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Barry Larkin elected to the Hall of Fame

Jan 9, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT

Barry Larkin

We’ve seen this coming for a while, but now it’s official: Barry Larkin — and no one else — has been elected to the Hall of Fame.

As you know, 75% of the vote is required for induction.  Larkin was named on 86% of the ballots. Following him were: Jack Morris, with 66.7% of the vote, Jeff Bagwell, who got 56 percent of the vote, which is a nice increase from last year’s 41.7% and Lee Smith with 50.6%.  Then come Tim Raines (48.7%), Alan Trammell (36.8%) and Edgar Martinez (36.5%). Bernie Williams — with 9.6% — was the only newcomer to survive to be voted upon next year.

Larkin had to wait a year after he first became eligible, but his Hall of Fame bonafides are unquestionable. An all-around threat, Larkin He hit .295 for his career and over .300 nine times. He had some power back before shortstops were considered anything close to the power threats they became later in Larkin’s career. He took walks. He stole nearly 400 bases with a great success percentage. He won an MVP award, a World Series and was a 12-time All-Star.

While the standards for the Hall seem to have grown ever-higher in recent years, Larkin is deserving by any standard. He was the best shortstop in the National League for several years and was often the best in all of baseball.  If you were to create the prototypical shortstop, he’d look a hell of a lot like Barry Larkin. Or at least he would if you wanted your prototypical shortstop to be awesome.

We’ll have much more on Larkin and the other vote-getters as the day goes on.  For now, however, congratulations to Barry Larkin: Hall of Famer.

  1. thomas2727 - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Congratulations to Barry Larkin. Much deserved.

    • skids003 - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      He does deserve it, but my prototype SS would look like Cal Ripken, Jr. No offense to Larkin, he was great and does deserve this. I’m just thankful with the knotheads voting in BBWAA that they didn’t think he did something wrong, or voted only for one person, or some other stupid thing they all seem to want to do nowadays to make a “point.”

      • paperlions - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        That’s fine, but on a per-game basis Larkin was actually the better player over the course of their respective careers, better hitter, better fielder….just lacking health (yeah, I know, that is important, too). Just saying, that is how good Larkin was.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Congrats to Barry. Class at and a great player as well. Jack Morris at 67%? He’s almost a lock to get in next year, which is going to make the sabremetric community’s collective heads EXPLODE.

    • thefalcon123 - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      Players on the ballot this year more deserving of hall of fame induction than Jack Morris:

      Barry Larkin
      Jeff Bagwell
      Tim Raines
      Alan Trammell
      Edgar Martinez
      Fred McGriff
      Larry Walker
      Mark McGwire
      Dale Murphy
      Rafael Palmeiro
      Bernie Williams
      probably Tim Salmon

      So…most everyone on the ballot.

      • cur68 - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:17 PM

        Did you count Morris’s mustache? That alone gets him halfway up the list. Awesome mustache.

      • catsmeat - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        And next year: Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Biggio, Schilling, maybe Sosa.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        And it begins…LOL. Personally, I don’t think Morris deserves to get in either. But I do enjoy watching the sabremetric community’s heads explode. I think his candidacy should be the #1 topic at SABR this year, with everyone from Keith Law to Rob Neyer to Bill James being keynote speakers to specifically rip his candidacy. Then when he gets 75%, the sounds emanating from the basements of baby boomers everywhere will be heard all across this great land of ours.

        I love the smell of 67% voting for Jack Morris in the morning…LOL.

      • thefalcon123 - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        “Then when he gets 75%, the sounds emanating from the basements of baby boomers everywhere will be heard all across this great land of ours.”

        Is this still a thing? Do people still go by the “mom’s basement” argument as the way to undercut the sabermetrically inclined? I personally live in a house with a wife thousands of miles away from my parents. Hell, I even lost on a gameshow once ( ).

        Please, by all means, say why my argument is stupid and call me a moron. But let’s let this “mom’s basement” thing die and stop using it as a crutch to undermine others arguments.

