Why Barry Larkin fully deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
After it was announced that former Cincinnati Reds SS Barry Larkin had received enough votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, some are questioning the selection. One longtime baseball writer says that he never really felt like Barry Larkin was a Hall of Fame player during his playing days.
Others have questioned the stats Barry Larkin put up during his playing days. I find all the talk about Barry Larkin not being a Hall of Fame player curious. Especially the part about his baseball statistics. A quick look at Larkin's baseball stats shows that he was a well above average offensive player during his career.
Barry Larkin Scored Runs at a 25% Higher Rate Than the Average NL Player Did Over His Career
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Barry Larkin scored 1,329 runs in his career. He had 7,937 official at-bats in the major leagues. If we divide Larkin's runs scored by his at-bats, we end with .167. So Barry Larkin scored a run once every 16.7% of the time he had an official at-bat.
Over the 19 seasons Barry Larkin played (1986-2004), there were 189,272 runs scored in the National League in 1,436,383 official at-bats. So the average baseball player in the National League scored runs at .132 rate, or once every 13.2% per official at-bat over Barry Larkin's career.
So Barry Larkin scored runs at a 27% higher rate than the average player in the National League did during his playing career.
SS Who Win Gold Glove Awards and Score Runs at Higher Rates Than the Average Player are Great Players
Add in the fact that he played SS, and I don't see how anyone can say Barry Larkin doesn't belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I've been a baseball fan for over four decades. I don't root for the Cincinnati Reds, who Larkin played for during his entire 19 year career, but I am a New York Yankees fan. As a Yankees fan, you will sometimes hear people say that Derek Jeter is overrated.
Over his entire major league baseball career, Derek Jeter, like Barry Larkin, has been a much better than average major league hitter. Jeter has scored runs at a rate of 17.9% per official at-bat.
When a player anchors the most important defensive position for a team, outside of catcher, and scores runs at a rate that is 27% or more higher than the average player has over his career, that is a great player. Especially if the player wins Gold Glove Awards. Barry Larkin won three (Derek Jeter has won five).
Barry Larkin Deserves to Be in the Baseball Hall of Fame
Barry Larkin also won a MVP Award in his career in 1995, was the starting SS on the Cincinnati Reds 1990 World Series Championship team, and was a 12 time all-star. When a shortstop scores runs at a 25% higher rate than the average player over his career, while being recognized as an outstanding defensive shortstop, and wins a MVP Award and is named to 12 all-star teams, that player deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Barry Larkin deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.