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A Look Back at Barry Larkin’s Hall of Fame Reds Career

This past week Barry Larkin received the highest honor in baseball, induction into the Hall of Fame. A 12 time All-Star, nine Silver Slugger Awards, three Gold Glove Awards, an MVP in 1995, a World Series champion in 1990, and a trip to Cooperstown to cap it off.

 

Barry Larkin, Cincinnati Reds, 2004, by Rick D...

Barry Larkin, Cincinnati Reds, 2004, by Rick Dikeman 01:45, 16 September 2004 . . Rdikeman . . 360×540 (47 KB) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It only took 177 minor league games for Barry Larkin to make it to the show. After his call up he replaced the aging Dave Concepcion at shortstop, but not before learning what it took to be a leader on the field. In 1986, he played in 41 games striking out only 21 times in 159 at-bats and was 7th in Rookie of the Year voting. From then on Larkin anchored the shortstop position for the Reds, a total of 19 years.

 

Among Reds shortstops Barry Larkin ranks as one of the best in every offensive category. The following are all-time ranks among all positions players in Reds history.

 

Games played – 3rd

 

At-Bats – 4th

 

Runs scored – 3rd

 

Hits – 2nd

 

Doubles – 2nd

 

Homeruns – 9th

 

RBI – 6th

 

Walks – 3rd

 

Stolen bases – 3rd

 

Total bases – 3rd

 

 

In the 1990 World Series the Reds found themselves facing the heavily favoredOaklandA’s. Even with home field advantage the Reds were massive underdogs and werevnot expected to win. “The Nasty Boys” and series MVP Jose Rijo were too much forOaklandto handle as the Reds swept the series. During those four games Barry Larkin did not disappoint. Batting in the leadoff spot he collected six hits, scored three times, and drove in one.

 

COOPERSTOWN, NY - JULY 22:  Barry Larkin poses...

COOPERSTOWN, NY – JULY 22: Barry Larkin poses for a photograph with his plaque at Clark Sports Center during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 22, 2012 in Cooperstown, New York. Larkin played his entire 19 year major league career with the Cincinnati Reds, compiling a .295 average, 2,340 hits, 1,329 runs, 198 home runs, 960 runs batted in and stole 379 bases. He was named to 12 All-Star games and was the 1995 National League MVP. Larkin was also a member of the 1990 World Series championship team. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

From 1991 to 1994 Barry Larkin reached the pinnacle of his career. In that span he was an All-Star 3 times, a Silver Slugger twice, and won the first of his three Gold Gloves. Then in 1995 he won the National League MVP award. Some would say that the next season was his better season statistically because he belted over 30 homers and stole over 30 bases. However Larkin was more valuable to the team in 1995 then he was in 1996. Although he had amassed all this greatness he was often injured and never played all 162 games in any of his 19 seasons. But that didn’t stop him from continuously standing out asCincinnati’s favorite Red.

 

Besides his stats Larkin is measured by his heart. He could be considered the National League’s version of Cal Ripken Jr. in regards of his presence in the community and constantly giving back to the fans. Always putting the fans first gained him plenty of respect from fans throughout Major League Baseball. Most notably late in his career he turned down offers to play for the Mets and instead finished out his last four years with the Reds. As an avid baseball fan it’s always easier to show respect to a player who chooses to stay where they are loved and adored, so for Larkin to continue to play in his hometown made him much more respected in Cincinnati. And to see someone play their whole career with one team is still a refreshing site.

Just over 200 players have received the call to the Hall. Every one of them with their own greatness, achievements, personal and team records made them into players that became a household name. Some created the games most memorable moments in baseball, while some quietly racked up regular season numbers without ever making it to the World Series. Two things are certain; Larkin’s number 11 will be retired soon, and those that saw him play will never forget what a class act superstar he was.

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