Barry Larkin - 2012 Hall of Fame Inductee

It’s just been announced that Barry Larkin, Cincinnati native and all-time Reds great, has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

He was the only player elected and he received 86% of the vote. (Here’s Baseball Reference’s HOF page.)

Congratulations to Barry Larkin from Redleg Nation. Barry is the first Red elected to the HOF since Tony Perez in 2000.

We’ll be filling in more information as we get it, but wanted to get something up for everyone to comment on.

UPDATE: Barry received 495 votes, which was a 24.3% increase from last year. 573 ballots were cast, including 19 blank ballots. Barry’s increase was the largest gain for anyone when at least 400 ballots were sent out. It surpasses Tony Perez’s 17% jump from ’99 to ’00. It was the largest increase since 1948.

What a great way to kick off 2012!

29 Responses

  1. Richard Fitch

    Congratulations, Barry!!!

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I see this as an omen for 2012.

  2. GRF

    Congratulations! As the only inductee, I am sure we will get plenty of Barry stories leading up to the ceremony.

  3. Richard Fitch

    My favorite remark from the early one’s that have come in so far:

    Bobby Cox, former Major League manager

    “To me, Barry Larkin was a ‘dream’ player. He was an outstanding leader who had great physical skills. When you look at his all-around talent and ability in the field, at the plate and on the bases, he might very well have been one of the top two or three shortstops of all-time. He really has all the credentials you think of when you talk about Hall of Fame players. If there had been a draft each year for clubs to build their team from scratch, Barry would have been the first or second pick each year over the course of his career. He was just so well rounded and had all the skills.”

  4. eric nyc

    Born in 1980, Barry Larkin was the first great Red for my generation. The 1990 season was one of my favorite childhood memories, and Barry was by FAR my favorite player (followed closely by Chris Sabo, duh). Great day.

  5. RiverCity Redleg

    Congrats, Barry!!! Very well deserved. It should have happened the last two years, but I like the idea of him going in by himself (I know Santo is going in on the Veteran’s committee). He was the best all around player I ever saw in a Cincinnati uniform.

  6. mike

    @Richard Fitch: that is a great quote from Cox and probably true.

    Only 15 SS in history have over 60 WAR. Larkin is one of them at 68.9

    add in being a good base runner and the list goes down to 11 with Larkin and Ozzie Smith being the best base runners among them

    add in being a good defender and the list goes down to 8.

    add in being a good hitter and the list is down to 7

    Wagner, George Davis, Bill Dahlen, Arky Vaughan, Alan Trammell and Pee Wee Reese

    Dahlen and Trammell are the only 2 not in the HOF.

  7. Steve Mancuso

    My best in-person Barry Larkin memory was from a game that he didn’t play in until the bottom of the ninth inning. Great American Ballpark had been open for about a month on May 6, 2003. I was at my first game at the brand new park with my Dad, sitting in the front row of the upper deck. I was still living in the Washington DC area at the time, so this was a very special occasion for a number of reasons.

    The Reds starter that day was Jeff Austin. Nonetheless, the Reds led the game 5-3 going into the 8th inning when the bullpen gave up a game-tying homer to Albert Pujols. Then, they surrendered the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. Disappointment loomed.

    With one out, Castro singled to bring up the pitcher’s lineup spot. Manager Bob Boone (yep) sent the Reds’ captain, Barry Larkin in to pinch hit — Larkin’s first AB since coming off the DL that afternoon.

    Facing Kiko Calero, Larkin lined a 1-0 pitch into the upper deck in left field for a two-run, walk-off homer!

  8. Sultan of Swaff

    Congratulations!! Despite this tremendous honor, I’m still chapped Ozzie Smith has at least 3 of Barry’s gold gloves. Barry was the best all around player I’ve ever seen. He could do whatever the situation called for–his ability to hit behind the runner was the best. My particular memory was a typical mid-season 3 game set at Wrigley back in the 90s. Barry single-handedly dismatled the Cubs that weeked with his speed (7 SB methinks), hitting, and defense. You couldn’t pick out one quality that made him outstanding because he was so polished in all aspects. Now lets get him back in the organization in a more meaningful role!!

  9. Matt WI

    @eric nyc: Uh, Barry was born in 1964. If he had been born in 1980 he’d still be playing SS for the Reds right now and we’d be debating if his skills would be eroding enough to warrent a long term contract!

