Saturday, July 24, 2004

Barry Larkin....Hall Of Fame?

Is Barry Larkin a Hall Of Famer.

Eh.

Well….he has a National League MVP award, 11 All Star appearances [with his latest one at the age of 40], 3 gold gloves [which should have been more] and a World Series ring. He is the best and most loved Cincinnati Red over the past 25 years. He has been the leader of a franchise thru some of it’s most trying times.

But, numbers wise, he is just shy of 200 home runs, 1000 RBI, 400 stolen bases and is just short of a .300 lifetime batting average. He played his entire career in a small market. Also, in his entire time in Cincinnati….he only went to 2 postseasons and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting twice.

And though he is well loved in Cincinnati….he never really has been the “Face Of The Franchise” outside of Cincy. It has been Eric Davis…..or Chris Sabo….or Jose Rijo….or Ken Griffey, Jr. There have been huge coaching names like Lou Pinella, Davey Johnson, Tony Perez, Ray Knight and Bob Boone. Not to mention the huge clouds of Pete Rose and Marge Schott lurking overhead.

And the biggest obstacle is the fact that he was a hybrid of the generations he linked. He was an excellent defensive shortstop….but not as good as the names he came in with: Ozzie Smith, Gary Templeton, Shawn Dunston and Tony Fernandez. He was a very good hitting shortstop….but not as good as the names of today: Nomar, Jeter and A-Rod. Actually, you could compare Larkin’s numbers to Rich Aurilia and they’d look pretty much the same. And Aurilia isn’t a HOFer. Cal Ripken, Jr. was the same type of player as Larkin…..but Larkin doesn’t have “The Streak” to put him into Cooperstown.

Look at the names of the living shortstops in the Hall Of Fame. Luis Apricio, Ernie Banks, Phil Rizzuto, Ozzie Smith and Robin Yount. I’m sure many voters couldn’t really see Barry Larkin’s name alongside those greats. Just look at guys like Alan Trammel not getting over the hump.

The sad reality is that Larkin won’t make it to the Hall Of Fame….and that is a shame. For a period in the early to mid-90s….he was the best shortstop in the National League.  And he has been my favorite baseball player of my lifetime. 

3 comments:

popoibe said...

While reading this your last line was written long before the end.
He doesn't belong

giggleman said...

I do not know about the numbers but, Larkin should be in the Hall of Fame.  Besides Ozzie Smith he IS the best defensive shortstop in the past two decades. So you are telling me you have to hit over .300 with 300 or more homers and 1000+ RBI's to get in. If he dosen't get it will just show how offensive minded this game has gotten. You can not get numbers if you don't have solid hitters or speed around you on a consistant basis. He is 40 years old and still making the all-star team. Being sandwiched between The Oz and the career births of Jeter, A-Rod, and Nomar (which these three are not the most solid fielders)should be the ONLY reason or excuse for Larkin not to get in.

trgammon1 said...

I have to say... this is one of the dumbest posts I've seen in a while. I hope nobody with a vote reads your error riddled post.

I didn't realize that Barry Larking (who was a rookie in '86) "came in" with Ozzie Smith (rookie in '78) and Gary Templeton (rookie in '76).

I also didn't realize that Gary Templeton's .961 lifetime fielding percentage with no gold gloves was a better defensive SS than Larking who had a .975 fielding percentage and 3 (should have been more) Gold Gloves.

Then I really had to laugh! Shawn Dunston?!? Shawn Dunston a better defensive SS than Barry Larkin? This is why certain people shouldn't be allowed to write things and put them on the internet. Uhh...No.

You make a good point about Rich Aurilia having similar numbers to Larkin...except for.

So anyway - do a little more thought before your next post.

* Larkin has more HR's
* Larkin has nearly 1,000 more hits
* Larkin has nearly 200 more doubles
* Larkin has nearly three times as many triples
* Larkin's life time average is 20pts higher
* Larkin has 379 steals to Aurilia's 22
* Larkin has twice as many walks
* Larkin was an All-Star 11 more times than Aurilia
* Larkin has a significantly higer lifetime fielding percentage and three more gold gloves.

Larkin and Ripkin were not at all the same type of player.

Can't see Larkin's name next to greats lik Phil Rizzuto?!? Maybe you should check out Phil's stats again...

Two of the three better hitting shortstops you named (A-Rod & Nomar) are no longer shortstops. Jeter plays in a great lineup during an offensive era and his stats are nearly identical to Larkin's at the same point in his career.