Barry Larkin

Barry Louis Larkin (born April 28, 1964) is a retired Major League Baseball (MLB) player who played shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds from 1986 to 2004.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Larkin attended the University of Michigan, where he played college baseball. He briefly played in the minor leagues before making his MLB debut in 1986. He quickly won the starting shortstop role for the Reds and enjoyed a long run of strong seasons with the team. Larkin struggled with a string of injuries between 1997 and 2003, limiting his playing time in several seasons.

Larkin retired after the 2004 season and worked in a front office position for the Washington Nationals for several years until he joined ESPN as a baseball analyst. He served as a coach for the American team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and managed the Brazilian national team in the qualifiers for the same event in 2013.

Larkin is considered one of the top players of his era, winning nine Silver Slugger awards, three Gold Glove awards, and the 1995 National League Most Valuable Player Award. He was selected to the Major League All-Star Game twelve times, and was one of the pivotal players on the 1990 Reds' World Series championship team.[1] Larkin was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2012 and was inducted on July 22, 2012.[2]

Barry Larkin
Barry Larkin by Gage Skidmore
Larkin in 2017
Shortstop
Born: April 28, 1964 (age 55)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 13, 1986, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 2004, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Batting average.295
Hits2,340
Home runs198
Runs batted in960
Stolen bases379
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction2012
Vote86.4% (third ballot)
Barry Larkin
Medal record
Men's baseball
Representing  United States
Summer Olympics
Silver medal – second place 1984 Los Angeles Team

Amateur career

Larkin attended Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati.[3]

Larkin accepted a football scholarship to the University of Michigan to play for coach Bo Schembechler, but during his freshman year, he decided to play baseball exclusively. He was a two-time All-American and led the Wolverines to berths in two College World Series, in 1983 and 1984 (the last time since 2019). Larkin was also named Big Ten Player of the Year in 1984 and 1985.[4] Larkin's number 16 was retired by the school on May 1, 2010.[2]

Minor league career

Barry Larkin played with the Vermont Reds on their team that won the 1985 Eastern League Championship and in 1986 was the Rookie of the Year and AAA Player of the Year with the Denver Zephyrs.[5] In all, he played only 177 minor league games in his professional career.[6]

MLB career

Early career

Barry Larkin playing for Cincinnati in Riverfront Stadium in 1990
Larkin playing in Riverfront Stadium in 1990

After arriving in the majors, Larkin battled fellow prospect Kurt Stillwell for the starting shortstop spot before establishing himself as the starter in 1987. In 1988, Larkin led all major leaguers by striking out only 24 times in 588 at bats.[5] Larkin batted .353 in the 1990 World Series to help lead the Reds to a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics.[5] On June 27–28, 1991, Larkin became the first shortstop ever to hit five home runs in the span of two consecutive games. He earned his fourth consecutive All-Star Game selection that season.[3]

After the 1991 season, Larkin questioned whether the Reds had a commitment to winning. He said he was likely to leave the team when his contract expired the next year, but he was encouraged when the Reds acquired pitchers Tim Belcher and Greg Swindell in the offseason. In January 1992, the Reds signed him to a five-year, $25.6 million contract. At that time, only four players had larger contracts and Larkin was the highest-paid shortstop.[7] Larkin was not selected as an All-Star in 1992, but he won his fifth consecutive Silver Slugger Award.[3]

In 1993 he won the Roberto Clemente Award,[5] which recognizes players who display sportsmanship, community service and on-field ability.[8] In 1995, Larkin was sixth in batting (.319) and second in stolen bases (51) to win the National League's MVP award, the first by a shortstop since Maury Wills in 1962. He led the Reds to a central division title and the 1995 National League Championship Series, where he batted .389 during the series loss to the eventual champion Atlanta Braves.[5] In 1996, Larkin hit a career-high 33 home runs and stole 36 bases, becoming the first shortstop in Major League history to join the 30–30 club; he arguably had a better season in 1996 than he had in his MVP year of 1995.

