PDA

View Full Version : Barry Larkin's HOF chances



MaineRed
08-02-2006, 09:10 PM
George and Chris were just discussing it in the 3rd innning. George just made the point that Larkin and Allan Trammell have similar numbers and that Trammell has never sniffed the HOF (according to George).

I'm biased but to me Larkin has much better credentials. Larkin was an MVP and he was clearly the top SS in the NL for a pretty good duration. Ozzie kept getting those AS votes late in his career but Larkin had surpassed him.

I know most believe Larkin deserves to be in, since we are all fans of the Reds. Thought I'd throw it out there, figured it might generate some positive discussion.

Next year should be a good class, Ripken and Gywnn. But will Big Mac join them? Going to be quite a story, either way. I'd like to see Ripken and Gwynn go into together. Both guys were so classy and they played the game so well. If McGwire gets in, I hope it is not next year. I'd like to see Cal and Tony go in as a twosome.

KalDanielsfan
08-02-2006, 09:25 PM
i made a thread about this a week or so ago and I had the same discussion with a life long mets fan.

He brought up many good points and I have to admit some of my view on Larkin is thinking wtih my heart, not brain. Ask fans of other teams during that era and many think he was a good player but not hall of fame.

personally im not sure. his stats arent that great for his time and thats how players are judged. Ozzie was fortunate to have his prime in the 80's before the big offensive jump at the position.

Larkin peaked in the early 90's up to '95 then his production went to just good--not great.

I am beginning to re-think his HOF credentials.loved him as a player and person. We will see.

also ripken and gwynn will go in together. thats established.

killuminati35
08-02-2006, 09:25 PM
I might be biased, since I was a HUGE Larkin fan all my life, as most that post here were, but I always thought Larkin was a lock for the Hall.

Redsland
08-02-2006, 09:31 PM
A lot of voters are going to refresh their memories about that small market shortstop by looking at his counting stats, which aren't great.

MWM
08-02-2006, 09:34 PM
Any Hall of Fame with Ozzie Smith in it and not Barry Larkin loses a lot of credibility, IMO. Larkin was clearly the better player. The only thing Larkin is lacking is a little more longevity.

westofyou
08-02-2006, 09:39 PM
The only thing Larkin is lacking is a little more longevity.

Longest tenured Red by seasons is a good thing to have.

Red Heeler
08-02-2006, 09:54 PM
Back in the day, a media outlet (can't remeber which one) had a poll of all the GM's as to who they would pick if they were starting a team from scratch. Larkin won the poll by a wide margin.

Maybe Joe Sixpack doesn't realize how good Larkin was. Maybe the baseball writers don't, either. Baseball executives from the era knew how great of an impact he had on the games.

MWM
08-02-2006, 10:01 PM
Longest tenured Red by seasons is a good thing to have.

I meant games played. His injuries kept him from having the requisite counting stats.

steig
08-02-2006, 10:09 PM
I'm not Joe Sixpack and I am a lifelong Reds fan but I don't think Larkin has a good chance of getting into the hall of fame and I wouldn't vote for him. At the same time I would not have put in Ozzie Smith, Tony Perez, and a list of other marginal hall of famers. Larkin is in a difficult situation because he is in between eras. The previous generation of shortstops was based on the Ozzie mold for great defense and a little slap hitter. Then the next generation was A-Rod, Jeter, Garciapara, Tejada (roids???). Larkin's stats will be compared more to Jeter anybody and Jeter's stats are just better. Barry Larkin also gets a hit because he played for the Reds and was the best player on the Reds every year. He tailored his game to what the Reds needed each year be it a lead off hitter, 3 hitter, or RBI man hitting 5th. He didn't get the chance to be consistent at any one offensive mode, which he had the ability to do. Larkin will also be compared to Ripken who seems to hold a special place in voters hearts because he went to work each day. I would not vote Ripken in to the hall of fame either. I would only vote in A-Rod (his stats as a shortstop are still the best) and Jeter (if he gets to 3500 hits and has a career average over .310). I love the Reds and Larkin was great for Cincinnati but I just don't see him as a hall of famer and I wish the hall of fame would stop voting in marginal players. There has to be some player that is the best player not in the hall of fame.

dougflynn23
08-02-2006, 10:10 PM
:) Barry Larkin's numbers will be compared to those of Roberto Alomar, Craig Biggio, Jeff Kent, and wherever Jeter, Tejada and ARod are at that point, and he will compare poorly to all of them. I agree with the Trammell comparision, both were All Star players who, along with Alomar will fall short of HOF status.

