Tag Archives: barry larkin

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Recently Retired Hall Of Fame Signed Baseballs On My Want List’

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Recently Retired Hall Of Fame Signed Baseballs On My Want List’

If you missed my last list, I showed off the ‘Top Ten’ baseballs I would like from players that are in the Hall of Fame.  If you want to re-visit that post, you can do so by clicking here.

For this round, I will show you the ‘Top Ten’ guys in the recently retired list that I would like to go after as well.  And while I plan on waiting to attack until I can get the HOF inscription, I am still eager to go after these guys.

And while some of these players may not get into Cooperstown unless they buy a ticket, they will all (hopefully) make an appearance in my signed baseball collection!!

So, here we go….

Honorable Mentions – Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Trevor Hoffman, Andy Pettitte, Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez, and Curt Schilling.

10 – Mike Lowell

9 – Barry Larkin

8 – Roger Clemens

7 – Tom Glavine

6 – Randy Johnson

5 – Craig Biggio

4 – John Smoltz

3 – Frank Thomas

2 – Ken Griffey Jr.

1 – Greg Maddux

Nice list, huh?

I snuck in a few guys like Lowell and Schilling.  And while I don’t belive that either will be highly considered for membership at the Hall of Fame, I do really like them and respect their careers.

Next up – the ‘Top Ten Signed Baseballs I Would Like Of Active Players’.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading!!!

Baseball Card Show Purchase #6 – 2000 Topps’ Version Of ‘The Big Red Machine’

Baseball Card Show Purchase #6 – 2000 Topps’ Version Of ‘The Big Red Machine’

Certainly not the team that won the 1975 and 1976 World Series championships solidifying themselves as one of the greatest dynasties in baseball history, I still like what Topps did with this one.

Come see…

Capturing 4 Reds legends that played for the team as far back in 1969, this card called out to me like no other did at the show.

What’s not to like…  Joe Morgan, Ken Griffey, Jr., Barry Larkin, and Johnny Bench – OH YEAH!!!!

2006 Fleer ‘Greats of the Game’ – REDS – SET COMPLETE!!!!

2006 Fleer ‘Greats of the Game’ – REDS – SET COMPLETE!!!!

What can I say?  Collecting this set was a great trip down memory lane for me.

Putting this 10-card set together really invigorated and motivated me to continue my pursuit of paying tribute to one of baseball’s greatest dynasties – ‘The Big Red Machine’.

It started with collecting the 1975 Topps Reds team set.  And from there I went after this subset from the 2006 Fleer ‘Greats Of The Game’ set.  I am very excited to see where this journey may take me next!!!

Here is the set.  And while there is one glaring and obvious omission from this group of Reds legends – I LOVE IT!!!


Looking Ahead: The Hall Of Fame Class Of 2011

Looking Ahead:  The Hall Of Fame Class Of 2011

With the Hall of Fame still on my mind, I started thinking about what the Class of 2011 may look like.

Of the guys that missed the cut this year, I think that it is pretty safe to assume that Bert Blyleven and Robert0 Alomar will gain entry in 2011.  Besides those two, I don’t see anyone else that has been on the ballot prior picking up enough steam to grab 75% of the votes.

But, what about the guys on the ballot for the first time? 

Well, here is that list: 

2011: Jeff Bagwell, Rafael Palmeiro, John Olerud, Kevin Brown, Larry Walker, Juan Gonzalez, Tino Martinez, B.J. Surhoff, Marquis Grissom, John Franco, Bret Boone, Al Leiter, Benito Santiago, Carlos Baerga, Raul Mondesi, Bobby Higginson, Wilson Alvarez, Rey Sanchez, Charles Johnson, Jose Offerman, Ugueth Urbina, Ismael Valdez, Dan Wilson, Paul Quantrill, Cal Eldred, Kirk Rueter, Steve Reed

The list includes All-stars, MVPs, and World Series champions!!!  But once you start to look at the numbers, there are only 2 guys with a real shot at entry into Cooperstown; and for one of them, it may take a few years…

Those two guys are Jeff Bagwell & Rafael Palmeiro.

