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August 15, 2007

Holy Cow...Someone Died

"Here's the windup, fastball, hit deep to right, this could be it! Way back there! Holy cow, he did it! Sixty-one for Maris! And look at the fight for that ball out there! Holy cow, what a shot! Another standing ovation for Maris, and they're still fighting for that ball out there, climbing over each other's backs. One of the greatest sights I've ever seen here at Yankee Stadium!"

- some guy saying something about someone doing something in 1961

I don't know if it is because I didn't watch baseball in the 40s and 50s or perhaps I'm just jaded (likely)...but is it THAT big of a deal that Phil Rizzuto died? If you watched ANY television last night, you saw that Rizzuto died and the world was in mourning. I'm pretty sure I even heard that flags were to be lowered.

I mean...the guy is a Hall of Fame player and all, but I can't figure out why or how.

His stats are underwhelming by Hall standards...273 avg., 1588 hits and only a .968 fielding percentage. Granted, he had one MVP award, but c' did Barry Larkin.

Which leads me to...Barry Larkin!

Is Larkin a Hall of Famer? Ask anyone just north of Covington, Kentucky (yes, that's a random shout out) and they'd say "ayup". Ask anyone else and they'd be left scratching their heads.

Me?!? I say "yes". has to be done soon before Omar, A-Rod, Jeter and the like start banging on Cooperstown's doors. The case for Larkin goes like so...295 avg., 2340 hits, 198 homers and a .975 fielding percentage.

Oh, he also has that one MVP award and a World Series ring.

Compare his stats to Ozzie Smith and Pee Wee Reese and they are comparable if not better. Ozzie's average was thirty points lower but had 120 more hits (he also played in 400 more games than Larkin...getting close to 1400 more at bats). Fielding average (the key to Ozzie's greatness)...978. Larkin came in at .975.


Wait, you mean to tell me that Barry Larkin DWARFED the "Wizard of Oz (or was it Ahs)"?!?


For git and shiggles, I went to Baseball Reference to see where some other notables rank compared to Larkin. Omar Vizquel rating was 119 (they say a rating of 100 means you are a shoe-in)...Larkin came in at 118. So does Jeff Kent.

Hmmm...that gives me an idea.

Ballhype: hype it up!


Adam said...

In my opinion, Barry Larkin is an absolute no doubt Hall of Famer. His OPS+ was simply dominant over the league, never mind the fact that he was a shortstop. His defense also helps his case. Not as flashy as Ozzie, but he was the best in his league for a while.

Jesus said...

Larkin gets overshadowed because he played opposite the likes of Cal Ripken and then Alex Rodriguez.

On the basepaths (something I didn't mention in my original post), he has a career 86% steal percentage and is one of two shortstops EVER to go 30-30.

Plus...the guy was a GREAT Red. Take Pete Rose's name off of the career leaders list, and Larkin is first or second in many categories...THAT has to account for something, right?

Anonymous said...

The Rizzuto stuff I saw was primarily covering his work in the booth covering games, not his on the field performance. He was so loved by baseball fans for his play-by-play work and his catch phrase "Holy Cow!" which later was used by another person covering Cubs games.

Jesus said...'re talking about Harry Caray. HOWEVER, Caray (enshrined as a broadcaster in 1989) is credited with originating "Holy Cow"...not Rizzuto.

You are right about the coverage, they seemed to talk about the entire life of Scooter. BUT, riddle me this...why is he a Hall of Fame player?

Rog said...

Larkin is in fo sho! Great point though, he had better get there before ARod, Jeter, and Omar get their shot...and perhaps Nomar!