Lots of fun stuff going on the last couple of days in Cincinnati, as the Reds celebrated their Hall of Fame weekend. I, for one, really enjoyed watching the pre-game ceremony on Saturday, as the Reds honored 2008’s Reds HOF inductees: Joey Jay, Cesar Geronimo, Garry Herrmann, and Barry Larkin:
Fans’ respect for Larkin was apparent in the whistles and cheers that interrupted Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman’s introduction. After watching the 44-year-old’s playing highlights on the video board, the capacity crowd stood. Applause thundered….
“The hardest thing I had to do was leave, knowing that I wasn’t coming back,” Larkin said. “I never envisioned leaving Cincinnati at all, at any point in my career. That wasn’t part of the script. Growing up and playing here was about being here and being able to focus all my energies here.”
Added Larkin: “And unfortunately, we’ve had a hiccup for the last few years.”
In the pregame press conference, Larkin was asked if he had put more thought lately into returning to the Reds. “Oh, there’s been plenty of thought about coming back to the Reds. Just the opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet. I’ve been working with the Nationals for the last three years and my contract is up at the end of the year. So I’ll be a free agent,” Larkin said, smiling.
It was also good to see some of the other Reds Hall of Famers who attended the ceremony:
Jack Billingham, Johnny Bench, Tom Browning, Leo Cardenas, David Concepcion, Eric Davis, Wayne Granger, Tommy Helms, Jerry Lynch, Lee May, Gary Nolan, Jim O’Toole, Tony Perez and Mario Soto.
Wish I could have attended the Hall of Fame Gala.
Finally, since we’re talking about some of the best Reds of all-time, the Enquirer has put together an all-time Reds Gold Glove team. I can perhaps quibble with certain selections, but it’s a fun idea.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.