Ceremony to take place at Alex Box Stadium prior to a home game next season
By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
A fourth number will join the immortals on the facade of Alex Box Stadium in 2017.
LSU announced Friday that it’ll retire the jersey of All-American second baseman Todd Walker, with the retirement ceremony to occur prior to a home game during the 2017 season.
The No. 12 worn by Walker will join the No. 36 worn by first baseman Eddy Furniss, retired earlier this season, the No. 15 worn by Walker’s coach, Skip Bertman, and the No. 19 worn by pitcher Ben McDonald as retired jerseys in the LSU baseball program.
“Todd Walker epitomizes the values that we promote at LSU,” said LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva in an official release. “He is in the College Baseball Hall of Fame, and his exploits as one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game are well-documented.
“What is even more impressive is his commitment to education, as he completed his LSU degree requirements while he was an active Major League player. He generously donates his time and energy to charitable causes, and he is a tremendous ambassador for our university. We look forward to having his jersey number take its place among those of LSU legends.”
More background information on Walker’s career from LSU’s official release:
Walker, a native of Bossier City, Louisiana, will become the 11th LSU athlete or coach to have his jersey retired, joining Furniss, Bertman and McDonald; men’s basketball players Bob Pettit, Pete Maravich, Rudy Macklin and Shaquille O’Neal; football players Billy Cannon and Tommy Casanova; and women’s basketball player Seimone Augustus.
Walker, who was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009, was the eighth overall selection in the 1994 Major League Baseball Draft after a brilliant three-year career at LSU. He played 12 seasons (1996-2007) in the major leagues and earned his business degree from LSU in 1998 by returning to school during the MLB off-seasons.
In recent years, Walker has served as a coach and mentor to youngsters in the Shreveport-Bossier area, and he works as a college baseball analyst for the SEC Network.
Walker was one of the greatest hitters in SEC history, excelling for three seasons (1992-94) at LSU. A two-time first-team All-American, he led the Tigers to the national championship in 1993, earning the College World Series Most Outstanding Player award. He was voted in 1996 as the second baseman on the all-time College World Series team by the Omaha World-Herald, and he was named to the CWS Legends Team in 2010.
A two-time finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, Walker was named first-team All-SEC three times, and he was voted the SEC Player of the Year in 1993. He posted a .396 cumulative batting average over three seasons, and he completed his collegiate career as the SEC all-time leader in hits (310), runs (234), RBI (246) and total bases (557).
During his major league career from 1996-2007, he played for the Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics. He helped lead the Red Sox to the 2003 American League Championship Series, launching five home runs during the club’s playoff run.
Walker was inducted into the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006, and he became a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.