      • CJ - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:38 PM

        This has been my point all day, take these names right now:

        Barry Larkin, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker, Mark McGwire, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Bernie Williams, Tim Salmon, Jim Morris, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa.

        Can 75% of the voters next year agree on any of those names, even with the ability to put 10 names on the ballot? Don’t forget not all voters use all ten slots, and there’s always the handful of voters that clutter their ballots with names like Mueller. MAYBE 1 at the most. Not sure which, but just using probability you’d think there’s a good chance one makes it through.

        I think Bagwell’s increase is notable, but still not enough to gain enough traction to get any suspected users in next year and really creating a logjam that won’t get any better with time.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        falcon, I’m just busting your balls. PS, your hero wrote this on twitter…

        “Joe Posnanski
        JPosnanski Joe Posnanski
        Big winner on HOF ballot – Larkin aside, obviously – is Jack Morris. Getting Blyleven off ballot was huge. Jack’s in next year.

      • CJ - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        I was lazy and forgot to take LArkin off that list but still

      • bigleagues - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:02 AM


        In viewing that video, if that is you, I’m disappointed because I had nearly convinced myself that you are Jonah Falcon.

    • paperlions - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:50 PM

      Chris, that misses the point of the discussion. The “sabermetric community” is annoyed by the lack of logical argument and the complete lack of data to support the fictional narratives given in support of Morris. As individuals, they don’t care if Morris is elected, it doesn’t really matter…indeed, many with say “good for him, congrats”…they just want the arguments to be based on reality, for voters to continue to learn about the game rather than acting like by 1950 all you could know about baseball was already known, and for voters to be consistent in their approach player evaluation.

      In other words, they think the voters should evaluate players and THEN draw conclusions rather than draw conclusions first and then flail about trying to justify doing what they have already decided to do.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        paperbag…I don’t care about all that. What I want is another nuclear bomb, like the one that went off when Jim Rice was elected. I doubt it happens, but it’s fun when the sabremetric community has a hissy fit. At least for me it is. Shoot, there are sabremetric guys who still won’t shut up about Rice getting in…it’s helps entertainment on a slow day here at the office. If I am sitting at this desk on January 11th, 2013 and Morris is in the hall, you can bet I’ll be posting one simple word…to quote El Bravo…


      • catsmeat - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        No, paper, I think you’re missing the point. The point, as far as I understand it, is that Hall of Fame voting should be based on whatever pisses off the stat nerds in their basements with their Cheetos and Mountain Dew.

        Jack Morris may not be a deserving Hall of Famer but, you know, lulz.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        Yes, that is it…whatever pisses off the stat nerds. catsmeat, you can beat your head against the wall 100 times and explain why Morris doesn’t deserve to be in the hall(a point which I have said time and again that I agree with). But the fact remains that if 75% of the voters in a given year put his name on the ballot, no amount of whining, crying, complaining, stat-looking-up, crying, whining, arguing, debating, complaining, fWAR spouting, bWAR spouting, ERA+ pointing-out is going to change the fact that Jack Morris is a Hall of Famer. Period.

      • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:24 PM

        I think stats are only part of the barometer to be considered to put a player in the HOF. I think things like character, moxie, and devotion to one’s craft should be considered. Then, we can start weeding out the undesirables for consideration. I want my HOF to be held to the highest of high standards.

      • paperlions - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:27 PM

        Were there any articles condemning Rice being elected? I don’t recall any. There were plenty of things written before he was elected pointing out that he wasn’t the best OF on his own team for most of his career and that there wasn’t anything separating him (or Dawson) from plenty of guys that got no support…but after each was elected, no one gave a shit.

      • catsmeat - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:37 PM

        Chris, if we agree that Jack Morris isn’t a Hall of Fame-level player, then why are you so eager to see him elected to the Hall? As far as I can figure from your comments, it’s because it will piss off the stat nerds. That’s as valid of a reason as any, I suppose, but far be it from me to understand it given your opinion on Morris.