Middle career

Larkin was named the Reds' captain before the 1997 season, making him the first player to hold the honor since Dave Concepción's retirement. Beginning that season, Larkin suffered a series of injuries throughout the last few years of his career. He missed 55 games that year due to injuries to his calf and his Achilles tendon.[9] About three weeks before the opening of the 1998 season, Larkin decided to undergo neck surgery for a perforated disk. He was not in severe pain, but he was unable to lift his arm enough to play his defensive position.[10]

On September 27, 1998, Barry, his brother Stephen Larkin, second baseman Bret Boone, and third baseman Aaron Boone all played the infield at the same time for the last game of the 1998 season, making it the first time in MLB history that two sets of siblings were on the field at the same time.

In 1999, Larkin was nearly traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He later said that he was approached by a Los Angeles clubhouse attendant, who gave him a Dodgers jersey with his name on it. The jersey had been prepared as trade negotiations advanced so that the teams could be prepared for a trade-related press conference.[11] Also in 1999, Larkin served as a pre-game analyst for NBC's coverage of the World Series alongside host Hannah Storm.

In July 2000, Larkin blocked a trade to the New York Mets to remain with the Reds. The trade would have sent three players – top minor league outfielder Alex Escobar, pitcher Eric Cammack and pitcher Jason Saenz – from the Mets to the Reds in exchange for Larkin. Larkin said that he would have gone to New York, as he enjoyed playing there, but the Mets did not want to sign him to a multi-year contract. The Reds signed him to a three-year contract extension worth $27 million.[12] In the 2000 season, Larkin missed 59 games after he injured his finger twice and he suffered a knee sprain.[13] He underwent finger surgery in April and knee surgery in September.[14][15]

Later career

Baseball barry larkin 2004
Larkin in 2004

Larkin struggled with a groin injury in 2001, prompting criticism of his play. Broadcaster Joe Nuxhall said on air that Larkin had "lost it".[16] By August, the injury had limited Larkin to 45 games. He underwent season-ending surgery for a hernia that had been diagnosed during an evaluation of the groin injury.[16] During the 2002 season, Larkin played in 145 games but hit for the lowest batting average (.245) since his first full year in the major leagues. Though he did not miss many games, Larkin dealt with injuries to his rib cage, hamstring, shoulder, neck and toe.[17]

In 2003, Larkin had spent two stints on the disabled list with calf injuries by late May.[17] During strained contract negotiations with Reds COO John Allen in late 2003, Larkin almost left the team. Larkin and the Reds agreed to a one-year contract for 2004. Larkin called off a planned retirement ceremony scheduled for October 2, 2004, because he was not sure if he would retire. In that season, Larkin hit for a .289 batting average. He announced his retirement in February 2005.[18]

Commenting on Larkin's retirement after such a strong season, sports columnist Terence Moore drew a comparison to the retirement of Ted Williams. He wrote, "Barry Larkin wasn't quite Williams at the end, but he was in the vicinity when it comes to the big picture... After years of injuries, he showed what a healthy Larkin still could do, but he also showed that he preferred to leave the game more like Williams than just about anybody else you can name in baseball history."[19]

In his 19-year career with Cincinnati, Larkin hit .295 with 2,340 hits, 198 home runs, 960 RBI, 1,329 runs scored and 379 stolen bases. Baseball historian and expert Bill James has called Larkin one of the greatest shortstops of all time, ranking him #6 all time in his New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Despite missing significant playing time in six seasons,[20] Larkin won the Gold Glove Award three times (1994–1996) and was a 12-time All-Star (1988–1991, 1993–1997, 1999, 2000, and 2004).[5] He became the first major league shortstop to join the 30–30 club when he had 33 home runs and 36 stolen bases in 1996.

Post-retirement

CincinnatiReds11
Barry Larkin's number 11 was retired by the Cincinnati Reds in 2012.

After his retirement, Larkin was hired as a special assistant to the general manager in the Washington Nationals organization. With the Nationals, he worked under former Reds general manager Jim Bowden. Larkin had hoped to work for the Reds, but USA Today reported that his 2003 contract disagreement with Allen eliminated that opportunity.[18] In 2008, he signed with the MLB Network as a studio analyst.[21]

He was the bench coach for the United States at the 2009 World Baseball Classic and managed the United States' second-round game against Puerto Rico when U.S. manager Davey Johnson left to attend his stepson's wedding.[22] On July 20, 2008, the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum inducted Larkin, César Gerónimo, August "Garry" Herrmann, and Joey Jay. The induction was held at the Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati.[23] On Tuesday, March 24, 2009, the College Baseball Foundation announced the names of the ten players and coaches comprising the 2009 National College Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Class, which included Barry Larkin.