  10. Steve Mancuso

    Larkin played over 2000 games at SS. He played 3 games at second base in his rookie year. He DH’d a handful of times. But 99.9% of Larkin’s playing time was at SS, an extremely demanding position. Pretty incredible.

  11. RiverCity Redleg

    @Matt WI: Yeah, I’m not sure a 10 year old boy (not even a future Hall of Famer) could lead a team to a World Series title. 😀

  12. CP

    Larkin was well above average (WAR 2+) from ages 24 to 35. He had 9 seasons of 4+ WAR during that time. Stud.

    As a matter of perspective, Brandon Phillips, who has had a great career with the Reds…got his first 4+ WAR season last year. 😯

  13. hermanbates

    My favorite red. Unbelievable day, great day for the reds and a great day for cincinnati. What a day for all of us, the “educated elite” 😉

    Go redlegs baby.

  14. RiverCity Redleg

    @CP: Sorry, I should have included the caveat “with the exception of divine intervention..”.

  15. al

    By far the best Red I’ve ever seen, and the fact that he played his whole career for his hometown team is like a fairytale at this point in the game.

    When I moved from Cincy to Boston, I was always so amazed by how I could go into a sports bar and talk to Sox fans (who are notorious for not know anything about baseball outside of Fenway), and when I would mention Barry they would all just light up. Every one of them could go on and on about the kind of player he was, the plays they’d seen him make, and the class he brought to the game.

    All you had to do was see him play a few times to get it.

    I really couldn’t imagine a better start for the Reds this year. Barry goes in on July 22, and hopefully there will be a lot of Reds headlines about the gigantic lead we have in the central.

  16. al

    One more thing to add. I don’t think that I would have been nearly as open to the new statistics that have developed over the years if it wasn’t for Barry.

    I once got in an argument, as like a 12 year old mind you, with some friend who said that Barry wasn’t that good because he only hit .280. And I busted out the baseball cards and said “sure he only hit .280, but he got on base 40% of the time because he walks a lot.”

    Through the decade of the 90s he had an 11.9% walk rate, second highest among SS.

    He really was the type of player that no matter how you looked at him he looked great. The stogie-chewing scouts and the basement dwelling nerds can all agree on Larkin.

  17. jholcomb

    My 20 year old son’s favorite player. He wore number 11 from his first year in tee ball through his senior year in high school. I forgot the announcement was today until I got a text from him this afternoon that just said, “Ya, Buddy!”. Then it dawned on me what day it was.

    My favorite player was Johnny Bench, and the actual last time I saw him play in person he hit a home run in his last at bat. My son saw Barry hit a game winning double at Busch Stadium in St. Louis the last time he saw him in person. Great memories. Baseball, what a game.

  18. eric nyc

    Ha. Yes I was talking about me. I was the 10 year old boy in 1990 clutching my Barry Larkin Topps card when my mom pulled me out of school because she had gotten tickets to game 3 (I think) of the NLCS series against the Pirates at Riverfront. To this day I compare happiness to how 10 year old me felt that day. Planning my road trip to Cooperstown right now. Bunch of NYC based Reds fans coming along.

    • pinson343

      Eric: Planning my road trip to Cooperstown right now. Bunch of NYC based Reds fans coming along.

      I’m definitely making the trip for Barry’s induction. Live just north of NYC. Looking forward to seeing members of RLN there.

  19. RedLeg75

    @jholcomb: I was at that game, too! 1983, Fan Appreciation Day. Bench caught the whole game and homered. I was 8. Might’ve been my first game.

    Congratulations to Barry! 1990, Larkin beats out the throw to first, yet the ump calls him out. Lou goes nuts and ends up tossing the base into the outfield. That was awesome.

  20. BigRedMike

    Congrats!! Barry

    My second favorite Red of all time.

  21. CKeever

    The first poster I ever hung in my room was a Barry Larkin poster. He was my idol. Congrats Barry. You deserved it. All of Reds nation is proud and we hope the excitement from this is a spark to start a great season for the current Reds.

  22. TC

    Glad he came out of retirement last year to pad his stats a bit. I’m guessing it was the difference from last year when he was not elected.

    Congrats Barry!

  23. pinson343

    I watched the espn show. It was fun to hear Eric Davis talk about Barry Larkin before the announcement, then listen to the two of them talk after the announcement.

    Getting more than 86% of the vote was just awesome, I didn’t expect that.
    I spent the day (up until the announcement) battling with ignorant bloggers who were dumping on Barry. If I’d known he was going to do that well, I wouldn’t have bothered. You can’t argue with 86.4%.