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View Full Version : I miss Barry Larkin



OnBaseMachine
10-22-2006, 10:29 AM
Who's with me?

I was just looking around my room at all the Barry Larkin collectibles I have (posters, bobbleheads, cards) and it reminded me of how much I miss watching him play. Larkin is not only one of the greatest Reds of all-time, but also one of the top shortstops this game has ever seen, and is a Hall of Famer in my opinion. I miss watching him range to his left or right and take away a hit, or lining one of his famous doubles down the RF line. I know one thing: I'll be in Cooperstown the day he gets inducted... I wouldn't miss that for nothing.

BTW, check out this jersey I am about to buy:

http://images.andale.com/f2/104/128/7926460/1156578780705_larkin_87.jpg

Falls City Beer
10-22-2006, 10:32 AM
Larkin should be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

OnBaseMachine
10-22-2006, 10:33 AM
Larkin should be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Absolutely.

Falls City Beer
10-22-2006, 10:35 AM
Absolutely.

Considering both his defense and offense, Larkin's the best SS I've ever seen in my lifetime. And I'd wager the lifetimes of guys and gals older than I.

OnBaseMachine
10-22-2006, 10:46 AM
Considering both his defense and offense, Larkin's the best SS I've ever seen in my lifetime. And I'd wager the lifetimes of guys and gals older than I.

I would have to agree with that as well. A-Rod didn't spend enough time as a SS for me to place him ahead of Larkin, and he's really the only SS in the last 20 years who was equal to Larkin.

wheels
10-22-2006, 11:49 AM
Derek Jeter wishes he was Barry Larkin.

Caseyfan21
10-22-2006, 01:12 PM
I know one thing: I'll be in Cooperstown the day he gets inducted... I wouldn't miss that for nothing.

BTW, check out this jersey I am about to buy:



I will be there as well. Probably 5 or 6 years ago my dad and I agreeed we would go to Cooperstown for it no matter how long it takes. Also, where did you find that jersey? I've seen the Eric Davis jerseys like that at the team store but I have not seen the Larkin ones.

OnBaseMachine
10-22-2006, 01:15 PM
I will be there as well. Probably 5 or 6 years ago my dad and I agreeed we would go to Cooperstown for it no matter how long it takes. Also, where did you find that jersey? I've seen the Eric Davis jerseys like that at the team store but I have not seen the Larkin ones.

EBAY. Type in Barry Larkin.

Caseyfan21
10-22-2006, 02:02 PM
EBAY. Type in Barry Larkin.

I was just surfing the net and found nothing else on it anywhere but then I tried Ebay and found them there so that's what I figured. It's only about $130 or so with the shipping, really not a bad deal considering what some of the jerseys cost. I just got one as well. Thanks for the heads up.

macro
10-22-2006, 05:21 PM
Who's with me?

BTW, check out this jersey I am about to buy:

http://images.andale.com/f2/104/128/7926460/1156578780705_larkin_87.jpg

I think Mitchell and Ness will eventually produce an authentic Larkin jersey, but right now the replica from Majestic is the closest we can get to the jersey he wore for the Reds. The Mitchell and Ness authentics are pricey at about $220 - $240, but the details are exact.

Here's a sample of a Johnny Bench authentic. Notice the white pinstripe in the collar, the width of the red stripes on the sleeves, and the sizing of the Reds logo on the chest.

http://tex.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pMLB2-2302516dt.jpg

Phhhl
10-22-2006, 09:24 PM
I never thought the Reds would have a better shortstop than Davey Concepcion. They did. Barry was without question one of the greatest players in the history of one of the greatest franchises in the history of baseball. If he carried himself with a sense of entitlement in his last days here, I contend that he earned it. The day cannot come soon enough that he rejoins the Reds in some capacity. It is almost criminal that John Allen is still paid by this team and Barry has to work elsewhere.

mth123
10-22-2006, 09:33 PM
If he carried himself with a sense of entitlement in his last days here, I contend that he earned it.

Well put. Bravo!