Barry Larkin 2013
Larkin at the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame induction parade

In 2011, Larkin left Washington for ESPN to serve as a Baseball Tonight analyst.[24] Larkin received great applause from Reds fans when he helped host Baseball Tonight's on-the-road coverage of Sunday Night Baseball at GABP on July 24, 2011. Crowd chants of "Barry Larkin" and "Hall of Fame" often caused the anchors to have to talk very loud to be heard. Larkin was coincidentally in Cincinnati for Baseball Tonight on the day of the 2011 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

In 2012, Larkin was voted into the Hall of Fame with 86.4 percent of the vote. He was the eighth Reds player and 24th shortstop inducted to the Hall of Fame. On August 25, 2012, his number 11 was retired in an official ceremony at Great American Ball Park.[25] In 2010, his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame, Larkin had received 51.6 percent of the vote[26] (75 percent is needed for election). In 2011, he received 62.1 percent of the vote,[27] the highest of non-inducted players and third overall.

He was invited by the Brazilian Baseball Federation to manage their national team in the qualifiers for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Brazil beat host country Panama in Brazil's first time to qualify for the event. They were originally scheduled to play in Puerto Rico, but because of the huge Japanese baseball influence in Brazil, they played in Japan. The team played Cuba and China besides the home country. [28][29] The team went winless in its WBC debut and was eliminated after the first round.

Larkin built the Champions Sports Complex to use sports in the social, emotional, and educational development of youth. In 2008, Larkin released a charity wine called "Barry Larkin's Merlot", with 100% of its proceeds supporting Champions Sports Foundation.

In November 2013, Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed that the organization had intended to interview Larkin for its open managerial position. Larkin declined the interview due to the time commitment associated with the job. Brad Ausmus was named the new Tigers manager on November 3, 2013.[30]

In November 2014, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Larkin was among 10 candidates interviewed for the Tampa Bay Rays' managerial job.[31] Larkin was not among the team's three finalists, and the job ultimately went to Kevin Cash.[32] Larkin joined the Cincinnati Reds as a minor-league roving infield instructor in May 2015.[33] He helped out the big-league club during spring training 2016. When asked whether he hoped to manage in the future, he said, "Never say never. The conditions have to be right and, you know, the manager's job, at least in my opinion, is not about just having the manager's position. It's about having the support system to support that manager's position."[34]

Sports diplomacy

Larkin has also been an active participant in the SportsUnited Sports Envoy program for the U.S. Department of State. In this function, he has traveled to Colombia, Ecuador, India, Lithuania, Taiwan, where he worked with to conduct baseball clinics and events that reached more than 2,200 youth from underserved areas. In so doing, Larkin helped contribute to SportsUnited's mission to reach out to youth populations in order to promote growth and a stable democratic government.[35][36][37]

Personal life

Shane Larkin Feb 2013
Barry's son, Shane Larkin

Larkin's brother, Stephen Larkin, was also a professional baseball player; he made it to the major leagues for one game with the Reds. Another brother, Byron Larkin, was a second-team All-American basketball player at Xavier University and is the color commentator on Xavier basketball radio broadcasts. Larkin's eldest brother, Mike, was a captain of the University of Notre Dame's football team in 1985.

Larkin and his wife Lisa have two daughters, Brielle D'Shea and Cymber, and a son, Shane. The family lives in Orlando, Florida. Shane played two seasons at the University of Miami before declaring himself eligible for the 2013 NBA Draft. Shane was subsequently traded to the Dallas Mavericks and made his NBA debut in November 2013. Shane started as a guard for the Boston Celtics in 2017. Larkin's daughters play lacrosse. Brielle D'Shea is named in honor of Shea Stadium, as Larkin enjoyed playing there.[38]