      • catsmeat - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:40 PM

        And, yes, if Jack Morris gets 75% of the votes next year, he will be in the Hall of Fame and no one can do anything about it. Presumably, we’ll all go on living and watching baseball games or reading our spreadsheets. It just adds another name to the “I can’t believe that guy is a Hall of Famer/the Hall of Fame is cheapened by his presence/the BBWAA is Hitler and Idi Amin combined” list for the next time this debate rages on over, say . . . David Eckstein.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 9, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        paper…yes there were articles written about how Rice did not deserve it. There are hundreds of comments across every blog across the land that still reference the sham that is the HOF because he is in it. I read them every day and laugh at them. Not because I think Rice deserves to be in but because it is funny people harbor that much resentment and there is nothing they can do about it.

        philly, a statement like this will get you banned from HBT “I think things like character, moxie, and devotion to one’s craft should be considered”. Or at least ridiculed to the point where you will leave and never want to come back. Luckily you pulled this one off in the middle of one of my rambling threads so not as many people will see it. You just better hope Craig doesn’t see it and make it the subject of one of his “Comment of the Day” posts or you will be in big trouble!!!

        catsmeat, quite simply, because I enjoy when the SABR community has a hissy fit. There is no right or wrong to whether Morris belongs…I just happen to agree with the basement crown on this one. But I always root against them, if for anything, to see another preamble written by Keith Law or somebody of his ilk to tell everyone why Jack Morris didn’t deserve to get in.

        So I guess what I am saying is that I am just not a nice person. 😉

      • catsmeat - Jan 9, 2012 at 9:33 PM

        Haha. Fair enough, Chris.

      • loungefly74 - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM

        Congrats to Barry, guy was a stud. just solid in every way. well deserved.

        personally, Jack deserves to be in. the guy was a legend when i was paying the most attention to baseball in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I have no problem that its taking him several attempts, by no means is he a 1st ballot guy but he played for the right teams at the right time (i think of terry bradshaw) which is very a fuzzy idea to statheads but it means something. he was an alpha dog on some championship rotations.
        also, Rice deserved to be in as well.

        totally off topic…@bigleagues…loved the Jonah reference. awesome. read the rolling stone article about him. hilarious.

  3. philliesblow - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Congrats to Larkin, but based on those percentages is he really more than twice as great as Alan Trammell?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      No, just twice as many people this year thought he was more of a hall of famer than Alan Trammell. That’s all.

  4. bigleagues - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    He should have been in Year One, so thankfully they didn’t comically drag this out.

  5. proudlycanadian - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Congratulations to Larkin. I thought that Raines, Martinez and Williams deserved more support.

  6. joshfrancis50 - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    ESPN reports “Newcomers Bernie Williams and Bill Mueller — both former AL batting champions — also were not elected.”

    Bill Mueller.

    Unfortunately they neglected to report that Big Bird, ALF, and the Loch Ness Monster also failed to get enshrined (well, in THAT baseball HOF anyway).

    • bigleagues - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      I would agree with you, except none of the examples you gave are as good as Bernie or Mueller.

      Nessy had a nice run, as a pinch runner/pinch hitter combo. He never struck out and is the only player to BB in every PA of his career as Pitcher’s struggled to arch the ball through the strike zone and not cause a WP. As for base-running, Nessy had no peers – he could go from First to Second in just over 1 second – using his long tail and neck to curl around defenders. That all said, he played just one season citing scheduling conflicts with tourist season back in Scotland.

      Big Bird was a large plodding 1B with a weak bat, yet his large wingspan allowed for unprecedented fielding range. Unfortunately his penchant for making small minded decisions and hollow bones forced his retirement from the game.

      Gordon Shumway, aka ALF, isn’t even eligible for the HOF! He played Melmac’s Bouilabaseball NOT baseball – it’s like saying CFL players should be eligible for the NFL HOF.

