COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - Larry Walker, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year on his tenth and final ballot, toured the museum and plaque gallery ahead of his July induction, Tuesday.
Walker is second Canadian-born player, first position player, to be inducted. He will also become the first representative of the Colorado Rockies organization to enter the baseball's highest fraternity.
Growing up north of the border, Walker said he had aspirations of being a professional hockey player and that baseball "found" him after his hockey career didn't pan out. Because of this, he never saw the Baseball Hall of Fame as a potential destination, and it still hasn't sunk in that he is about to be immortalized in America's pastime.
"I'm still trying to absorb it all, it hasn't happened yet," said Walker. "I don't know when it's going to happen, it might be in July, maybe it will be later today, I just don't know, but it's crazy."
A member of the 1985 Utica Blue Sox, Walker said he remembers a rocky start to his pro career in central New York, struggling to find his way on the field before his career took off.
"I was really, really bad, I hit .223 with two home runs I remember that," he said. "Utica was five organizations put together as a co-op team, so it was kind of where they sent the rejects in a way and I was one of them for the first two years of my pro career, but it starts somewhere."
He said he found a picture of a visit to the Hall of Fame he took with his mother while he was playing in Utica, while searching for artifacts to provide to the museum, confirming a visit she originally recalled when he couldn't.
As for what he is looking forward to the most about induction weekend?
"It's [July] 26th right? So I think I'm looking forward to the 27th because right now there are some really miserable nights that I don't sleep because I keep putting that speech and just the events through it," Walker joked. "It's all fun and kidding but it's an amazing weekend...and I want it to hurry up and get here because I want to experience what it's going to be like."
The Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown on July 26 at 1:30 p.m.
Click on the video for more on his visit