In popular culture

In 2012, Cincinnati-based delicatessen Izzy's created the "Barry Larkin Triple Play" sandwich in honor of Larkin.[39]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Barry Larkin Statistics and History". Sports Reference, LLC. baseball-reference.com. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Larkin's In Easily". Philly.com. Associated Press. January 10, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2012. A two-sport standout in his senior year of high school, Larkin went to the University of Michigan on a scholarship to play defensive back for Schembechler's Wolverines. When he arrived in Ann Arbor, Larkin learned he was being redshirted.
  3. ^ a b c "Barry Larkin Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  4. ^ "Michigan alum Barry Larkin voted into Baseball Hall of Fame". Michigandaily.com. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Porter, David L. (2000). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 851–2. ISBN 0-313-31175-7.
  6. ^ Hill, Benjamin (August 13, 1986). "Hall-bound Larkin sped through Minors | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  7. ^ "Larkin joins $5 Million-a-year Club". Chicago Tribune. January 20, 1992. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  8. ^ Warnemuende, Jeremy. "Arroyo named Reds' Clemente Award nominee". MLB.com. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  9. ^ "Reds get Larkin back while Morris gets set for surgery". Chicago Tribune. August 3, 1997. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  10. ^ "Larkin goes out again, facing neck surgery". The Spokesman-Review. March 12, 1998. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  11. ^ Hiserman, Mike (July 21, 2012). "Barry Larkin, once almost a Dodger, and Ron Santo to enter Hall". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  12. ^ Kepner, Tyler (August 6, 2011). "Bats: Longtime Reds star who nearly was a Met". The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  13. ^ "Short staffed: Reds concerned about Larkin's groin injury". CNNSI.com. March 12, 2001. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  14. ^ "Larkin, Griffey hurt; Reds fall to Dodgers". Philly.com. April 22, 2000. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  15. ^ "Reds Larkin has knee surgery". Associated Press. September 8, 2000. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Kay, Joe (August 7, 2001). "Hernia surgery ends tough season for Barry Larkin". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  17. ^ a b Kay, Joe (May 22, 2003). "Reds' Barry Larkin goes back on DL". Edwardsville Intelligencer. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  18. ^ a b "Barry Larkin retires from Reds". USA Today. February 13, 2005. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  19. ^ Moore, Terence. "Will Jeter follow Larkin's path to retirement?". MLB.com. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  20. ^ Lombardi, Stephen M. (2005). The Baseball Same Game: Finding Comparable Players from the National Pastime. p. 181. ISBN 0-595-35457-2.
  21. ^ "MLB Network adds Barry Larkin to on-air talent lineup". MLB.com. December 23, 2008. Retrieved December 25, 2008.
  22. ^ Barry Larkin to Manange US Team SI.com, March 13, 2009
  23. ^ Russel, Shannon (July 20, 2008). "Reds hail HOF inductees". Cincinnati Enquirer.
  24. ^ Dougherty, Pete (February 15, 2011). "Larkin joins ESPN as baseball studio analyst". Albany Times Union. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
  25. ^ "Reds to honor Barry Larkin, retire No. 11 jersey", Associated Press. USA Today. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  26. ^ "BBWAA Elects "Hawk" to the Hall of Fame". Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  27. ^ "Barry Larkin falls short of Hall of Fame voting". Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  28. ^ "Barry Larkin hired by Brazil for WBC". Associated Press. ESPN.com. September 19, 2012.
  29. ^ "Larkin excited about managing Brazil in Classic", Barry M. Bloom. MLB.com. January 25, 2013.
  30. ^ Iott, Chris. "MLive.com". Reporter. MLive.com. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  31. ^ Topkin, Marc (November 10, 2014). "Rays add Barry Larkin, Doug Glanville to manager's search". Tampa Bay Times. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  32. ^ Topkin, Marc (December 5, 2014). "Tampa Bay Rays name Kevin Cash manager". Tampa Bay Times. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  33. ^ Sheldon, Mark. "Reds hire Larkin as Minor League instructor". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  34. ^ Danneman, Joe. "Barry Larkin on managing: 'Never say never'". Fox19. Frankly Media and WXIX. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  35. ^ Fabulous, Mina (February 17, 2012). "US Sports Envoy Barry Larkin to Engage Youth in Ecuador". NewsBlaze News. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  36. ^ "A Strong Finish for U.S. Department of State's First Ever Baseball-Softball Envoy Program - Photo Gallery | Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs". eca.state.gov. Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  37. ^ "Former Major Leaguer Barry Larkin Visits Falcon Little League, Gives Clinic during Trip to Colombia". www.littleleague.org. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  38. ^ ESPN news services (August 31, 2004). "Jones has 17 home runs at Shea Stadium". ESPN.com. Cincinnati shortstop Barry Larkin, who also enjoys playing in New York, named his daughter Brielle D'Shea.
  39. ^ "Izzy's introduces sandwich in Larkin's honor". Fox19.com. Retrieved May 13, 2015.

