Forty-four years old looks good on Ichiro. The Mariners veteran outfielder brought out some vintage moves during Saturday’s matinee against the Indians, starting with a breathtaking leap at the left field fence. Jose Ramirez pounced on an 0-1 fastball from James Paxton and skied it to left field, where he was robbed of the home run just as the ball reached the top of the fence.
In the bottom of the third, Ichiro seized an opportunity at the plate and slapped a single up the middle for his first hit of the season — and the 3,081st in his major league career to date. The rest of the lineup took a page from his book: Dee Gordon moved him to third with another single, followed by an RBI base hit from Jean Segura and another RBI knock from Robinson Cano. By the end of the inning, the Mariners trailed the Indians 4-3, still one run shy of tying it up after Yonder Alonso belted a grand slam in the first. They currently trail the Indians 6-5 through seven.
I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.
While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.
There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.
Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.
Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.
Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice. And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.