      • umrguy42 - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        Not to ruin your joke, bigleagues, but IIRC, it’s the “Pro Football Hall of Fame” – and CFL guys *can* be elected :p

      • bigleagues - Jan 9, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        Well, you DID ruin my joke.

        Therefore, I offer this revised statement – it’s like saying Australian Rules Football players should be eligible for Canton.

  7. 18thstreet - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM


  8. cur68 - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Barry Larkin was scrappy. He had grit. He was a gamer. Really smart baseball guy. Congratulations Mr. Larkin.

    • b7p19 - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      Are you saying that Barry Larkin broke the “scrappy” color barrier?

      • jwbiii - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        Jackie Robinson was plenty scrappy.

      • cur68 - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:52 PM

        No, not broke the color barrier: made it slink off in shame that it even existed in the first place. Why it persists after Jackie Robinson demonstrated the sine qua non of scrappy is beyond me. But, after Larkin was around for a while, he scrapped so hard that even his blonder colleagues were saying “You’re not scrappy till you’re scrappy like Larkin was scrappy”. Pretty good for an Irish guy.

  9. bigleagues - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Also, I’m wondering if we could just come up with a disruptive new system (perhaps a division of power between BBWAA, Fans & retired Players) for electing HOF.

    In a sensible system were not still here wondering why Jack Morris, Rock Raines, Edgar Martinez and Jeff Bagwell have yet to be inducted.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      why Jack Morris…have yet to be inducted

      B/c he’s not worthy of induction.

    • randomdigits - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      Dave Stieb > Jack Morris

      • Kevin S. - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        Hell, Andy Pettitte > Jack Morris.

    • bigleagues - Jan 9, 2012 at 5:37 PM

      Just throwing names against the wall. Didn’t feel like fact-checking and evaluating in January, but I remember being convinced Morris is Hall worthy. Acknowledging that his career WAR is on the lower side (and 90.1 for Blyleven vs 39.3 for Morris causes me to pause and consider the weight I should place in evaluating players who have retroactively calculated WAR), it remains difficult for me to dismiss him.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 9, 2012 at 8:20 PM

        Colin Wyers of Baseball Prospectus asked on twitter about a week ago for someone to make a convincing case for Morris in the HoF. Almost all the articles start off with most wins in 80s (arbitrary 10 year period), G7 (good but he was terrible in other WS games), maybe his number of opening day starts (also arbitrary), and umm that’s about it. Like Mr. Wyers, I’d love to read a legitimate HoF case for him, unfortunately no one has.

  10. randomdigits - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    How can you say standards are going up when Rice and Dawson are recent inductees?

  11. caharain - Jan 9, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    who would have thought, all those years ago, that Barry was fighting for his position with Kurt Stillwell. Congrats Barry, well deserved

    • ptfu - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      Name-dropping Kurt Stillwell wins you the internet. Congratulations!

  12. El Bravo - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    If someone doesn’t elect PIE into the Hall then the whole damned thing is a sham!!!!! Down with cake, up with pie!

    • ptfu - Jan 9, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      Relax. Pie was elected in 1948. Then again, Felix is not helping the cause. And Jim “Cakes” Palmer is also in.

  13. kyleortonsarm - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Forget this guy. We want Big Mac in the HOF!

    • foreverchipper10 - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      I want to see McGwire in as well but Larkin is more than deserving.

  14. ireportyoudecide - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    The election system is broken. Limit it to 100 voters, put them all in the same room let them debate and then have them name 2 or 3 players a year. Larkin is very deserving but he was not a better player then Jeff Bagwell, he just isn’t. Way to many people voting who don’t care or don’t know. They need to get this fixed because the hall is losing it’s relevance, it’s not such a special place when the list of players not in the hall starts to look better then the list that is in the hall.