Caseyfan21
08-02-2006, 10:11 PM
I think the one thing that will hurt Lark is ARod, Nomar, and Tejada (among others) coming along and redefining the position. When Barry broke into the league, the shortstop was a defensive wizard who might hit for average if you're lucky. Larkin stepped in and became the first 30/30 shortstop. He was the influence for many of the young shortstops (Jeter especially). He was the original complete shortstop. Unfortunately, many of the younger shortstops have come in and put up much bigger stats. I just hope HOF voters remember to put Larkin in his correct era, not compare him to the enormous stats of current SS's.

Edit: Just saw Steig made the same points as I did and we posted about the same time, didn't mean to copy.

EddieMilner
08-02-2006, 10:12 PM
He was a 12 time all star, 3 time Gold Glove Winner, 1995 NL MVP, and 9 time Silver Slugger Award Winner (the most of any SS ever). Thats pretty good. Hopefully the 9 Silver Sluggers will remind a few writers that he was the best with the bat in the late 80s through the 90s.

MaineRed
08-02-2006, 10:33 PM
MWM, love the avatar. My wife and I are huge Seinfeld fans and one of the many lines we use when joking around is, "not too worried about it."

She'll say that my boss called and is freaking out and I'll say, not too worried about it in Kruger's tone. HA HA.

Kal, I know Rip and Gywnn will go in together. I was just saying I hope they go in alone, with no McGwire or anyone else to take away from the attention they deserve. I just wonder who the pricks will be this year that won't put them on their ballots. Its mind boggling to me that nobody has ever gone in with a 100% of the vote. Both of these guys should. But neither will.

Yachtzee
08-03-2006, 12:13 AM
Barry Larkin is one of the top shortstops of all time. Maybe he didn't have quite the offensive numbers that some of today's shortstops put up. However, he signifies the change in eras for baseball at the position. He, Cal Ripken and Alan Trammell led the way in making SS not just a defensive position, but an offensive position as well. Before them, shortstops who could hit were often moved to other positions (see Yount, Robin). From what I recall, there was such a premium placed on defense at SS that guys with a stick could be moved to other positions to improve the defense and the team could just put another good glove player in that SS spot. Larkin could not only hit, but was so good with the glove that the Reds would have been fools to move him to another position.

Others have already noted it here and it has been well documented that Larkin played in a transitional period between two different eras for the shortstop position. I think we've gone from one extreme to another. Changes in stadia, nutrition and steriods has made teams focus on offense to such a degree that teams are willing to leave a guy with a big bat at shortstop even if his defense is not up to par. In the past, many of these shortstops would have been moved to another position. So now guys who would have been third basemen, first basemen, or outfielders at the start of Larkin's career are having their offensive numbers compared to his without any consideration of Larkin's superior defense.

In "The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract," James ranked Larkin as the #6 all-time shortstop, behind Honus Wagner, Arky Vaughan, Cal Ripken, Robin Yount, and Ernie Banks, and just above Ozzie Smith, Joe Cronin and Alan Trammell. Looking only at what he had done only through the 2000 season, James said "Larkin is one of the ten most complete players in baseball history (emphasis his). He's a .300 hitter, has power, speed, excellent defense, and is a good percentage player. He ranks with DiMaggio, Mays, and a few others as one of the most well-rounded stars in baseball history."

Granted, James noted that it was too early to rate Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter and A-Rod. But still, can anyone say that any of these guys, or Tejada for that matter are as complete all-around players as Larkin was? I would say that they may better Larkin in some of the offensive categories, but just aren't the all-around player that Larkin was. Is Larkin better than most of the shortstops already in the Hall of Fame? I don't have time to run the numbers, being a new dad and getting ready for year three of law school, but I think he would compare favorably to all but three already in.

fearofpopvol1
08-03-2006, 12:24 AM
They asked Peter Gammonds right after Barry retired what he thought and Peter said he thought it'd be awfully close. Was anyone else aware that Barry's tenure with the reds is in the top 5 tenures with 1 single team of any pro sport ever? I saw that stat last football season when they were talking about Brett Favre and his tenure with GB.