External links

1956 Olympic Flame hoax

The 1956 Olympic Flame hoax was a hoax during the 1956 Summer Olympics, in which Barry Larkin, a veterinary student from Melbourne, pretended to be running with the Olympic Flame.

1985 College Baseball All-America Team

An All-American team is an honorary sports team composed of the best amateur players of a specific season for each team position—who in turn are given the honorific "All-America" and typically referred to as "All-American athletes", or simply "All-Americans". Although the honorees generally do not compete together as a unit, the term is used in U.S. team sports to refer to players who are selected by members of the national media. Walter Camp selected the first All-America team in the early days of American football in 1889.The NCAA recognizes two different All-America selectors for the 1985 college baseball season: the American Baseball Coaches Association (since 1947) and Baseball America (since 1981).

1990 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1990 season was the Reds' 122nd season in American baseball. Starting with a club best nine straight wins to open the season, as well as holding the top spot in the National League West every game during the season, the Reds went 41-21 after 62 games, splitting the remaining 100 games 50-50 to end up with a 91-71 record. It consisted of the 91-71 Reds winning the National League West by five games over the second-place Dodgers, as well as the National League Championship Series in six games over the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the World Series in a four-game sweep over the overwhelming favorite Oakland Athletics, who had won the World Series the previous year. It was the fifth World Championship for the Reds, and their first since winning two consecutive titles in 1975 and '76.

1990 World Series

The 1990 World Series was the 87th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series and the conclusion of the 1990 Major League Baseball season. The Series featured the defending champions and heavily favored American League (AL) champion Oakland Athletics against the National League (NL) champion Cincinnati Reds. The Reds defeated the Athletics in a four-game sweep. It was the fifth 4-game sweep by the National League and second by the Reds after they did it in 1976, as well as the second consecutive World Series to end in a sweep, after the A's themselves did it to the San Francisco Giants in 1989. It is remembered for Billy Hatcher's seven consecutive hits. The sweep extended the Reds' World Series winning streak to nine games, dating back to 1975. This also was the second World Series meeting between the two clubs (Oakland won four games to three in 1972). As of 2018, this remains both teams' most recent appearance in the World Series.

Athletics manager Tony La Russa and Reds manager Lou Piniella were old friends and teammates from their Tampa American Legion Post 248 team.

1991 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1991 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West.

1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 64th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 1993, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, the home of the Baltimore Orioles of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 9-3.

This is also the last Major League Baseball All-Star Game to date to be televised by CBS.

1995 Major League Baseball season

The 1995 Major League Baseball season was the first season to be played under the expanded postseason format, as the League Division Series (LDS) was played in both the American and National leagues for the first time. However, due to the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike which carried into the 1995 season, a shortened 144-game schedule commenced on April 25, when the Florida Marlins played host to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Atlanta Braves became the first franchise to win World Series championships for three different cities. Along with their 1995 title, the Braves won in 1914 as the Boston Braves, and in 1957 as the Milwaukee Braves.

2012 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2012 proceeded according to rules most recently revised in July 2010. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players, with results announced on January 9, 2012. The Golden Era Committee, the second of three new era committees established by the July 2010 rules change, replacing the Veterans Committee, convened early in December 2011 to select from a Golden Era ballot of retired players and non-playing personnel who made their greatest contributions to the sport between 1947 and 1972, called the "Golden Era" by the Hall of Fame.The induction class consists of Ron Santo, elected by the Golden Era Committee, and Barry Larkin, elected by the BBWAA.The induction ceremonies were held on July 22, 2012 at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. On July 21, the Hall presented two awards for media excellence—its own Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters and the BBWAA's J. G. Taylor Spink Award for writers.

2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 86th edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The game was played at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio on Tuesday, July 14. It was televised nationally on Fox. The American League All-Stars defeated the National League All-Stars by a score of 6–3.

