Barry Larkin: Sorry Cooperstown, but He's No Hall of Famer

Dylan MaddenContributor IIJanuary 9, 2012

ST. LOUIS - JULY 5:  Barry Larkin #11 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts at the plate during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 5, 2004 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals defeated the Reds 4-1.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

As the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame prepares to announce who will be the next fortunate few to be enshrined, one should expect Barry Larkin's name to be discussed for the honor.

If he's bestowed with baseball's highest honor, I will be in great disagreement with the selection committee because Barry Larkin does not deserve to be enshrined in the MLB Hall of Fame. 

Larkin spent his entire career with the Cincinnati Reds, an accomplishment that has to be respected, since players leave cities so readily now for money. However, I am a firm believer in the idea that ONLY great players should be honored at that level, not good or very good players.

Baseball continuing to let in the good or very good players, results in the Hall of Fame being devalued. Larkin simply did not produce at levels worthy of the HoF during his career. 

Over Larkin's long career he was a staple at shortstop for the Reds, however, over the course of his 19-year career, Larkin's numbers rank nowhere close to HoF status, in my opinion.

After 19 seasons, Larkin is still nearly 700 hits short of 3,000, ranks only 151st in total bases and is short of 1,000 RBI. So, after 19 years of opportunities to rack up hits, total bases and RBI, Larkin is short of all these milestones. I would say, statistically, Larkin's career would be in the category of very good, but not great, and surely not Hall of Fame worthy. 

Even the arguments of Barry Larkin's 1995 season and his performance in the Reds' World Series run are questionable. It's even possible to argue that Larkin should have never been awarded his MVP award.

In 1995, there were certainly more deserving players; Greg Maddux had one of the all-time great seasons as a starting pitcher in the big leagues, and even Larkin's teammate, Reggie Sanders, who finished sixth in the voting, had a better WAR rating than Larkin (both were well under MVP-caliber WAR).

In the World Series, Barry Larkin had an outstanding batting average and on-base percentage, but he only recorded a single RBI. 

It's for these reasons that Barry Larkin should not be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and perhaps, the strongest point against him, is that according to Baseball-reference.com, comparable players include Edgar Renteria and Ryne Sandberg.

One, certainly not hall worthy, and the other's place in the hall is questionable.