Lets start with Bagwell.  He’s a likable guy, and his numbers are solid.  A 15-year career that can be compared to the best first baemen from his era, Bagwell has a ROY and MVP award in his pocket.  He is also a 4-time All-star and winner of 3 Silver Slugger Trophies and 1 Gold Glove.  And while Bagwell hit close to .300 during the duration of his career, his 449 home runs and 2,314 hits leaves him well short of a few major milestones that usually guarantee enshrinement.

That takes us to Rafael Palmeiro.  He has all of the personal achievements.  Heck, he is 1 of just a small handful of players to reach both the 500 Home Runs plateau and 3,000 hits landmark.  But Raffy was never considered as the game’s best at any point during his playing days.  Sure, he was an All-star, and he won a few Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards, but Rafael was never elevated to elite status by winning MVP awards.  And then there is the whole steroid issue – it will loom over Rafael Palmeiro in the same manner that it has with Mark McGwire.  And that does not bode well for his chances; especially on his first ballot.

If I were voting, 3 players would get my vote – Blyleven, Alomar, and Palmeiro.  And while I like Jeff Bagwell, and Barry Larkin for that matter, I just need a few more years to think about how they rank among the best to have ever played the game…

Cincinnati Reds 2006 Fleer ‘Greats of the Game’ Checklist

Cincinnati Reds 2006 Fleer ‘Greats of the Game’ Checklist

After a little research my checklist is built and I am ready to shop.  And although this is just a 10-card set, I am really excited to be putting this one together as I really like the complete design of these subsets issued by Fleer in 2006.  I just wish that they did more teams…

Anyway, here is the complete checklist:

Card # Player Own it?
BL Barry Larkin  
DC Dave Concepcion  
ED Eric Davis  
FR Frank Robinson  
GF George Foster  
JB Johnny Bench  
JM Joe Morgan  
KG Ken Griffey, Sr.  
TP Tony Perez  
TS Tom Seaver  

Notice any glaring omissions from the set?  Yeah, me too.  The all-time hit king is missing, but what can you do???

I’m hoping to be able to complete this set in a few weeks.  Stay tuned as I will show you each and every card I pick up along the way.


Cooperstown : Looking Ahead To 2010

With thoughts of Cooperstown fresh on my brain, I thought it would be worth examining who is up for potential election into the Hall of Fame in 2010.  Per the HOF website, here is that list.

2010:Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Robin Ventura, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Kevin Appier, Ellis Burks, Ray Lankford, Pat Hentgen, Todd Zeile, Eric Karros, Mark McLemore, Andres Galarraga, Fernando Vina, Mike Jackson, Shane Reynolds, Dave Burba, David Segui, Andy Ashby

Of this group of guys there are 6 guys worthy of consideration, with 4 that should get some serious attention.  Those 6 players are: Alomar, Larkin, Ventura, Martinez, McGriff, and Galarraga.  And with no disrespect meant towards the outstanding careers of Robin Ventura and Edgar Martinez, their career achievements are not on par with players enshrined into the Hall of Fame.

So that leaves us with 4 guys.  4 guys that had remarkable careers.  4 guys that should get some major vote counts thrown their way.

Here is a Breakdown:

Roberto Alomar – 2,724 hits, 1,508 runs scored, 210 home runs, 1,134 RBI, 474 stolen bases, .300 batting average, 12 time all-star, 10 Gold Glove awards, 4 Silver Slugger trophies, 2 World Series championships


Barry Larkin – 2,340 hits, 1,329 runs scored, 198 home runs, 960 RBI, 379 stolen bases, .295 batting average, 12 time all-star, 3 Gold Glove awards, 9 Silver Slugger trophies, 1 MVP award, 1 World Series championship


Fred McGriff – 2,490 hits, 1,349 runs scored, 493 home runs, 1,550 RBI, 72 stolen bases, .284 batting average, 5 time all-star, 3 Silver Slugger trophies, 1 World Series championship


Andres Galarraga – 2,333 hits, 1,195 runs scored, 399 home runs, 1,425 RBI, 128 stolen bases, .288 batting average, 5 time all-star, 2 Gold Glove awards, 2 Silver Slugger trophies


In summary, I think that 3 of these 4 guys will get in.  Sadly I don’t think that Galarraga will be in that group.  My guess is that Barry Larkin will get the most votes of this rookie class of 2010, but I don’t see him as a first ballot kind of player.  Alomar on the other hand is a first ballot kind of guy, but his on and off the field problems are what people remember first about his career so I think he may have to wait a few years before he gets in.  And McGriff is worthy of a spot too, I just don’t see him getting un until a few other key guys go before him, notably Andre Dawson, Barry Larkin, Bert Blyleven, Tim Raines, and Roberto Alomar.

