By Tracy Ringolsby
Larry Walker won the battle on the field, but not at the Hall of Fame ballot box. Walker’s career WAR of 72.6 is the 51st highest among position players. There is only one of the 50 players with a higher WAR than Walker who has been eliminated from consideration by Hall of Fame voters — Lou Whitaker, who didn’t even get the five percent necessary to stay on the ballot in his first year of eligible.
Six others ahead of Walker have not been enshrined. Two are on the ballot for the first time this year, Jim Thome and Chipper Jones. Barry Bonds is on the ballot but hasn’t been elected because of the steroid issue. Alex Rodriguez has not been retired the required five years to be on the ballot. Pete Rose is banned from consideration. Adrian Beltre is still active with the Texas Rangers.
The top 51 career WAR:
a-still active (Adrian Beltre)
1-first year on ballot (Chipper Jones, Jim Thome)
x-on ballot, not elected yet (Barry Bonds)
y-no yet eligible (Alex Rodriguez)
e-eliminated by voters first year of eligiblity (Lou Whitaker)
b-banned from Hall of Fame (Pete Rose)