TeamBoone
10-22-2006, 11:57 PM
I'm with you. I miss him too. Actually, it boggles my mind that I was able to see a player of his calibre live on almost a weekly basis. I was there when he hit his first (only?) GS... it gave me goosebumps, and I'll never ever forget it and how elated he was, just like a little kid that got his first hit in Little League. It was awesome!

I'm hoping that RC's "Power of Tradition" prompts WK to go out and get him back here. How long is his contract in Washington?

MrCinatit
10-23-2006, 12:49 AM
I think it is a crime against humanity that he is in Washington - along with Rijo.
I believe Larkin should make the Hall as well - and it SHOULD be on the first ballot. I hope the writers agree with this.

Caseyfan21
10-23-2006, 08:17 AM
I was there when he hit his first (only?) GS... it gave me goosebumps, and I'll never ever forget it and how elated he was, just like a little kid that got his first hit in Little League. It was awesome!


That was probably one of the best Reds moments I have witnessed live. I was at another game earlier that season where he put one on the warning track with the bases loaded and I thought it would be his best chance to ever get one, especially for me to see it live. Then he got it and it was a special game.

15fan
10-23-2006, 10:16 AM
Larkin's problem will be that his major offensive numbers aren't terribly sexy for the HoF ballot.

198 HRs. 960 RBI. .295 BA. 379 SBs (81st all-time).

1,329 runs (99th all-time), 2,340 hits, an MVP season and a WS ring certainly help his cause.

At the start of his career, he was overshadowed on defense by Ozzie Smith. The end of his career saw monster offensive numbers across the board, even at SS by guys like ARod and Nomar. He was very good for a long time, by SS standards. But he was never a dominant player for any appreciable length of time.

I hope he makes it, but I don't think he's a sure thing.

edit: and for the sake of throwing something out there - take a look at Barry's power numbers at age 32 (1996) and compare them to the spike in Bret Boone's power numbers at age 32 (2001). The power numbers for both guys are incredibly out of line with career norms. Age 32 seems like a strange age for that kind of spike.

GAC
10-23-2006, 01:35 PM
I never thought the Reds would have a better shortstop than Davey Concepcion. They did. Barry was without question one of the greatest players in the history of one of the greatest franchises in the history of baseball. If he carried himself with a sense of entitlement in his last days here, I contend that he earned it.

Entitlement even if, at that time, it was detrimental to the "health" of the team as a whole? And he got that "entitlement" in that last contract, which really worked out well for this team. ;)

Don't get me wrong.... I think Larkin is (or should be) a HOFer on the 1st ballot. But I have never bought into this "entitlement" or "it's an issue of respect" reasoning utilized by some ballplayers. These guys were paid well to perform a job. More money then any of us will see in 10 lifetimes.


The day cannot come soon enough that he rejoins the Reds in some capacity. It is almost criminal that John Allen is still paid by this team and Barry has to work elsewhere.

I won't disagree with you there; but any "bridges" that were burned with this organization were also helped set on fire by Mr. Barry Larkin himself. Is there any culpability at all on his part?

But yes - I'd love to see Barry back in this organzation in some capacity.

TC81190
10-23-2006, 05:13 PM
IMO,he'll be back soon enough as a manager. He was always a mentor to the younger players, especially Wily Mo and FeLo.

wheels
10-23-2006, 06:09 PM
The guy made a point to learn spanish, if that's not real leadership, I don't know what is.

I also think taking the "C" off his jersey was a ballsy move as well.

Wether you agreed with him or not, he was stand up. I admire people like that.

4256 Hits
10-23-2006, 09:44 PM
I would rather see him on the roster next year over Castro!

Phhhl
10-23-2006, 11:53 PM
Entitlement even if, at that time, it was detrimental to the "health" of the team as a whole? And he got that "entitlement" in that last contract, which really worked out well for this team. ;)

Don't get me wrong.... I think Larkin is (or should be) a HOFer on the 1st ballot. But I have never bought into this "entitlement" or "it's an issue of respect" reasoning utilized by some ballplayers. These guys were paid well to perform a job. More money then any of us will see in 10 lifetimes.