I still think if Ozzie got in, Barry should. When you look at numbers, Barry's were better in almost every category. Do I have some bias? Of course. But I still think he should be in there, even if he's crawling.

5TimeWSChamps
08-03-2006, 12:44 AM
I think Larkin is in; He started the revolutionzing of the current SS position as well as being the best SS of his generation.

Alomar is definitely in; #1 - he played 2B, and #2 - his 2B numbers compare favorably to a lot of HOF 2b.

Cyclone792
08-03-2006, 12:53 AM
Is Larkin better than most of the shortstops already in the Hall of Fame? I don't have time to run the numbers, being a new dad and getting ready for year three of law school, but I think he would compare favorably to all but three already in.

Great post, Yachtzee.

I took an in-depth look at Larkin this past winter and compared him statistically to about 30 of the game's greatest shortstops, including every Hall of Fame shortstop. At the time of that post, I ranked Larkin sixth all-time behind only Wagner, Rodriguez, Vaughan, Ripken and Yount. As of today, I've revised that and moved Larkin up ahead of Yount and into the top five.

Not bad company, IMO. At the end of the season I'll probably update that thread with the active guys to include their 2006 season and take another look.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42221

bottom_feeder
08-03-2006, 12:55 AM
Another thing that Larkin has is that he was arguably the best player in the game for both 1995 and 1996. His peak was much higher than Trammel.

Larkin was a dominating player. I can't see how he couldn't get in (even though Marty will lobby against him making the HOF).

Marge'sMullet
08-03-2006, 12:58 AM
If you have to make a case for him then he doesn't belong.

It's the Hall of Fame not the Hall of the very good.

Team Clark
08-03-2006, 01:09 AM
What aggravates me more than anyhting is the complete disorganization of one of the most important institutions in Sports.

For example: Last year more than 30 ballots were sent to writers who 1) had not voted in at least 5 years 2) had a wrong address and the ballots were never forwarded 3) sent to members who were dead.

There was a story in the news about this about 2 years ago. I know several writers that do have HOF votes and these numbers and scenarios were provided to me by them. I have had several writers that I asked about this very subject tell me the numbers are closer to 60! Yes 60 voters who do not vote, can not vote, or are unable to vote. That is a lot of votes that a guy with 65-70% really could use.

Good article on HOF voting...http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060731&content_id=1585415&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Razor Shines
08-03-2006, 01:21 AM
If you have to make a case for him then he doesn't belong.

It's the Hall of Fame not the Hall of the very good.
I would agree with this, but let's face it that's what the HOF is now, and looking at others who have gotten in Larkin deserves to be in.

KalDanielsfan
08-03-2006, 01:30 AM
hmm..boggs and sandberg (one of my favorite all time players) are in...they played in the same era..so...does that sway anybody's opinion?

i think rhino sandberg gets forgotten alot in the memories of bsaeball fans..he was ridiculously good in his prime.

Jpup
08-03-2006, 05:27 AM
If Barry Larkin doesn't make the Hall of Fame, I will be shocked.

MaineRed
08-03-2006, 07:25 AM
If you have to make a case for him then he doesn't belong.

It's the Hall of Fame not the Hall of the very good.

Um, Bruce Sutter?

remdog
08-03-2006, 07:45 AM
IMO, neither Sandberg nor Sutter belong in the HOF. Ozzie Smith doesn't either.

Having said that, if those three are enshrined then it would be a joke not to include Larkin.

Rem

KalDanielsfan
08-03-2006, 07:59 AM
IMO, neither Sandberg nor Sutter belong in the HOF. Ozzie Smith doesn't either.

Having said that, if those three are enshrined then it would be a joke not to include Larkin.

