I did not vote for Barry Larkin in the past, but after re-examining his numbers and talking to baseball people, I cast a ballot for the Reds shortstop this year. I have high standards, as do the ballplayers already in the Hall. Larkin not only impressed me with his stats but his role on the team as captain. Character counts in Cooperstown.
Ballot: Larkin, McGriff, Raines, Smith
They all had this in common: All were dominant at something (or several things) for long stretches. That’s the stuff of Cooperstown. Plus, they all had long Major League careers that didn’t have too many drops off the cliff surrounding their periods of greatness.
Ballot: Larkin, Morris
Teams don’t win without reliable shortstopping. Larkin’s defense was reliable to the nth degree and occasionally spectacular. The Reds captain was a productive and clutch performer when he wasn’t in the field, and he was a fearsome postseason force.
Time was necessary for me to warm up to Morris. This ballot carries my first vote for him. My criteria include being the best at what you do for an extended period. The leading winner in a decade qualifies there, and Morris’ postseason resume is exquisite.