I won't disagree with you there; but any "bridges" that were burned with this organization were also helped set on fire by Mr. Barry Larkin himself. Is there any culpability at all on his part?

But yes - I'd love to see Barry back in this organzation in some capacity.

GAC, you make good points. But, I never completely bought into idea that he was such a "cancer" in those days. I never really understood the fuss Marty made about him taking a tour of the ballpark and meeting fans during his last home game, for instance. What was so wrong about that? I think the times that he spoke out against management were somewhat legit. The idiots who ran this club were running it into the ground at the time, and I was frankly glad that someone on the club saw it too. Ray Knight and Bob Boone were horrible managers. I agree that he probably made some mistakes and overstepped his role occasionally, but I truly believe that he revered the Reds and it's history and was motivated by good intentions to see it return to greatness again.

The bad contract was all on management. You can't blame anyone for earning as much money as he can.

Cyclone792
10-24-2006, 12:09 AM
Barry Larkin is one of the main reasons why I became a baseball fan.

He's the 5th greatest shortstop ever to play the game, IMO, and that's no doubt deserving of Hall of Fame enshrinement. His 1995 and 1996 single seasons are among some of the greatest single seasons of all-time by any shortstop. He's quite possibly the most complete player I've ever seen, and he's one of the most complete players the game has ever seen.

I can go on and on, but everyone reading this knows what I mean. Larkin was one of those special guys, and yes, I miss him too every single Reds game.

mth123
10-24-2006, 05:46 AM
The bad contract was all on management. You can't blame anyone for earning as much money as he can.

What I remember is that Larkin's contract was kind of a "lifetime achievement award" that was not supposed to hinder the budget when it was signed and announced. Later it was kind of pointed at by everyone as a reason the team couldn't acquire other players.

I believe that if Larkin would have signed for say $5 Million per year less, that the $5 Million would not have been spent elsewhere. The budget would have simply been $5 Million lower.

IMO Larkin's contract was simply uncle Carl keeping Larkin a Red by going over the budget already intended. I think it was meant as a gift to Larkin and the fans. The meaning of the deal as far as its effect on roster construction was something that popped into the picture later. I don't remember if Bowden ever said anything about it, but I wouldn't be surprised if some one posted a link of him saying it was a problem. I'm not convinced it ever really was.

GAC
10-24-2006, 07:42 AM
GAC, you make good points. But, I never completely bought into idea that he was such a "cancer" in those days.

I never said the man was a cancer. I loved the guy (and I'm a Concepcion guy too). He just pee'd me off in his latter years with some of his actions that, IMO, appeared far more egotistical and self-serving then anything else.


I never really understood the fuss Marty made about him taking a tour of the ballpark and meeting fans during his last home game, for instance. What was so wrong about that?

Because in the past he had a propensity to play on the fans and the media to try and get what he wanted.


I think the times that he spoke out against management were somewhat legit. The idiots who ran this club were running it into the ground at the time, and I was frankly glad that someone on the club saw it too. Ray Knight and Bob Boone were horrible managers. I agree that he probably made some mistakes and overstepped his role occasionally, but I truly believe that he revered the Reds and it's history and was motivated by good intentions to see it return to greatness again.

Thoroughly agree Santa. But if you are going to go up against the "hand that feeds" you, and do so publically in an attempt to embarass and shame them, then one shouldn't be too surprised when they are sitting on the outside.

Yes, Barry was a local boy who still reveres Cincy and the Reds. No doubt. And I hope there is a healing process brought about by this new management to bring him back in some capacity.

You can probably see where I'm coming from Santa because you were a Concepcion guy. Statistically speaking, Barry exceeded his predecessor obviously. But if I had to chose of the two I'd choose Davey. I know that may not make sense to alot; but I just loved growing up and watching Concepcion.

And it was Concepcion who accepted the obvious (diminishing skills/age, didn't put up a fight) and took a young Barry Larkin under his wing and mentored him.


