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Wednesday, February 16, 2005 

Barry Larkin

Amid all the roids hoopla, a rather significant event slipped under the radar: the retirement of Barry Larkin. This, of course, leads directly to one of the more interesting Hall of Fame cases in years. A combination of playing his entire career in Cinncinnati (for some bad teams), having his prime in between eras, and frequent injuries definitely blur his case. But, would it surprise you (as it did me) if I told you Larkin actually played 19 years? That's quite an accomplishment in itself. Here's a rundown of some of the numbers he rang up during those two decades at shortstop:

Games: 2180
At-Bats: 7937
Runs: 1329
Hits: 2340
Doubles: 441
Triples: 76
Home Runs: 198
RBI: 960
Steals: 379 (Success rate: 83%)
Average: .295 (league AVG: .269)
On-Base: .371 (league OBP: .339)
Slugging: .444 (league SLG: .417)

Fielding %: .975 (league: .968)
Range Factor: 4.32 (league: 3.94)

Postseason AB: 71
Postseason AVG: .338
Postseason OBP: .397
Postseason SLG: .465

12 Time All-Star
1 MVP (1995)
3 Gold Gloves

Check out the whole record at Baseball-Reference.com.

Here's a pretty good take on the issue.

Thoughts?

Larkin is a very tough call. a definite bubble HOFer. there were some great points made by the writers in that article. he was among the top tier shortstops for a good decade and was a five-tool type guy, but he doesn't have any of the numbers for automatic induction. and his chances will be hurt greatly by the emergence of the power-hitting shortstops like A-Rod, Tejada, etc. who all emerged as he was beginning his decline. i'm on the fence on this one. i need to hear what Jayson Stark has to say.

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