1990 Reds / Hall of Fame

Barry Larkin Compared to Other Hall of Fame Shortstops

In response to a request in the Hall of Fame thread Tuesday, I looked up Barry Larkin’s career numbers compared to 21 current Hall of Fame shortstops. If elected to the Hall, Larkin would rank 11th of the 22 shortstops in the number of games played.

As noted in the PDF file from the Reds, Larkin would rank in the Top 10 in most counting statistical categories, including hits, runs, doubles, homeruns, rbi, and stolen bases. These lists include total career stats for each player, not just the numbers that each player accumulated while playing shortstop.

I’ve compiled the career counting stats for Larkin and 21 hall of fame shortstops in the sortable table below. Data is from baseball-reference.com. If you point your mouse and click just to the right of any of the category headers, the table should sort for you on that category.

[table id=13 /]

Larkin would also rank in the top 10 for all the career rate stat categories, including an OPS+ better than Cal Ripken and Robin Yount. Larkin posted an OPS+ above 100 in 13 consecutive seasons.

[table id=14 /]

Jim Caple of ESPN.com wrote Wednesday on his opinions of the new HOF candidates and his intention to vote for Larkin this year.

I was already leaning toward voting for Larkin, and then I read what Jayson Stark wrote about him in “The Stark Truth,” his book about the most overrated and underrated players of all time. Stark points out that Larkin’s career batting average (.295) was 39 points higher than the average shortstop. His OPS was 137 points higher — 20 percent better — than the average shortstop. He was a great base stealer with some power (he was the first shortstop in the 30-30 club), a 12-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner despite playing in the same league as Ozzie Smith for much of his career. And he was the MVP in 1995. Sure, Larkin was hurt a lot but big deal. He still played a lot of games (2,180), and when he did, he was simply one of the best shortstops in history.

So he gets my vote.

9 thoughts on “Barry Larkin Compared to Other Hall of Fame Shortstops

  1. It’s also worth noting that Larkin was exclusively a shortstop, while others on this list spent some significant time at other, easier positions (I’m looking at you Banks, Yount, and Ripken).

  2. This is one of those not so rare times when stats don’t show the true value of the player. While, on the merit of his stats alone, he played well enough to get into the Hall, the reason I think he should be a first ballot is because of what he brought to the team. He was a leader that could be counted on on the field, a strong voice in the locker room, a GREAT team representative in the media. And… the more I watch him on the MLB network, the more impressed I am with his analysis (unlike the joker from the Ms next to him).

  3. Larkin is a no-brainer HoFer. The fact that it took reading a Jayson Stark article for this guy to realize it, doesn’t give me alot of confidence in the voters making the decision. Maybe they all read Stark and he’ll ease in.

  4. Bill James, who gets quite a bit of respect these days, ranks Larkin as the 6th greatest shortstop of all time. That ought to help.

  5. Super job on the charts, Greg. That’s some first-ballot Hall of Fame coding. Really great work.

  6. Awesome post Greg. It’s just a shame that it’ll take about 10 more years for 75% the morons that vote players into the HOF to figure out what everyone else already knows. Of the 10 SS that the BBWA have voted into the HOF, five have been voted in on the first ballot (Wagner, Banks, Yount, Ripken, and Smith), the other poor five guys voted in (Boudreau, Cronin, Appling, Aparicio, and Maranville) had to wait between 6 to 14 years for their numbers to improve while they were retired before they were good enough to be admitted. Thank goodness for the Veterans committee, they’ll have to clean up the mess the BBWA made yet again and vote Concepcion in, who also belongs.

  7. Miguel Tejade 12 full +26 games

    has 289avg 341OBP 1100+runs,2114hits ,421 Doubles, 285HR 1185 15 short of 1200 RBIs

    4th most hits RBis in decade:P
    He just because 3rd alltime in Hrs because Banks hit 277 of 512 at short the rest were at first

    5th longest games played streak in baseball history 1152

    1 of 3 shortstops to ever have 5 seasons in a row 100+RBIs 6in all btw

    1MVP AL

    2xDoubles NL 46 MLB 50

    1xRBI title MLB 150RBi and was most by a shortstop in 55 years and counting

    2x Sliver Slugger


    AS game MVP

    1200 double plays 5500ast even Jeters yet to reach with more years

    in just 12 seasons +26 call up games

  8. Pingback: Orlando Cabrera and Championship Shortstops | Redleg Nation

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