It’s hard to put into perspective just how good of a hitter Larry Walker was. There is one stat, though, that can sure go a long way toward helping us try.

OPS is a peculiar stat when you think about it, combining two other statistics that do a fine job on their own, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and mashing them into one superstat that ultimately does a pretty great job of measuring overall offensive firepower.

When you look at the leaderboards of OPS year after year, you will find exactly the players you expect; a group of the best hitters in the game.

The guys who avoid outs the most often and tally up the most number of bases are of highest value with a bat in their hands and in that regard Larry Walker has no equal in Rockies and nearly baseball history.

His Colorado career OPS of 1.044 is almost difficult to fathom. Consider that only three times since Walk left the team has a single player managed an OPS over 1,000 for this team… in a single campaign.

Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, and Trevor Story have never done it. The last time it happened was Charlie Blackmon back in 2017 when he put up one of the best leadoff seasons of all time. His OPS was exactly 1.000. Troy Tulowitzki, at 1.035, cleared the mark in 2014 but also only played in 91 games meaning a full season and just a few off games could have seen him fall short.

Back in 2007 when Matt Holliday should have won the National League MVP, he crossed the thousand-OPS mark with a 1.012.

Those are the three best individual seasons of OPS since 2004 and they all fall short of Walker’s nine-and-a-half season average

Walker posted an OPS over a thousand five times and over 1.100 three times. His mark of 1.172 in 1997, his MVP Year, may stand forever as a Rockies record.

As you might have guessed, Todd Helton hung in there as Walker’s best competition here, also posting five seasons of an OPS over a thousand but at a career mark of .953 still falls comfortably short.

Interestingly enough, that puts Helton at 23rd All-Time in MLB History but there is Walker just ahead of him in 19th. 

If you counted only his time in Colorado, though, Walker would have the fifth highest OPS of anyone to ever play this game, behind only Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gherig, Oscar Charleston, and Barry Bonds.

In Colorado, Larry Walker was one of the greatest hitters who ever lived.