Rem

thats what im saying. if sandberg is in (same era) then larkin should be in.

although im quite curious about larkin's 1996's stats...they seem very strange

RedsBaron
08-03-2006, 08:06 AM
I expect Larkin to eventually be inducted. He clearly, absolutely and without question was a better shortstop than at least half of the shortstops already in the HOF. As others have already pointed out in this thread, he was ranked by Bill James as the sixth best shortstop ever, ahead of Ozzie Smith, among others.
The only question to me is how long Larkin must wait for induction. He will not be elected his first year on the ballot. He may not be elected by year ten. But he will be elected.
I still expect Ron Santo to be inducted someday, maybe not while he is alive, but someday. Eventually wrongs are righted. It took Bid McPhee a mere century or so to be inducted.
By the way, I find the argument that if you have to make a case for a player then he doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame to be, well, silly. If you started out the HOF with Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson, you would then largely stop right there with a two person HOF, as you'd have to make a case for just about everyone else. Joe DiMaggio?--hey, he wasn't as great as Ruth, and if you have to make a case for him, then he doesn't belong. Johnny Bench?--nope, not Ruth. Tom Seaver?--hey, his numbers are not as good as Walter Johnson's. Wait, you say----DiMaggio was a three time MVP, a terrific all-around player, leader of the Yankee dynasty at perhaps its peak; Bench was the greatest catcher ever, a two time MVP; Seaver won three Cy Young awards and 300 games, and besides the competition was tougher in his day-----nope, those are arguments, and if you have to make arguments then DiMaggio, Bench and Seaver do not belong in a Hall of Fame with Ruth and Johnson.

remdog
08-03-2006, 08:15 AM
thats what im saying. if sandberg is in (same era) then larkin should be in.

although im quite curious about larkin's 1996's stats...they seem very strange

I was agreeing with you. What is it about Larkin's '96 stats that you are curious about?

Rem

BTW, I lived in Studio City for about 12 years before I moved to Newport. Nice area. I liked it.

Always Red
08-03-2006, 08:30 AM
The only thing Larkin did not have that Ozzie Smith did have was a snazzy first name and a back flip.

If Ozzie is a HoF'er, then so is Barry Larkin. No question. If Barry would have played in LA, Chicago or NY, this would not even be a debate.

And to steal Welch's line, and stretch it a bit, if Rizutto and Reese are HoF'ers, then so is Dave Concepcion. Rizutto and Reese could not hold a candle to Concepcion, who revolutionized SS play on astroturf infields. (Since we're speaking Red's SS's).

In fact, with Larkin, I'd go so far as to say the best Reds since 1950, other than the BRM regulars of Rose, Bench, Morgan and Perez, are Frank Robby and Barry Larkin.:beerme:

remdog
08-03-2006, 08:45 AM
The only thing Larkin did not have that Ozzie Smith did have was a snazzy first name and a back flip.

If Ozzie is a HoF'er, then so is Barry Larkin. No question. If Barry would have played in LA, Chicago or NY, this would not even be a debate.

And to steal Welch's line, and stretch it a bit, if Rizutto and Reese are HoF'ers, then so is Dave Concepcion. Rizutto and Reese could not hold a candle to Concepcion, who revolutionized SS play on astroturf infields. (Since we're speaking Red's SS's).

In fact, with Larkin, I'd go so far as to say the best Reds since 1950, other than the BRM regulars of Rose, Bench, Morgan and Perez, are Frank Robby and Barry Larkin.:beerme:

I agree with all of the above and I think that the point about Rizzuto and Reese supports the idea that shorstops of different era's are (and should be) view differently and in relationship to their own era.

Rem

REDREAD
08-03-2006, 09:33 AM
Here's another factor to consider. It's not necessarily fair, but it's the way things work. Barry retired in 2004, right ? Were there any other HOF candidates that retired that year. I can't recall any, but that doesn't mean that there weren't any.

It seems that when the 2004-2005 guys become eligible, Barry is going to stick out as a no brainer. Let's face it, they want to induct 1-2 guys every year so they get the publicity from the HOF. I think Barry is definitely in. Some lame writers probably won't vote for him on first ballot (never understood why that was such a special honor :rolleyes:) but I expect him to get in on the 2nd or 3rd ballot.

To me, the guy isn't even borderline. Look at recent inductees: Sutter, Kirby Puckett, etc. You can't deny Larkin based on the guys that they've recently let in.

KalDanielsfan
08-03-2006, 09:37 AM
I was agreeing with you. What is it about Larkin's '96 stats that you are curious about?

