Cooperstown Choices: Barry Larkin

With the Hall Of Fame election announcement coming on January 9, 2012, it is time to review the ballot, go over the names, and decide who belongs in the Hall Of Fame.

There are twenty seven men on the ballot this year and we will take a look at each one individually prior to official announcements. You can find all of the profiles in the I-70 Baseball Exclusives: Cooperstown Choices 2012 menu at the top of the page.

Tune in Saturday, January 7, 2012 as I-70 Baseball Radio will host a panel of writers discussing the Hall Of Fame Ballot in a 2-hour special.

In this article, we take a look at Barry Larkin

Barry Larkin
Larkin is a candidate that not only spent his entire 19 year career with one franchise, it was also the franchise that drafted him as an amateur. As a first round, fourth overall pick, Larkin joined the Cincinnati Reds organization in 1985. He made his Major League debut the following year and retired from the game in 2004, making this his third appearance on the Cooperstown ballot.

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1986 CIN 41 159 27 45 4 3 3 19 8 9 21 .283 .320 .403 .722 95
1987 CIN 125 439 64 107 16 2 12 43 21 36 52 .244 .306 .371 .678 76
1988 CIN 151 588 91 174 32 5 12 56 40 41 24 .296 .347 .429 .776 119
1989 CIN 97 325 47 111 14 4 4 36 10 20 23 .342 .375 .446 .821 131
1990 CIN 158 614 85 185 25 6 7 67 30 49 49 .301 .358 .396 .753 104
1991 CIN 123 464 88 140 27 4 20 69 24 55 64 .302 .378 .506 .884 143
1992 CIN 140 533 76 162 32 6 12 78 15 63 58 .304 .377 .454 .831 132
1993 CIN 100 384 57 121 20 3 8 51 14 51 33 .315 .394 .445 .839 124
1994 CIN 110 427 78 119 23 5 9 52 26 64 58 .279 .369 .419 .788 107
1995 CIN 131 496 98 158 29 6 15 66 51 61 49 .319 .394 .492 .886 133
1996 CIN 152 517 117 154 32 4 33 89 36 96 52 .298 .410 .567 .977 154
1997 CIN 73 224 34 71 17 3 4 20 14 47 24 .317 .440 .473 .913 138
1998 CIN 145 538 93 166 34 10 17 72 26 79 69 .309 .397 .504 .901 134
1999 CIN 161 583 108 171 30 4 12 75 30 93 57 .293 .390 .420 .810 103
2000 CIN 102 396 71 124 26 5 11 41 14 48 31 .313 .389 .487 .876 118
2001 CIN 45 156 29 40 12 0 2 17 3 27 25 .256 .373 .372 .745 90
2002 CIN 145 507 72 124 37 2 7 47 13 44 57 .245 .305 .367 .672 74
2003 CIN 70 241 39 68 16 1 2 18 2 22 32 .282 .345 .382 .726 94
2004 CIN 111 346 55 100 15 3 8 44 2 34 39 .289 .352 .419 .771 101
19 Seasons 2180 7937 1329 2340 441 76 198 960 379 939 817 .295 .371 .444 .815 116
162 Game Avg. 162 590 99 174 33 6 15 71 28 70 61 .295 .371 .444 .815 116
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/29/2011.

Why He Should Get In
Larkin was a trendsetter at his position, an offensive weapon at short stop while still maintaining his defensive focus. Overshadowed on the defensive side by the flamboyant Cardinal shortstop Ozzie Smith, Larkin was the player that quietly put together a great career in Cincinnati. Larkin would appear in 12 All Star games, win an impressive nine silver slugger awards, post a Most Valuable Player award in 1995, and win three Gold Glove awards of his own. An all around player, Larkin finished his career with 2340 hits, 379 stolen bases, 198 home runs and 960 runs batted in.

Why He Should Not Get In
His numbers fall a little short, though they are respectable for a short stop from his era. He was overshadowed frequently by Ozzie Smith, but when Ozzie hung up his spikes, Larkin immediately took over. Voters may not like that he was the second best player at his position for most of his career, even though he was truly the better player at some things and the second best at others.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

Author: Bill Ivie

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