The change from thin air to sea level throughout the season is physically stressful, said Weiss. The Rockies are the only team that has to leave their time zone with every street game. Hitters can fight on the street because the playing fields behave differently, he added. The same ball hovering in the Denver strike zone can break out of the zone elsewhere.
Of course, Walker benefited from Coors Field, where he scored 0.381 with a base percentage of 0.462 and a slugging percentage of 0.710. But his career as a whole is excellent (.278 / .370 / .495), and when he won the National League's Most Valuable Player award in 1997, Walker had a better O.P.S. on the street than at home.
His career path O.P.S., .865 is equal to or better than that of George Brett, Ken Griffey Jr., Reggie Jackson and Willie Stargell, all of whom are the first choice in the Hall of Famers. Walker has more stolen bases (230) than any of these players, in addition to winning seven gold gloves.
"He is one of the best basic runners I have ever seen, and alongside Andruw Jones he is the best outfielder I have ever seen – and certainly the best corner outfielder," said Weiss. "He did all the other things, the peripherals, and for me that's what makes him exaggerated."
Weiss compared Walker's baseball acumen to that of another former teammate, the Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux, No one else could routinely surprise him with a tip or a strategy he had never thought about.
"In the outfield, when the ball was hit on the line, it ran in the general area of the ball, but he would not see the ball – he would watch the runners," said Weiss. "He always said that the bat would tell you whether it was fair or bad, and then he wanted to know where the runners were all the time. He only did things I had never heard of before. "
Extended metrics have the profile of the youngest eligible voters such as Bert Blyleven, Tim Raines and Ted Simmons and they're nice to Walker too. Baseball Reference attributes 72.7 replacements victories to him; Jeter had 72.4 in 759 other games. Of the last four outfielders elected to the Hall of Fame – Andre Dawson, Griffey, Guerrero and Raines – only Griffey has more WAR than Walker.