded rosters. I'd say they are the best Cardinals teams to not win a World Series. A National League Championship and an appearance in the Championship Series are still pretty good set of accomplishments.
Here are my rules for this week:
- I am picking my five favorite Larry Walker cards from my collection
- The picks are not based on value, popularity, or what I think other people think. These are my favorite cards.
- The cards are not in any order, just my five favorite Larry Walker cards.
2004 Topps Traded
There are not many Larry Walker cards from 2004. The Cardinals actually traded for him using waivers after the trade deadline. I really don't like the 2004 Topps cards, but I will make an exception for this card. Like all modern Topps cards, there are probably a few too many different parallel versions of this card, but I actually like two of them better than the base card.
This is the Chrome version. I believe that they came two per pack, or something like that.
The Gold parallel is also nice.
So, there will now be six cards in this post. Make someone on COMC happy, go buy these two cards. I am sure they are cheap.
1992 Stadium Club
There are some good action shots of Walker from the early 1990s. His 1992 Topps card has a similar landscape perspective action shot, but he's playing first base on the card. Larry Walker was a true five tool player, putting him at first base is wasting a few of those tools. With what I imagine is a wide turn around first base, I love this photo of Walker. Added bonus with the powder blue Expos uni.
1997 Donruss Signature
Love that there is a space on the bottom for the players to sign, and Walker autographed every single copy of this card vertically across his picture. Some of the star players from the 1990s and 2000s literally have thousands and thousands of autographs. How many products did Jeter and Griffey Jr. sign for over the years? Walker signed virtually nothing in comparison. The card is a little quirky with the signature location, but I dig it. Definitely worth finding.
Edgar Renteria also signed his Donruss Signature cards across his picture on the top of the card. Although his autograph is horizontal. I already broke my rules for the first card, not going to post an Edgar card tonight.
1998 Stadium Club Co-Signers
I got this card before Walker was traded to the Cardinals. The "Big Cat" was a former Cardinal, and both players have nice signatures. Turned out nice that both of these players ended up appearing for the Cardinals. Although, it would have been nice if Andres had been a little more successful with the team.
1993 Donruss Elite
It does not have Walker in a blue Expos uniform, but everything else about this card is incredible.