Saturday, August 25, 2012
Reds retire Barry Larkin's number
CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Reds retired Barry Larkin's No. 11 before Saturday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, paying tribute to the Hall of Fame shortstop who led them to the 1990 World Series title.
Larkin, joined on the field by members of his family, former teammates and members of the Reds organization, watched as his number was unveiled, accompanied by a fireworks display. Wearing a gray sports coat and shirt and black pants and wiping his eyes frequently with a white towel, he said he was proud of his hometown.
"I'm so proud to be the first native Cincinnatian to be inducted into the Hall of Fame," he told the sellout crowd before throwing a ceremonial first pitch to current Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips. "I'm so proud and humbled to be on the wall next to my idol, Dave Concepcion's No. 13."
Larkin spent his entire 19-year career with Cincinnati and was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame this summer. He hit .295 with 198 home runs and 960 RBIs, winning the NL MVP award when he helped the Reds win the NL Central in 1995.
The 12-time All-Star served as team captain while winning nine Silver Slugger and three Gold Glove awards in his career.
"I've been trying to do a lot in a little bit of time," Larkin said during a press conference on Friday when asked what his life has been like since being notified in January that he'd been elected to the Hall of Fame. "There's been a lot of real good busywork. It's appropriate that this is the last piece. It brings it a little closer to home, getting my number retired."
Larkin's is the ninth uniform number to be retired in honor of a Reds player or manager, joining Concepcion, Fred Hutchinson's No. 1, Johnny Bench's 5, Joe Morgan's 8, Sparky Anderson's 10, Ted Kluszewski's 18, Frank Robinson's 20 and Tony Perez's 24. Each of the honorees except Concepcion, Hutchinson and Kluszewski has been inducted into Cooperstown.
No. 42 also has been retired in honor of Jackie Robinson.