On January 21, 2013, then-Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Bud Selig, announced the 2015 All-Star Game would be hosted by the Cincinnati Reds. This was the first time the city of Cincinnati has hosted the All-Star Game since the 1988 All-Star Game was played at Riverfront Stadium.On July 15, 2014, Selig also announced that Pete Rose would not be prohibited from participating in the 2015 All-Star Game ceremonies. Rose was an All-Star for 13 of the 19 seasons he played on the Reds and was a member of the Big Red Machine. In 1991, Rose was permanently banned from MLB for baseball betting. Rose, wearing a red sport coat, appeared on the field in front of the pitcher's mound before the game and received a standing ovation alongside former teammates Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, and Joe Morgan.

On May 12, 2015, the Reds announced that Todd Frazier would serve as the 2015 All-Star Game spokesperson.Mike Trout, an outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels, was named the 2015 All-Star Game Most Valuable Player for the second straight year.

Bud Middaugh

Forest L. "Bud" Middaugh (born c. 1939) is a former American baseball coach. He was the head baseball coach at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio from 1968 to 1979 and at the University of Michigan from 1980 to 1989. He compiled a record of 359-173 at Miami, leading the Redhawks to three Mid-American Conference championships and four appearances in the NCAA playoffs. In 1980, he became the head coach at Michigan. In ten years as the head coach at Michigan, he led the Michigan Wolverines baseball team to a 465–146–1 record, seven Big Ten Conference championships and four appearances in the College World Series. He developed several Major League Baseball players at Michigan, including Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo, Hal Morris, Scott Kamieniecki, and Jim Abbott. Middaugh resigned as Michigan's baseball coach in June 1989 after it was revealed that he had given money collected by selling programs at football games to members of the Michigan baseball team. Middaugh was inducted into the Miami University Hall of Fame in 1981. Middaugh began his coaching career at Lorain Admiral King High School in Lorain, Ohio. In three years at Admiral King, Middaugh compiled a record of 52–14 and coached his team to a Cleveland district championship and a Buckeye Conference championship.

John Hoover (baseball)

John Nicklaus Hoover (December 22, 1962 – July 8, 2014) was the Major League Baseball No. 25 draft choice in the first round in 1984 (by Baltimore), after having led the nation in strikeouts in college baseball, pitching 205 strikeouts for Fresno State in his senior year. Also in 1984 Hoover was a starting pitcher for the United States Olympic baseball team, winning the opening game and helping the US to win the silver medal for baseball. His teammates on the Olympic team included Mark McGwire, Barry Larkin, Will Clark, and Oddibe McDowell.

In 1983, Hoover pitched the opening game at the IX Pan American Games, for an 8-0 victory over the Dominican Republic, helping to win the bronze medal for the United States team.Hoover played for the Texas Rangers in the 1990 season, but had a shortened pro-baseball career due to injuries sustained as a college player. He died on July 8, 2014 apparently of natural causes.

List of Cincinnati Reds first-round draft picks

The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They play in the National League Central division. Officially known as the "First-Year Player Draft", the Rule 4 Draft is MLB's primary mechanism for assigning players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur clubs to its franchises. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, with the team possessing the worst record receiving the first pick. In addition, teams which lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded compensatory or supplementary picks. Since the establishment of the draft in 1965, the Reds have selected 58 players in the first round.

