Walker's still tops, Morneau admits

BOB ELLIOTT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

NEW YORK -- Justin Morneau, home run derby champ, wasn't ready to assume bragging rights over Larry Walker, Canada's best-ever position player.

"Larry accomplished a lot in his career," Morneau said. "He did so much in his career that he set the bar high for all Canadian players.

"He's a guy who is always there if I needed something. He's the guy everyone wanted to be like when they were growing up."

A five-time all-star, Walker, of Maple Ridge, B.C. won three National League batting titles and the 1997 most valuable player award, all with the Colorado Rockies.

Morneau's display on prime time -- well, sort of, -- TV will have kids from Corner Brook, Nfld., to his old North Delta Blue Jays team emulating the swing of the Minnesota Twins first baseman.

"It's awesome for Canada to have this many players at the all-star game," Morneau said. "I think it's good for kids growing up in Canada to see there's something to do other than play hockey and we can do it at this level."

Morneau, of New Westminster, B.C., was joined in his second all-star game by National Leaguers Russ Martin, born in East York, Ont., and a Montrealer who catches for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Ryan Dempster of Gibsons, B.C.

"Walker was the guy I always looked up to as a Canadian. He got to play in all-star games and competed in the derbies. It's cool for me to think of the guy I grew up wanting to be like from B.C."

ONLY IN NEW YORK

A fender-bender coming out of the Lincoln Tunnel had the predictable results yesterday morning. Two people were screaming at each other. One New Yorker wore a Yankees jersey with "Rivera" on his back, while the other wore a "Jeter" jersey.


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