Rem

BTW, I lived in Studio City for about 12 years before I moved to Newport. Nice area. I liked it.

lol yeah i noticed you were newport beach..did u go to the surfing comp last weekend? what is the name of the "GAMES" being held? i was suppose to go but i bailed

anyways, i was born and raised in ohio. good to see reds fans out here :) Are you a native ohioan too?

and to answer your question:

Larkin stats:

1995 BA .319 HR 15 RBI 66 SB 51 (131 games played)
1996 BA .298 HR 33 RBI 89 SB 36 (152 games played)
1997 BA .317 HR 4 RBI 20 SB 14 (73 games played)

1995 was an Average year for larkin (based on his stats the previous 8 years)

then in 1996 he played the most games of his career (up to that point--although noticed larkin only played over 160 games once in his entire career and never a full 162) and doubled his homerun average.

it looks bad considering the times and what everyone else was doing

jsut saying its strange thats all not accusing :)

TRF
08-03-2006, 10:09 AM
I believe Larkin was moved lower in the lineup that year, and asked to be more of a driver of runs than a tablesetter. I think that is when a lot of the discussion about whether he should lead off or bat third started.

redsmetz
08-03-2006, 11:03 AM
I just checked the Hall of Fame sight to look at who else will be in his class (that should be 2009, right?). They don't even list him (albeit with the caveat that it's not a complete list and it doesn't guarantee entry into the Hall). I was honked off enough that I emailed them and pointed out the oversight.

Here's the list:


2009: Mark Grace, Rickey Henderson, Dean Palmer, Dan Plesac, Matt Williams
2010: Andres Galarraga, Edgar Martinez, Robin Ventura

The only lock for first ballot entry in 2009 is Henderson, I don't think the others get a sniff. The following year, I think Gallaraga and E. Martinez get some votes, but not enough to get elected. They break out sort of like Larkin on the baseball-reference.com HOF watch.

westofyou
08-03-2006, 11:17 AM
I believe Larkin was moved lower in the lineup that year, and asked to be more of a driver of runs than a tablesetter. I think that is when a lot of the discussion about whether he should lead off or bat third started.
He was moved down from #2, He had a fair percentage of AB's in the leadoff position, but in 95 he moved back to #3, where he had been most of 91-93. The nmajority of his lifetime at bats are in #3

westofyou
08-03-2006, 11:19 AM
Speaking of the Scooter, Bill James book What ever Became of the Hall of Fame uses him as the case study for what's wrong with the HOF.

So I'd pass on using him as the litmus test, he doesn't belong there.

RedsBaron
08-03-2006, 11:40 AM
Speaking of the Scooter, Bill James book What ever Became of the Hall of Fame uses him as the case study for what's wrong with the HOF.

So I'd pass on using him as the litmus test, he doesn't belong there.
I agree that Rizzuto doesn't belong in the HOF, but in fairness I believe that James moved him up in his rankings in his revised Historical Baseball Abstract. In the original Historical Abstract, I think James had Dave Concepcion roughly even with Pee Wee Reese in his shortstop rankings, and ahead of Rizzuto, while in the revised Abstract Rizzuto was ranked ahead of Concepcion.

Sea Ray
08-03-2006, 11:42 AM
I meant games played. His injuries kept him from having the requisite counting stats.

I think if Barry had enjoyed a healthier career he would make it but as it stands, I think he falls a little short.

Ozzie Smith deserves it in my book because his defense was stellar in the (arguably) most important defensive position on the field. He didn't embarass himself offensively either but clearly Ozzie gets in for his defense, not his offensive stats.

I agree that too many marginal players are getting in but I'd use Phil Rizzuto or 2B Bill Mazeroski as examples.

RedsBaron
08-03-2006, 01:24 PM
I meant games played. His injuries kept him from having the requisite counting stats.
Larkin's "counting stats" compare well to those of Ozzie Smith. Ozzie leads Barry in games, 2573-2180, at bats, 9396-7937, hits, 2460-2340, and steals, 580-379, but Barry leads in about everything else: Runs, 1329-1257, RBI, 960-793, doubles, 441-402, triples, 76-69, total bases, 3527-3084, and home runs, 198-28 (yeah, 198 to 28!).
Barry also has a healthy lead in batting average, .295-.262, on-base percentage, .371-.339, and slugging percentage, .444-.328.
Barry Larkin was a better shortstop and is more deserving of induction into the Hall of Fame than Ozzie Smith.