Monday, January 9, 2012

Barry Larkin...Hall of Famer without a doubt

Barry Larkin was elected to the Hall of Fame today. 

Well deserved.
Larkin defies gravity at Wrigley.
 (photo from AP)
For some reason, baseball’s Hall of Fame voters (BBWAA) has this ridiculous thought process in electing players to the Hall.  Barry Larkin, to me, from the moment he retired, was a Hall of Famer.  I don’t know why it took him 3 tries before he got in.

What changed about Barry Larkin’s career over these last three years? 

Anyway, Larkin was the only player elected to the Hall this year (in the traditional way, not taking anything away from Ron Santo).  Larkin’s career speaks for itself.  He was an All-Star 12 times, won the Silver Slugger 9 times, 3 Gold Gloves and was MVP in 1995.  He had a WAR of over 5.0 in 8 seasons. 

Quite simply he was the best shortstop in the National League during the 90s. 

I made the argument last year that I thought it was insane that Roberto Alomar was elected last year and Larkin wasn’t.   Alomar was to 2nd base what Larkin was to shortstop.  Their careers were strikingly similar. 

I suppose that if any argument could be made against Larkin, it could be said that his numbers were a bit bloated because I got to play the Cubs some much.  (His .OPS against the Cubs was about 60 points higher than his career mark.)

But justice was served right today and Larkin will get his rightful play in Cooperstown this summer.  He was the only player elected, and looking at the rest of the ballot, Larkin was by far the best player in the group.  The only other player who deserves some serious consideration is Bernie Williams, but his stats really don’t justify his election, in my opinion.    

Congrats, Barry!