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
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.
|162 Game Avg.||162||590||99||174||33||6||15||71||28||70||61||.295||.371||.444||.815||116|
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.
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