With the announcement of Barry Larkin’s induction into the Hall of Fame, I wanted to write a quick piece about his relationship with the Padres. His was a relationship built on power, deceit, and abuse. Larkin hit plenty of home runs against the Padres, lulled the Padres into a false sense of security then stole plenty of bases, and simply raked against the Padres.
Larkin faced San Diego more times than any other team outside of the National League Central. Between 1986 and 2004, Larkin played in 181 games against the Padres. He started 171 of those games. And all he did was hurt the Padres time and time again.
Larkin’s career line against San Diego was a Hall of Fame worthy .310/.377/.455. He hit 18 home runs, stole 30 bases, collected 203 hits, and he drove in 94 runs. If this were season totals*, Larkin would have an argument for MVP.
*Larkin had 655 at-bats and 739 plate appearances against the Padres in his career. He average 590 at-bats and 673 plate appearances per season in his career. So his numbers against the Padres are essentially the equivalent of one season.
Barry Larkin’s induction yesterday into the Baseball Hall of Fame caps off an amazing career. His numbers alone may not be that of your prototypical Hall of Famer, but he changed the way we view shortstops.
That, and he dominated the Padres throughout his career.