Monday, May 6, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1989 Topps #515 Barry Larkin

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, May 6, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1989 Topps #515.
  • Player Name, position, team: Barry Larkin, shortstop, Cincinnati Reds.
  • Major League Debut: August 13, 1986.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1988 stats (Reds): 151 G, 588 AB, 91 R, 174 H, 32 2B, 5 3B, 12 HR, 56 RBI, 40 SB, .429 SLG, 41 BB, 24 SO, .296 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Reds #1st, June 1985. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 18. This is his third Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "His first 4-Hit major league game: 9-10-86."
  • Commentary: I think one of the reasons why I haven't done anything with the Archives project in such a long time is not because I'm out of ideas. There will always be players I could choose. But I think it's because I've invested so much into the commentaries of the CotD segments that it becomes repetitive. If you've actually read these things, I include the entire career of the player. That wasn't really the idea. Having the commentary gave me a section to write what I thought of the card and then a brief summary of that player's season. That evolved over time. Because I've written so much about how I absolutely love the 1989 Topps set, it would become too repetitive to say the same things about it that I like. And because I've previously discussed Barry Larkin's career in an Archives project post, it would be unproductive of me to copy everything over. So instead, today's commentary will be a quick review of the Hall of Fame shortstop's season in 1989. How awesome was it for another Cincinnati native to play for his hometown team and do so for nineteen seasons? Before all of the accolades (12 All-Star Teams, 9 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, and 1 MVP Award) Barry Louis Larkin had to fill the shoes of another long-time Cincinnati shortstop, Dave Concepcion, who held down the post himself for 19 seasons (1970 through 1988). Larkin was actually the second player tabbed to play short for the Reds after Concepcion, with Kurt Stillwell taking most of the starts in 1986. But by 1987, it was Larkin getting most of the starts, and by 1988, showed enough prowess at the plate to be named to his first Cincinnati. In 1989, he was hitting a comfortable .340 with 4 home rns and 32 rbi's before injuring himself in relay competition before the All-Star Game (which is probably why MLB holding it). He returned in September in a pinch-hitting role, hitting 4-10 with 4 walks (one intentional) in 15 plate appearances. The next year, with all the injuries and controversy behind them, and with manager Lou Piniella at the helm, Larkin and the Reds would go on to shock the world and win the 1990 World Series. It would be the crowning achievement in his eventual Hall-of-Fame career.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 54 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1997 Topps #226. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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