I’m not crying, you’re crying.
I think every baseball fan has a specific player that made them fall in love with the game. For me, it was Barry Larkin. Barry was one of the first shortstops that perfected his craft both at the plate and in the field. He was the type of player little league coaches could point to and say “that’s the player you need to be”. Being a hometown kid playing in Cincinnati didn’t hurt either.
He became the first ever 30-30 shortstop in Major League Baseball history which was a nice compliment to his three Gold Gloves. The man had nine Silver Slugger awards, 12 All-Star Game appearances and a National League Most Valuable Player on his mantle when he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.
When people ask why I still let the Reds ruin my summer, I point to the #11 retired behind home plate at Great American Ball Park. If it wasn’t for Barry, I wouldn’t have a life long Reds fandom that will (hopefully) someday payoff. I’m hoping someday I’ll have a World Series ticket stub so sit right between my Barry Larkin bobblehead and foul ball on my desk. Until then, I’ll always have his highlights on YouTube.Follow @BennyMacBlog