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Larkin cruises into Hall

Barry Larkin, a 12-time All-Star and the 1995 NL MVP, is in the Hall of Fame on his third try.

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Barry Larkin, a 12-time All-Star and the 1995 NL MVP, is in the Hall of Fame on his third try.

Hall of Fame voting

A player needed 75 percent of the vote to be elected and at least 5 percent to remain on the ballot.

Name Votes
Barry Larkin 495 (86.4%)
Jack Morris 382 (66.7%)
Jeff Bagwell 321 (56.0%)
Lee Smith 290 (50.6%)
Tim Raines 279 (48.7%)
Alan Trammell 211 (36.8%)
Edgar Martinez 209 (36.5%)
Fred McGriff 137 (23.9%)
Larry Walker 131 (22.9%)
Mark McGwire 112 (19.5%)
Don Mattingly 102 (17.8%)
Dale Murphy 83 (14.5%)
Rafael Palmeiro 72 (12.6%)
Bernie Williams 55 (9.6%)
Juan Gonzalez 23 (4.0%)
Vinny Castilla 6 (1.0%)
Tim Salmon 5 (0.9%)
Bill Mueller 4 (0.7%)
Brad Radke 2 (0.3%)
Javy Lopez 1 (0.2%)
Eric Young 1 (0.2%)

Note: Jeromy Burnitz, Brian Jordan, Terry Mulholland, Phil Nevin, Ruben Sierra and Tony Womack did not receive votes.

NEW YORK — Barry Larkin had no idea in 1982 that he would become a baseball Hall of Famer thanks to Bo Schembechler.

A two-sport standout in his senior year of high school, Larkin went to the University of Michigan on a scholarship to play defensive back for Schembechler's Wolverines. When he arrived in Ann Arbor, Larkin learned he was being redshirted.

"I was a better football player than a baseball player at the time," Larkin recalled. "And that was influential because I just worked on my baseball talent, just that alone. And that was an eye-opener because I got so much better."

So much better that he was elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday with plenty of room to spare. The former Reds shortstop was chosen on 495 of 573 ballots (86 percent) in voting announced by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, well above the necessary 75 percent. Larkin, 47, was on the ballot for the third time.

He will be inducted July 22 in Cooperstown along with the late Ron Santo, elected last month by the Veterans Committee.

"I'm just incredibly, incredibly moved by this whole experience and so humbled by the experience and so excited about being the newest member of the Hall of Fame," Larkin said.

Jack Morris followed Larkin with 382 votes (67 percent), up from 54 percent, and Jeff Bagwell was next with 56 percent. Tampa native Fred McGriff made a sizable jump in his third year on the ballot, picking up 33 votes to improve to 24 percent (137).

Next year, things get weirder

Hall of Fame voters already have had to deal with candidates bearing a taint of performance-enhancing drugs. Now, the fun begins.

Leading next year's ballot will be Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, along with carryovers Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro. Another first-timer will be Mike Piazza, who despite an absence of tangible evidence has come under some suspicion of steroid use. Then there are two candidates with strong qualifications and no apparent PED links, Craig Biggio and Curt Schilling.

How will the voters treat this group? If recent history is any indication, it won't go well for most of these players.

Larkin cruises into Hall 01/09/12 [Last modified: Monday, January 9, 2012 10:14pm]
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