Your thoughts???

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980’s – Card #18

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980’s – Card #18

Barry Larkin – 1987 Fleer

Known around the baseball world as one of the classiest players from his rookie year through retirement, Barry Larkin should also be remembered as one hell of a ball player!!

Larkin was the anchor of the Cincinnati Reds offense and defense for 19 amazing seasons.  His solid play and leadership helped lead the team to several winning seasons and eventually to a World Series title.  Individually, Larkin put up some amazing numbers and he was rewarded for his successes often.

With a career batting average of .295, along with 2,340 hits, Larkin often found himself as the catalyst for the Reds’ offense.  Couple that with his 379 stolen bases and 1,329 runs scored and you begin to see how dynamic Larkin was on the base paths.  Never known for his power at the plate, Barry Larkin bashed 198 home runs in his career and also drove in 960 RBI. 

With 3 consecutive Gold Glove winning years at short-stop from 1994-96, Larkin developed his game into a well-rounded one.  A winner of 9 Silver Slugger trophies and a 12-time All-Star, Larkin’s all-around abilities were often recognized as some of the greatest in the sport.

Barry Larkin won the MVP award in 1995.  His amazing season was capped off by a .319 batting average.  In addition to his solid hitting, Larkin stole 51 bases and scored 98 runs that year.  He also won the Silver Slugger award and a Gold Glove while also making the All-star team.

Larkin’s greatest team success came in 1990 when his Reds swept the mighty Oakland A’s in the World Series.  In the 4-game match-up, Larkin hit .353 as he collected 6 hits in 17 at-bats while also scoring 3 runs for the Reds en route to their World Series championship. 


Cubs Cards from The Cubs Blog – ‘Wait ‘Til Next Year’

Although this new blog is in it’s infant stages, you would never be able to tell as Steve is an exceptional writer and adds personal touches to most of his posts. 

I am always happy to find a new blog to read, and when it is littered with the Chicago Cubs and stories about them it is even a bigger reward.  ‘Wait ‘Til Next Year’ is Steve’s take on the old-school Cubs.  Of course you’re going to read about Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Fergie Jenkins, and the other guys.  But what Steve does is offer a perspective that most of us were unable to enjoy.  Without trying to call Steve ‘old’, he has memories from the golden age of the Cubs – the 1960”s.  While most of us have to settle for stories that have been handed down or finding them on-line, Steve lived it daily!!!  Sometimes I wish I were born in a different era so I could enjoy the game when my heroes played.  Thankfully Steve has been able to bridge that gap for us with some of his experiences…

Onto the cards…  In order to obtain one of Mark Grace’s autographs, I had to pull this card out of my collection.  Steve has generously added this card back into my collection and it is easily one of my favorite Mark Grace cards.


 The next 4 cards mean more to me than they would to the average collector.  And if you were to place these 4 in front of different people, their likes and dislikes would differ greatly.  But, for me, these cards are all ‘Likes’!!!

1989 Topps Ramon Martinez rookie card – Martinez is one of my ‘That Guys’.  1987 Donruss Barry Larkin rookie card.  Larkin was my first TTM autograph since I picked this part of the hobby back up a few months ago.  I am hopeful that he gets some serious consideration for the HOF next year when he is eligible.  1982 Topps Jody Davis.  CUBS – ’nuff said!!  And finally, the 1989 Topps Robin Ventura rookie.  One of my favorite players from the time I lived in Chicago. 


Thanks Steve.  Don’t worry – I’ll certainly ‘Wait ‘Til Next Year’.

I’m Crossing My Fingers For Andre Dawson…

While 99% of the attention(and rightfully so) regarding the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot has gone to Rickey Henderson, I am crossing my fingers for Andre Dawson!!!

