In his third year on the ballot, iconic Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin is officially a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
As the lone electee from the Class of 2012, Larkin appeared on 86.4 percent of ballots that were cast; a significant jump from the 62.1 percent of ballots that he appeared on last year. In fact, the 24.3 percent increase from 2011 to 2012 was the largest in 55 years, when Herb Pennock gained an identical 24.3 percent in 1947.
As the 48th Hall of Famer in history to spend his entire career with one team, Larkin spent 19 seasons with the Reds, finishing with more walks (939) than strikeouts (817) and a career .295/.371/.444 slash line. In addition to becoming the first shortstop in baseball history to join the 30-30 club, Larkin was a 12-time All-Star, 9-time Silver Slugger, 3-time Gold Glover, and the 1995 NL MVP.
Eric Davis, Larkin’s teammate from 1986-91 and ’96, accurately summed up the shortstop’s career in an interview with MLB.com:
“Barry was the most complete shortstop in the National League during his era,” Davis said. “He could do everything. His knowledge of the game was second to none, he took pride in being an all-around player and he did whatever it took to win a game. Barry was the most unselfish star player I ever played with. We would not have won the 1990 World Series without him. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.”