  15. ndrocks2 - Jan 9, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Hate to say this because I like Larkin but statistically I don’t see anything from him that stands out. less than 2400 hits, less than 200 HR’s, less than 1000 RBI’s and less than 300 career batting. Good all around player but there are quite a few not in who probably wonder why. Tim Raines right off the bat comes to mind. Slam away like I said I like Larkin but I feel he got a break due to weak year of candidates.

  16. cubfan59 - Jan 9, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    It would be a great situation for us Cub fans if our young shortstop Castro could have a career like Barry Larkin. Congrats to Barry Larkin!

  17. watchfullhose - Jan 10, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    “We’ll have much more on Larkin and the other vote-getters as the day goes on.”

    Still waiting….

  18. nottosmart - Jan 10, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Don’t kid yourself, if most of the nominees played in NY, they would all be voted in.

  19. cktai - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Why is he punching himself?

  20. mj888 - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Congrats Barry Larkin!

    I have been a baseball fan for over 30 years and I have come to the conclusion that being voted into the Hall of Fame is really not that of a deal any more. I personally do not give it much merit. The voting system is flawed simply because standards are not well defined. This leads to a lot of room for the voting to become a popularity contest instead of the vote being based on a set of specific standards.

    Yes I am a biased Yankees fan but in my mind there is no way that Don Mattingly, Bernie Williams and four years from now, Jorge Posada is not voted in. I hear a lot of people say that Mattingly never won a championship so he doesn’t belong in the HOF. Well if that is the argument then the HOF needs to remove all members that have not won a World Series. On the other hand, the argument against Bernie Williams is that he won his four rings because he was on one of arguably best offensive teams in baseball history. So what gives?

    I can just hear the BS arguments against Jorge Posada entry four years from now. How many other catchers in MLB has been as consistent as Posada has been for the past 12-15 seasons? Is he number one in every catching catergory? No. Does he have to be? He was the catcher for several world series winning Yankee teams, does that not count for anything? Or will the Yankees haters be out in full force again saying that “any” catcher would have won with those Yankee pitching staffs?

    Again, what gives? So what exactly are the standards? Does a player need to be part of a World Series winning team or not? Williams has four rings, Posada has five rings. So how do you argue that?

    Does a pitcher need 300 wins to qualify? Does a pitcher need a certain amount of strikeouts to qualify? So what if the pitcher was not a power pitcher but he was able to consistently win over a 20+ year career?

    Like I said, I really do not care who is inducted into the HOF. As a baseball, it’s rather meaningless.

    • loungefly74 - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      i loved the HIT MAN..but his prime span was just too short. he had monster seasons from circa 1985-1990…but he kinda faded to oblivion.
      hey, i love DON, the guy was the best when first started watching, heck, his Donruss rookie was most coveted by me and friends, i want the guy in the HOF..BUT i can see why he is not unfortunately.
      Posada could possibly get in on his 7th+ try. he does have some meaty stats for a catcher…on a world champ team no less…being a catcher should give him some slack on the stats.
      Bernie was awesome…BUT not a HOF…close..but no cigar.

  21. millybo - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    This is an honest question no pun or irony intended. I would like the hall of fame voters to state publicly what their assessments of eligible candidates are based upon. From viewing the inductees i am confused because there seems to be no consistency. The voters were not intended to be the custodian or protectors of morality but to assess a player’s status based on his performance within the confines of the game. It seems illogical then to refuse a vote to players who are not guilty of any conduct which was illegal in baseball terms. Even more to refuse players based on suspicions seems totally unfair.

    The fact that a players morals are not consistent with yours is also not a proper basis for the refusal of a Hall of Fame vote. Do we know what the morality of the current holders are? i suspect that many of them who have been inducted have moral flaws in their characters. Alcoholics, wife beaters, adulterers and the list goes on. But of course only the writers who vote are allowed to act based on suspicions.

  22. klownboy - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Well deserved induction. The city of Cincinnati should be proud.

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