DENVER – The Rockies will retire legendary outfielder Larry Walker’s number 33 in April – making him the second Rockies player to earn the honor.
It will be Walker’s last year of eligibility to make the Hall of Fame, which Rockies fans and many baseball fans have been pushing for since he first became eligible.
The Rockies will hang number 33 on the right-field façade at Coors Field in a ceremony at the Rockies’ Sunday, April 19 game against the St. Louis Cardinals. The only other Rockies player who has had his number retired was Todd Helton. Jackie Robinson’s number 42 was retired in 1997 and late Rockies President Keli McGregor’s initials also sit on the outfield wall.
“There is no bigger honor an organization can give a player than retiring his number,” Walker said in a statement on Thursday. “Today, Dick Monfort called to say that they are going to retire #33! I can’t tell you how taken aback I am by this gesture. I am both thrilled and honored and I look forward to seeing my number hanging next to the greatest Rockie of all time, #17!”
Only Walker’s friend, Justin Morneau, who played for the Rockies for one season, has been allowed to wear number 33 since Walker left the team in 2004, and he got permission from Walker to do so.
Walker played for Colorado from 1995-2004 after five seasons with Montreal and spent the 2004-05 season with the Cardinals. He hit .334 while with the Rockies and is first in the team’s record books for batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He trails only Helton in runs, hits, double, home runs and RBI.
He is the only Rockies player to have won the National League MVP award – doing so in 1997 while hitting 49 home runs and compiling a 1.172 OPS.
"As many of you have probably seen... #33 is being retired in CO. Thank you Rockies for this amazing recognition!!! And Thank you to the fanse in Denver and baseball fans everywhere!! This is a huge honor & honour!!!" Walker tweeted -- with both American and Canadian flags and the American and Canadian spellings of "honor."
As many of you have probably seen... #33 is being retired in CO. Thank you Rockies for this amazing recognition!!!— Larry Walker (@Cdnmooselips33) January 17, 2020
And Thank you to the fans in Denver and baseball fans everywhere!!!
This is a huge 🇺🇸honor🇺🇸 &🇨🇦honour🇨🇦!!!
“Larry Walker carried all five tools, and was the most instinctive player I have ever seen play the game,” said Rockies Owner/Chairman and CEO Dick Monfort in a statement. “He put together 17 incredible years in the big leagues. Number 33 hanging in Coors Field will be a constant reminder of the vast talent of Larry Walker that we were all so lucky to witness here in Colorado.”