Larry Walker hit two home runs in a game five times for the Cardinals, including once in the postseason.
A three-time National League batting champion who spent most of his career with the Expos and Rockies, Walker was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Jan. 21, 2020, by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
A left-handed batter and outfielder, Walker played his last two seasons for the Cardinals after being acquired from the Rockies on Aug. 6, 2004.
In 17 seasons (1989-2005) in the majors, Walker hit for average (.313) and power (383 homers).
With the Cardinals, Walker hit 26 home runs in the regular season and six in the postseason.
Here are Walker’s two-homer games with St. Louis:
On Sept. 12, 2004, at Los Angeles, Walker was 4-for-5 with two home runs, three RBI and three runs scored in the Cardinals’ 7-6 win over the Dodgers. Boxscore
Walker produced two homers and a double against Dodgers starter Hideo Nomo.
“I never think about hitting home runs,” Walker told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I only think about hitting the ball hard.”
In the sixth inning, with the score tied at 6-6, Walker’s single against Edwin Jackson moved Tony Womack from first to third with none out. Womack scored the winning run when Albert Pujols grounded into a double play.
In the first game of the National League Division Series against the Dodgers at St. Louis on Oct. 5, 2004, Walker had two solo home runs in an 8-3 Cardinals victory.
“My heart was pounding the whole game,” Walker said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Walker became the third Cardinals player to hit two home runs in a postseason game, joining Willie McGee (Game 3, 1982 World Series) and Ron Gant (Game 3, 1996 NL Championship Series).
Walker was playing in the postseason for the second time in his career. The first time was nine years earlier for the Rockies in the 1995 NL Division Series versus the Braves.
“Normally, I’m up in my cabin in British Columbia with my brother and some fishing buddies for some salmon that are running up the rivers,” Walker said. “I’d much rather be here.”
A Canadian, Walker took pride in hitting two home runs at Toronto in a 7-0 Cardinals triumph over the Blue Jays on June 14, 2005.
The home runs were Walker’s first in Canada since he hit one for the Rockies against the Expos’ Carl Pavano at Montreal on May 8, 2002. Boxscore
Walker was hitless in 10 career at-bats in Toronto before hitting the home runs.
“I feel good about it,” Walker told the Canadian Press. “I’ve had two-homer games before, but this one felt a lot better.”
Walker said he worked with hitting coach Hal McRae before the game and made “a couple of tweaks” in his stance.
“I moved my front foot to try and get a different wave on the bat, a different plant on my foot,” Walker said.
Pain in the neck
On June 29, 2005, Walker hit a pair of two-run homers against Reds starter Ramon Ortiz in an 11-3 Cardinals victory at St. Louis. Boxscore
“Don’t expect this every day,” Walker said.
Walker, 38, said he got a cortisone shot before the game to relieve discomfort from a herniated disc in his neck.
The last two-homer game of Walker’s career came on Oct. 1, 2005, in a 9-6 Cardinals win against the Reds at St. Louis. Ortiz again was the pitcher. The home runs were the last of Walker’s career. Boxscore and Video
Walker was 6-for-13 versus Ortiz in his career. All six hits were for extra bases (four home runs and two doubles).
In two seasons with St. Louis, Walker batted .286 and had an on-base percentage of .387.
For his big-league career, Walker had 2,160 hits in 1,988 regular-season games and an on-base percentage of .400.
He won NL batting titles in 1998 (.363), 1999 (.379) and 2001 (.350). In 1997, he was the recipient of the NL Most Valuable Player Award. He had 208 hits, 143 runs scored, 130 RBI, 49 home runs and 33 stolen bases for the 1997 Rockies.
Walker also was the recipient of seven Gold Glove awards for his outfield play.