This was an excellent post RB. I was reading through the thread and couldn't believe how many people were quick to write Jeter off as just average. Larkin played for 18 years. In that time, he failed to reach 2,500 hits. Jeter could very well end up with 3,000 hits with a .315 average. I realize that average isn't a very telling stat in the game, but I know this much: a player with 3,000 hits, and a .300 plus average is without a doubt in the conversation as a first ballot HOFer - no matter who he played for.
I think people's perceptions of Jeter aren't biased in two ways. First, he is a Yankee, and Yankees are generally hated (as a Yankees fan I'd know). Second, there seems to be a degree of jealousy towards the attention Jeter has received. In a sense, Larkin should have had the same attention, but never did (as a Reds fan I'd know). In the early part of his career, he was overshadowed by Ozzie Smith. Towards the end of his career, he was overshadowed by guys like Arod, Jeter, and Garciaparra. I would rank Larkin as one of the best shortstops ever. Unfortunately, that perception doesn't resonate outside of Cincinnati as much as it should. I don't think that's Jeter's fault. If you look at this objectively, you'll see two amazing shortstops. At the end of the day, these guys are both players any team would be happy to have for years. Just because you love one doesn't mean you can't respect the other.