Of those 58 players, 28 have been pitchers, the most of any position; 22 of these were right-handed, while 6 were left-handed. The Reds have also selected 12 outfielders, eight shortstops, four catchers, four third basemen and two first basemen. They have never selected a second baseman in the initial round of the draft. The franchise has drafted eleven players from colleges or high schools in California, while another eight were drafted out of Texas. The only first-round pick out of the Reds' home state of Ohio was Barry Larkin, a native of Cincinnati.One of these picks has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; Barry Larkin, drafted in 1985, was elected to the Hall in his third year of eligibility in 2012. Five of these picks have won a World Series championship with the Reds. Don Gullett & Gary Nolan won two consecutive Series with the Reds, 1975 and 1976, and Gullett won again in 1977 as a member of the New York Yankees. Three of the Reds first-round picks participated in the team's 1990 championship: Larkin, Scott Scudder, and Jack Armstrong. In addition to eventually reaching the Hall of Fame, Larkin was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award in 1993, the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 1994, and named the National League Most Valuable Player in 1995.Cincinnati has made ten selections in the supplemental round of the draft, but has never held the first overall pick. They have also had two compensatory picks since the first draft in 1965. These additional picks are provided when a team loses a particularly valuable free agent in the previous off-season, or, more recently, if a team fails to sign a draft pick from the previous year. The Reds have failed to sign their first-round pick twice. Mike Miley, selected in 1971, chose to attend college at Louisiana State University; he would later be drafted by the California Angels in 1974. The Reds did not receive a compensatory pick for failing to sign Miley. Jeremy Sowers, the Reds' 2001 choice, decided to attend Vanderbilt University, and was selected in the first round of the 2004 draft by the Cleveland Indians. Sowers' MLB debut came in 2006 against Cincinnati. For failing to sign Sowers, the Reds received the 40th pick in the 2002 draft, which they used to select Mark Schramek.

List of Silver Slugger Award winners at shortstop

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value." Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.Among shortstops, Barry Larkin is the leader in Silver Slugger Awards, with nine wins between 1988 and 1999, including five consecutive awards (1988–1992). Larkin is fourth all-time in Silver Slugger wins among all positions, behind outfielder Barry Bonds, catcher Mike Piazza and third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who won his first seven awards at shortstop before a position change. Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. won eight Silver Sluggers as a shortstop from 1983 to 1993. Derek Jeter won five Silver Sluggers as a shortstop (2006–2009; 2012), while Ian Desmond (2012–2014), Alan Trammell (1987–1988, 1990), and Édgar Rentería (2000; 2002–2003) won three.Rodriguez' offensive statistics in his seven Silver Slugger-winning seasons lead American League and major league shortstops in most categories; his batting average of .358 and .631 slugging percentage in 1996, .420 on-base percentage in 2000 and 57 home runs in 2002 are records among winning shortstops. The lone category in which Rodriguez does not lead the American League is runs batted in (RBI), where Miguel Tejada is the leader; he batted in 150 runs in 2004. The RBI leader in the National League is Trevor Story, who batted in 108 runs in 2018. In contrast, Rodriguez collected RBI totals over 110 (ranging from 111 in 1999 to 142 in 2002) in all of his Silver Slugger-winning seasons, highlighting the difference in power and production between American League and National League shortstops. Other National League leaders include Larkin and Hanley Ramírez, who led in batting average (Larkin and Ramírez batted .342 in 1989 and 2009 respectively) and on-base percentage (Larkin and Ramírez with .410 in 1996 and 2009 respectively), along with Rich Aurilia, who leads in slugging percentage (.572, 2001). Aurilla is also tied with Story as the National League leader in home runs (Aurilla and Story hit 37 in 2001 and 2018 respectively). Though he has never played in the National League, Rodriguez' 40 or more home runs in six of his seven winning seasons at shortstop are greater than any total hit by a National League winner at third base.

Lou Gehrig Memorial Award

The Lou Gehrig Memorial Award is given annually to a Major League Baseball (MLB) player who best exhibits the character and integrity of Lou Gehrig, both on the field and off it. The award was created by the Phi Delta Theta fraternity in honor of Gehrig, who was a member of the fraternity at Columbia University. It was first presented in 1955, fourteen years after Gehrig's death. The award's purpose is to recognize a player's exemplary contributions in "both his community and philanthropy." The bestowal of the award is overseen by the headquarters of the Phi Delta Theta in Oxford, Ohio, and the name of each winner is inscribed onto the Lou Gehrig Award plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. It is the only MLB award conferred by a fraternity.Twenty-four winners of the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The inaugural winner was Alvin Dark. Curt Schilling (1995) and Shane Victorino (2008) received the award for working with the ALS Association and raising money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The disease took Gehrig's life and is eponymously known as "Lou Gehrig's disease". Mike Timlin won the award in 2007 for his efforts in raising awareness and finding a cure for ALS, which took his mother's life in 2002.Winners of the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award have undertaken a variety of different causes. Many winners, including Rick Sutcliffe, Barry Larkin, Mark McGwire, Todd Stottlemyre and Derek Jeter, worked with children in need. Jeter assisted children and teenagers in avoiding drug and alcohol addiction through his Turn 2 Foundation, while Sutcliffe visited disabled children in hospitals and bestowed college scholarships to underprivileged juveniles through his foundation. Other winners devoted their work to aiding individuals who had a specific illness, such as Albert Pujols, whose daughter suffers from Down syndrome, and who devoted the Pujols Family Foundation to helping those with the disorder, and Ryan Zimmerman, who established the ziMS Foundation to raise money for multiple sclerosis, the disease which afflicts his mother.

