Monday, July 16, 2012

1995 TOPPS BARRY LARKIN

LARKIN HAD A GREAT EYE AT THE PLATE,
NEVER STRIKING OUT MORE THAN 69 TIMES.
IF YOU CAN FIND THE CARD NUMBER IN 5 SECONDS,
GIVE YOURSELF A GOLD STAR.

THE FRONT PAGE

  • Barry Larkin, along with Ron Santo and Tim McCarver, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. I'll feature a card of each this week. 
  • This is from the year Larkin won his MVP, a year shortened to 144 games because of the '94 strike. He hit .319, with 51 steals as the Reds won the Central but lost to the eventual-champion Atlanta Braves.

THE BACK PAGE

  • I like the lost-shoes story, and overall, I like the '95 backs, a little busy but fun. However, the card number is way too small.

PHOTO PLAY

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • Interestingly, Larkin, a 12-time All-Star, didn't lead the league in any category in '95. Still, he became the first shortstop to win the NL MVP since Maury Wills in '62.
  • In fact, if you look at Larkin's stat page, you won't see any bold type. Strange. I guess it just goes to show, while not extraordinary in any one facet, he was remarkable skilled in many areas.
  • In '10, in his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility, he got 51.6 percent of the vote. Seventy-five is needed. The next year, he improved to 62.1 percent. He finally earned enshrinement with 86.4 percent. He'll be the 24th shortstop inducted.
  • He won three Gold Gloves. 
  • Battled injuries, missing lots of time in six of his 19 seasons. 
  • Baseball guru Bill James lists Larkin as one of the game's greatest shortstops.
  • In '96, Larkin joined the 30-30 club, belting a career-high 33 and stealing 36 bags.

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