By: Frank Del Gaiso and Sean Clifford
We here at BloodySox love baseball. With the National Baseball Hall of Fame welcoming new inductees today, we’d like to take some time to recognize the great players being honored this year. While none of this year’s inductees are associated with the Red Sox, we feel that what these men have done for the game deserves our respect and recognition.
Today, the Baseball Hall of Fame will hold its annual induction ceremony to celebrate its newest members. The player’s class of 2012 features longtime Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin and the iconic Ron Santo, third baseman and then broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs.
Larkin is a clear and deserving choice. Over 19 seasons, all with the Cincinnati Reds, Larkin posted a .295/.371/.444 batting line with 2,340 hits, 441 doubles, and 198 homeruns. Larkin drove in 960 RBI in his career and scored 1,329 times. For his career, he posted an OPS+ 116 and a 70.6 WAR value (which is phenomenal). He was also a prolific baserunner, having stolen 379 bases while being caught only 77 times (for an outstanding 83.1% success rate, good for 4th all-time among players with at least 300 SB attempts).
Larkin also established a sterling defensive reputation, winning three gold gloves in his career. He played mostly before the era of the more accurate UZR fielding metric, but Total Zone shows Larkin finished his career with a fantastic 27 runs saved (a league average reading would be “0 runs saved”).