The bad contract was all on management. You can't blame anyone for earning as much money as he can.

I don't personally blame him. But he did use the fans and media, while throwing out the "It's all about respect" reasoning for that last contract. He "rallied the troops" (i.e the fans and media) in a PR blitz that caused Lindner to cave and give him the contract. And the bottomline is - it proved to be a bad contract.

I hated to see it.... I didn't like the circumstances surrounding that whole ordeal.... but in the bottomline, and for the betterment of the team, I'd have let him walk. It happens with aging players/icons. He wasn't the first, and he surely won't be the last.

The only problem is.... seeing how that management spent money. The money they saved on Larkin, they would have thrown it away on some other ludicrous contract. ;)

You know what is going to be interesting? What this organization is going to do when Jr's contract expires after the '08 season. There is a club option for '09 with a 4 Mil buyout.

GAC
10-24-2006, 07:48 AM
What I remember is that Larkin's contract was kind of a "lifetime achievement award" that was not supposed to hinder the budget when it was signed and announced. Later it was kind of pointed at by everyone as a reason the team couldn't acquire other players.

I believe that if Larkin would have signed for say $5 Million per year less, that the $5 Million would not have been spent elsewhere. The budget would have simply been $5 Million lower.

IMO Larkin's contract was simply uncle Carl keeping Larkin a Red by going over the budget already intended. I think it was meant as a gift to Larkin and the fans. The meaning of the deal as far as its effect on roster construction was something that popped into the picture later. I don't remember if Bowden ever said anything about it, but I wouldn't be surprised if some one posted a link of him saying it was a problem. I'm not convinced it ever really was.

Very good points, and my thinking also. My memory is fuzzing on some details, but I do recall it was stated (not sure if it was management or someone in the media), but basically "You fans wanted us to resign Barry. Well we did what you asked. But we now don't have the money to retain certain players or go out and acquire players. So live with it."

Now I don't agree with that reasoning/logic; but that was the way it was kinda thrown out there and presented.

RANDY IN INDY
10-24-2006, 08:40 AM
But if I had to chose of the two I'd choose Davey. I know that may not make sense to alot; but I just loved growing up and watching Concepcion.

Me too, GAC. Different era's, but defensively, Davey was as smooth as any shortstop that I ever watched, and might have showed more offensive punch if he had played in the same era under the same conditions as Larkin. As it was, he was not expected to provide as much offense on the teams he played on.

Both were wonderful players and followed in the great Cincy shortstop tradition of McMillan and Cardenas. Interesting that many had high hopes for Darrel Chaney, a really great high school athlete out of Indiana, who hit 23 home runs for Asheville in 1968.

GAC
10-24-2006, 09:41 AM
Both were wonderful players and followed in the great Cincy shortstop tradition of McMillan and Cardenas. Interesting that many had high hopes for Darrel Chaney, a really great high school athlete out of Indiana, who hit 23 home runs for Asheville in 1968.

During the '05 RZ Gathering I got the priviliege of meeting one of my childhood idols in Leo Cardenas at his HOF induction. I had goosebumps.

M2
10-24-2006, 09:54 AM
IMO Larkin's greatest unsung achievement was keeping the 2001-2004 from a string of 100-loss seasons. The only reason those teams weren't a lot worse was because they played hard and overachieved. Those clubs had inept managers and featured toxic pitching staffs. Larkin set a tone that it wasn't all right to curl up and die, which would have been the easiest thing to do in those days. "Leadership" is the most overused phrase in sports, but the Reds actually got it from Larkin. Mind you, playing the role of Leonidas isn't exactly the sort of thing that catered to the popcorn movie tastes of most Reds fans, but it was still a stirring and noble performance on Larkin's part.

RANDY IN INDY
10-24-2006, 10:00 AM
During the '05 RZ Gathering I got the priviliege of meeting one of my childhood idols in Leo Cardenas at his HOF induction. I had goosebumps.

Great pic, GAC! Cardenas was underated in my opinion.