My Barry Larkin story
This afternoon, Barry Larkin will learn if he will forever be immortalized in baseball’s Hall of Fame. Some people around the Reds Blogosphere have been sharing stories and memories of Larkin, so I thought I would contribute.
I was born in 1975 and attended my first Reds game in 1976, so I technically did see the Big Red Machine play. Obviously, I can’t exactly give a full review of my first game. When Larkin made his Major League debut in 1986, my life pretty much evolved around Reds baseball.
Larkin was the ultimate professional on the field, very business-like. It was a true joy to watch him throughout his career. As his career wound down in the early 2000s, I realized something remarkable. In my lifetime, the Reds had pretty much had two shortstops – Dave Concepcion and Larkin. In today’s world of trades and free agency, that is surreal.
I met Larkin a couple of times throughout his career. When I was in high school, I worked in the visitor’s clubhouse at Cooper Stadium as a batboy and/or clubhouse attendant. At that time, the last Spring Training game was always the Reds and Indians in Columbus for the Ohio Cup.
Before one of the games, I was making a run to McDonald’s for a few of the players. Larkin approached me and asked if I would pick him up two chicken sandwiches. I said, “Sure.” He handed me $20 and told me, “Get something for yourself and keep the change.”
It’s not an earth-shattering story, but it’s my story. Hopefully, after today, I can say a Hall-of-Famer bought me lunch.