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Barry Louis Larkin (born April 28, 1964 in Cincinnati, Ohiomarker) is a retired Major League Baseball player. Larkin played shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds from to and was one of the pivotal players on the Reds' World Series championship team.

Early life

Larkin's father was a chemist who worked for the federal government. Larkin graduated magna cum laude from Moeller High Schoolmarker in suburban Cincinnati in 1982.

He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds of the National League in the second round of the amateur baseball draft, and was offered a football scholarship at the University of Notre Damemarker and football and baseball scholarships at University of Michiganmarker. He chose to play baseball at Michigan, and was again drafted by the Reds in , this time in the first round (4th overall).

He was a member of the 1984 Baseball Olympic team.

Professional career

Minor leagues

Larkin played with the Vermont Reds on their team that won the 1985 Eastern League Championship and in 1986 was the Rookie of the Year and AA Player of the Year with the Denver Zephyrs.

Cincinnati Reds

1986-1989: Early years

After arriving in the majors, Larkin battled fellow prospect Kurt Stillwell for the starting shortstop spot, but soon established himself as the starter.

In 1988 Larkin led all major leaguers by striking out only 24 times in 588 at bats.

1990: World Series winner

Larkin batted .353 in the 1990 World Series to help lead the Reds to a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics.

1991-1994: Mid-career

On June 27-28 1991 Larkin became the first shortstop to ever hit five home runs in consecutive games. In 1993 he won the Roberto Clemente Award.

1995: Most Valuable Player

In , Larkin was sixth in batting (.319) and second in stolen bases (51) to win the National League's MVP award, the first by a shortstop since Maury Wills in . He led the Reds to a central division title and the 1995 National League Championship Series, where he batted .389, as they lost to the eventual champion Atlanta Braves.

1996-2004: Reds captain and later career

In 1996, Larkin hit a career-high 33 home runs. Larkin was named the Reds' captain before the season (the first player to hold the honor since Concepción's retirement). On September 27, 1998 Barry, his brother Stephen Larkin, second baseman Bret Boone, and third baseman Aaron Boone were all playing the infield for the last game of the 1998 season at the same time making it the first time in Major League Baseball that two sets of siblings were on the field at the same time.

Retirement

Larkin called off a planned retirement ceremony scheduled for October 2, 2004, because he was not sure if he would retire, but indeed he did. The Reds have not issued his #11 jersey in the past four seasons, and it is virtually taken for granted that it will be formally retired. Larkin will be eligible for induction into the Baseball Hall of Famemarker in 2010.

Accomplishments

Larkin learned Spanish in order to build a rapport with his Hispanic teammates. Despite being injury-prone, missing significant playing time in six of his nineteen major league seasons ,he won the Gold Glove Award from - , and was a 12-time All-Star: in the - , - , , , and 2004 seasons. He became the first major league shortstop to join the 30-30 club when he had 33 home runs and 36 stolen bases in 1996.

In his 19-year career with Cincinnati, Larkin batted for a .295 batting average, with 2340 hits, 198 home runs, 960 RBI, 1329 runs scored and 379 stolen bases. Baseball historian and expert Bill James has called Larkin one of the greatest shortstops of all time, ranking him #6 all time in his New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.

On July 20, 2008, the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum inducted Larkin, César Gerónimo, August "Garry" Herrmann, and Joey Jay. The induction was held at the Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnatimarker and hosted by Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman.

The College Baseball Foundation announced on Tuesday, March 24, 2009, the names of the ten players and coaches comprising the 2009 National College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Class, which includes Barry Larkin.

Life after retirement

After his retirement, Larkin was hired as a special assistant to the general manager in the Washington Nationals organization. On December 23, , he signed with the MLB Network as a studio analyst.

He was the bench coach for the United States at the 2009 World Baseball Classic and managed the United States' second-round game against Puerto Rico when U.S. manager Davey Johnson left to attend his stepson's wedding.

Personal

Larkin's brother, Stephen Larkin, also played in the majors (and with the Reds). Larkin's other brother Byron Larkin, was a second-team All-American basketball player at Xavier University, and is currently the color commentator on Xavier basketball radio broadcasts. Larkin's eldest brother, Mike, was a captain of the University of Notre Dame's football team in 1985.

He and his wife, Lisa, have two daughters, Brielle (18) and Cymber (12), and a son, Shane (16).Shane plays on the same football team as Trey Griffey, the son of Ken Griffey Jr., another Cincinnati Moeller Graduate, and the grandson of Ken Griffey Sr. He also plays basketball for his school team. He was ranked 13 in the nation at one time. Larkin's daughters play lacrosse.(Brielle for her school team and Cymber for a local team.)

Philanthropy

In 2008, Larkin released a charity wine called "Barry Larkin's Merlot" with 100% of his proceeds supporting Champions Sports Foundation. Larkin built the Champions Sports Complex to harness the power of sport and use it to successfully develop the youth in America by targeting their social, emotional, and educational needs. The Foundation was established as the premier safe haven for the total development of young people through the authority of sport.

See also



References

  1. Barry Larkin to Manange US Team SI.com, March 13, 2009


External links




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