Michigan Wolverines baseball

The Michigan Wolverines baseball team represents the University of Michigan in NCAA Division I college baseball. Along with most other Michigan athletic teams, the baseball team participates in the Big Ten Conference. They play their home games at Ray Fisher Stadium.

The Wolverines have made the College World Series eight times, winning two national championships in 1953 and 1962. Michigan is the fourth winningest program in NCAA Division I baseball history, trailing only Fordham, Texas and USC.

Prior to the 2013 season, former Maryland head coach Erik Bakich replaced Rich Maloney as the program's head coach.

Sheldon "Chief" Bender

Sheldon "Chief" Bender (November 25, 1919 – February 27, 2008) was an American player and manager in minor league baseball and a scout, scouting director and farm system director in Major League Baseball who spent 64 years in the game.

Bender is most closely identified with the Cincinnati Reds, where he spent 39 years (1967–2005) as a front office executive and consultant. An associate of general manager Bob Howsam, Bender was Cincinnati's farm system director of the "Big Red Machine" era and served in that post for 22 years, 1967–88. His system produced such players as Baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, Ken Griffey, Sr., Dave Concepción, Don Gullett, Eric Davis and Paul O'Neill. The Reds' minor league player of the year award is named after him.

Silver Slugger Award

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.The prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. In addition, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead.Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position.

Tom Browning's perfect game

On September 16, 1988, Tom Browning of the Cincinnati Reds pitched the 12th perfect game in Major League Baseball history, blanking the Los Angeles Dodgers 1–0 at Riverfront Stadium. Browning threw 72 of his 100 pitches for strikes and did not run the count to three balls on a single Dodger hitter. He recorded seven strikeouts, the last of which was to the game's final batter, pinch-hitter Tracy Woodson. A two-hour, 27 minute rain delay forced the game to start at approximately 10 PM local time. The rain delay lasted longer than the game itself, played in a brisk one hour, 51 minutes.

The game's lone run came in the sixth inning. Batting against Tim Belcher, himself working on a no-hitter, Barry Larkin doubled and advanced to third on Chris Sabo's infield single; an error by Jeff Hamilton on the play enabled Larkin to score.

Browning, who became the first left-handed pitcher to pitch a perfect game since Sandy Koufax in 1965 (see Sandy Koufax's perfect game), had had another no-hitter broken up earlier in the season, against the San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium on June 6. A Tony Gwynn single with one out in the ninth foiled this bid and would be the only hit Browning allowed in defeating the Padres 12–0.

The Dodgers would go on to win the World Series—the only time, to date, that a team has won a World Series after having a perfect game pitched against it during the season. (Only one other team has since earned a postseason berth after having a perfect game pitched against it during the season: the 2010 Tampa Bay Rays, who were on the losing end of Dallas Braden's perfect game on May 9, went on to win the American League East title.) Kirk Gibson, whose walk-off home run in Game 1 of that Series helped the Dodgers defeat the Oakland Athletics 4 games to 1, was ejected by home plate umpire Jim Quick after striking out in the seventh inning of the perfect game.

The perfect game was the first of a record three Paul O'Neill would play in as a member of the winning team. As a New York Yankee, he would be on the winning end of David Wells' and David Cone's in 1998 and 1999 respectively.

On July 4 of the following season, Browning narrowly missed becoming the first pitcher to throw two perfect games. Against the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium, his Reds leading 2–0, he retired the first 24 batters he faced before Dickie Thon broke up the bid with a leadoff double. After striking out Steve Lake, Browning gave up a single to Steve Jeltz to score Thon. John Franco then relieved Browning and got Len Dykstra to hit into a game-ending double play.

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