The induction this summer will be in Cooperstown, but the call to the Hall of Fame on Tuesday went to Bikini Bottom.
Larry Walker was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving just enough votes to clear the 75-percent requirement for induction. During his playing days, Walker was known for his all-around game, his five tools on display throughout his 17 major league seasons. He was not known for being absorbent, yellow, or porous.
But when he got the news Tuesday that he, in his 10th and final try on the writers’ ballot, finally was elected to Cooperstown, he brought SpongeBob SquarePants with him. Look at his shirt:
Walker was no ordinary player, and like his shirt exclaimed, SpongeBob SquarePants “ain’t no ordinary sponge.” This is true, as SpongeBob has been a television star for over two decades. We’ve all watched his exploits with Squidward and Patrick, and we’ve all seen the memes.
Spongebob Squarepants is one of the most culturally relevant characters of the 21st century. He may not have a driver’s license, but he is now canonically in the Hall of Fame.
While at first the pairing of Walker, now 53, with SpongeBob might seem odd, this play from his days with the Montreal Expos would fit right in at Bikini Bottom.
One wouldn’t have blamed Walker after the rather embarrassing mistake of forgetting how many outs there were had he asked, “Can I be excused for the rest of my life?”
Both newly-elected Hall of Famers were in New York, and Walker joked about his attire the day before.
“This is way better than that SpongeBob shirt from yesterday,” Walker said.
“No, it’s really not,” added Derek Jeter, who was also elected to the Hall of Fame.
Jeter knows. SpongeBob is legit, and is now a Hall of Famer.