In 2008’s vote, Dawson got 65.9% of the votes.  In 2007, it was 56.7%.  Andre’s vote counts have escalated each year and it looks like election into the Hall of Fame in 2009 or 2010 will happen.

Personally, I feel that his election is long overdue.  I admit that I am biased on this topic as Dawson is my favorite player from the last 30+ years.  But, I do feel that he has done more than enough offensively and defensively to get inducted into Cooperstown, even if it is on his 9th or 10th ballot.

So, now my thoughts take a different turn.  Would I rather see ‘The Hawk’ get voted in during 2009 or 2010??  I don’t want to jinx anything, but my little blog cannot compare to the Sports Illustraded or Madden video game jinxes… 

If Dawson gets in this year, all eyes(well at least 99%) will be on Rickey Henderson.  But, if Andre doesn’t get the votes this year and finally does for the 2010 election, I would argue that he is the best player getting in that year finally giving him the attention he deserves.  While I don’t feel like being in Henderson’s shadow is a bad thing, the enshrinement into baseball’s Hall of Fame puts players on a very large pedastal and I want Dawson to shine as bright as he can.  In 2010, the only new players that may get serious consideration would be Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, and Fred McGriff.  I could easily argue that Dawson was a more productive and complete player than either of these guys and would take center stage if enshrined alongside either or all of them.

So, what do you think?  If Andre Dawson was guaranteed to be voted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 or 2010, which year would be better for him, for his fans, and for Cooperstown??


Ticket Stub #14 – Marlins vs. Reds – 04/04/1997

Ticket Stub #14 – Marlins vs. Reds – 04/04/1997

Pro Player Stadium – Miami, FL

Reds 9 – Marlins 7

This was game 4 for the Marlins’ 1997 season, and is the closest I have ever gotten to see a game on Opening Day.  Who would have thought that just a few months later the Marlins would be celebrating a World Series championship???

What stood out most in this game was the amazingly talented offensive line-ups each of these teams had.  The Reds were stacked with players like Deion Sanders, Ruben Sierra, Reggie Sanders, Barry Larkin, and Hal Morris.  The Marlins didn’t have a soft line-up either.  The roster contained Gary Sheffield, Moises Alou, Bobby Bonilla, Devon White, and Jeff Conine.  This was also the first game I ever saw Edgar Renteria play in live and he quickly became and still is one of my favorite Florida Marlins of all-time.

The biggest impression left on me after seeing this game was the obviuos talent of Reggie Sanders.  Sanders had a hell of a night going 3-for-4 with 1 home run and 6 RBI.  This is easily one of the best offensive performances I have witnessed during a live baseball game.

Cincinnati Reds AB R H RBI BB SO BA NOTES
Sanders 4 1 2 1 1 0 0.529  
Greene 2 1 1 1 2 0 0.286  
Larkin 3 2 0 0 2 0 0.100  
Sanders 4 1 3 6 1 1 0.471 HR
Morris 4 1 0 0 1 0 0.333  
Sierra 4 1 1 0 1 0 0.313  
Shaw 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
Boone 5 0 0 0 0 0 0.111  
Tabuensee 3 1 1 0 2 0 0.400  
Bones 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
Branson 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
Jarvis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
Timmons 1 0 1 0 0 0 0.500  
Mercker 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
Harris 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.000  
Service 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
Owens 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
Florida Marlins AB R H RBI BB SO BA NOTES
Castillo 5 0 1 0 0 0 0.421  
Renteria 5 1 2 2 0 0 0.235 SB
Sheffield 1 0 0 0 3 0 0.167  
Bonilla 5 0 2 1 0 0 0.333  
Eisenreich 3 0 0 0 1 0 0.000  
Hutton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
Helling 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
Cangelosi 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.000  
White 5 1 2 0 0 1 0.357  
Conine 4 1 3 1 1 0 0.600  
Johnson 5 3 2 1 0 1 0.286  
Rapp 2 1 1 1 0 1 0.500  
Heredia 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.000  
Alou 1 0 1 1 0 0 0.462  


Hall of Famers in this game – Barry Larkin(???) & Gary Sheffield(???)