Tomorrow, one of the greatest shortstops to ever play the game enters the Hall of Fame. You know him as Barry Louis Larkin.
Now, back in January, we here at the Nation were on top of the election like a tiger on a steak, so we thought it would be nice to put together a list of links highlighting what we wrote then as well as a few things being written about him now. We’ve also scheduled a few posts to re-run over the next day so you can enjoy them again.
First, before you read any of the stuff below, go stare at Larkin’s numbers for a minute.
I kicked off our Hall of Fame coverage with an anticipatory article just before Christmas. I personally feel like it’s the best baseball writing I’ve done. Here’s an excerpt for you:
Baseball has its warts, we all know that. But sometimes we need to forget about them. We need to remember when we were young and it was pure and perfect. We need to remember what it was like to watch our favorite player scoop the ball and throw it smoothly to first.Ã‚Â We need to remember this movement. This poetry connects us to those who came before us. They watched the same thing. Marveled in the same way.
A few weeks later, when Barry had been safely elected, our great leader Chad Dotson shared his thoughts on his favorite player:
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been in love with the game of baseball for many years. During that time, I enjoyed watching Barry Larkin play the game more than any other playerÃ¢â‚¬Â¦and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really not even close.
Last, we all got together and discussed our memories of Larkin and what he meant to us. I still like what Bill Lack had to say the best:
I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have A memory of Barry Larkin. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a montage in my mind. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s him going to his right, back-handing a ball in the hole, planting that right foot, and gunning it to first. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s him taking a hit away by going behind 2nd base and getting the runner at first. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s him taking that outside pitch and driving it to RF. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s him stealing that base when you
needed it late in a game.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s him making the decision to stay a Cincinnati Red.
In other places, the EnquirerÃ‚Â has been running Larkin articles all week. Here is one where Johnny Bench discusses his early doubts about Larkin. Here‘s one about Barry’s high school career. And here is a list of Larkin’s biggest moments as a Red. There’s also some speculation about his Hall of Fame plaque and a Barry Larkin quiz.
Our friends over at The Hardball Times have a preview of the celebratory weekend.
SI.com has nice interview with Larkin about the honor.
Jerry Cransick, who you all probably know, once covered the Reds has a lengthy post about him over at espn.com.
This is reaching back a bit, but I still love this Rob Neyer post taking down an argument some idiot made against the greatness of Barry.