Former University of Michigan baseball All-American Barry Larkin (1983-85) has been selected as a member of the 2012 class to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, it was announced today (Monday, Jan. 9).
Larkin will become the fourth Wolverine to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. George Sisler was inducted in 1939 and lettered at U-M in 1913, '14 and '15. He played for the St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators and Boston Braves, and held the Major League record for hits in a season (257) until 2004. Charlie Gehringer played on the freshman team at U-M in 1923 and was awarded a freshman letter. He went on to become a six-time All-Star and American League Most Valuable Player in 1937 with the Detroit Tigers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1949. Branch Rickey, who is credited with inventing the modern farm system, pioneering the utilization of statistics and breaking the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1967. Rickey coached U-M from 1910-13 while attending the Michigan Law School.
During his three-year career at Michigan, Larkin led the Wolverines to the College World Series twice (1983-84) and was a two-time All-America selection (1984-85). As a freshman, Larkin had two doubles in a victory over Maine in the first game of the College World Series, leading the Wolverines to a third-place finish. The Wolverines finished seventh during his sophomore campaign as Larking picked up the first of two consecutive All-America citations. The shortstop hit a career-high .368 during his junior year to earn national recognition for the second straight season.
Larkin ranks among the top 10 in five different single-season categories at U-M. He is tied for second in triples (8), tied for sixth in home runs (16) and tied for third in total bases (150) while ranking third in runs scored (72) and fifth in runs batted in (66). He also ranks in the top 10 in four career offensive categories -- third in triples (13), fifth in runs scored (172), tied for eighth in stolen bases (44) and 10th in batting average (.361).
After leaving Michigan, Larkin was drafted fourth overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1985 MLB Draft. The shortstop spent one-and-a-half seasons in the minors before being called up to Cincinnati, where he played for 19 years, including helping lead his squad to the 1990 World Series title. In 1995, he was named the National League MVP while hitting .319 with 15 home runs and 51 stolen bases. The three-time Gold Glove winner was also a 12-time All-Star and nine-time Silver Slugger honoree. Larkin became the first Major League Baseball shortstop to join the 30-30 club in 1996 when he hit 33 home runs and swiped 36 bags. Larkin also has been honored for his off-the-field work, winning the Roberto Clemente award in 1993 in recognition of his philanthropic work.
In 2010, 25 years after leaving for professional baseball, Barry Larkin returned to Ann Arbor to finish his communications degree, delivering on a promise he had made to his grandmother. Hail!