"I consider myself an amoeba man, I'll assume any shape to help the team. If the team needs someone to lead by example, I do that. If it needs someone to steal, I do that. If it needs someone to bunt or move a runner from second to third, I do that." -- Barry Larkin, during his 1995 MVP season
This has been my experience with Larkin, the Cincinnati Reds and the city that adores its beloved shortstop for 18 years. Larkin's entire career was spent with the Redlegs, from balling in Riverfront Stadium to the current-day entity that is Great American Ball Park, from his time with the Big Red Machine to joining up with his fellow Moeller High School alumnus Ken Griffey Jr., Lark did it all and saw it all.
What did he do? Well, Larkin is arguably the best shortstop of the 1990's, he won the Silver Slugger award (best hitter at his position) nine times, and three Gold Glove awards. Lark was a 12-time all-star and was selected as the 1995 National League Most Valuable Player.
The Larkin family is something like royalty here in Cincinnati, so it only seems fitting that one of them would make it to the highest plateau of his profession. Bob and Shirley Larkin wouldn't have it any other way. So peruse the photos below for more on the Queen City legend (courtesy of SI's Vault) and enjoy your pertinent reading material for Monday.
NY Mag: Better Know an Olympian: Usain Bolt
CBS Sports: Welker learns harsh lesson as Pats answer peace gesture with no contract
David Aldridge: Offseason's universal law: Superstars always rule the day
Smoking Section: Penn State’s Penalties: $60M Fine, Postseason Ban & Vacate 100+ Wins
Pasta Padre: Settlement Over Pricing of EA Sports Football Products Carries Major Ramifications
Los That Sports Blog: Adrien Broner fakes proposal after victory, asks girlfriend to brush his hair
FOX Deportes: Kobe Bryant Sees Pau Gasol As His Laker Teammate Until He’s Done Playing
Dirty Tackle: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis meet Chelsea, make jokes
Wall Street Journal: Getting Called Out by Major League Baseball
Darren Rovell: Miami Heat Owner Says Team Will Likely Lose Money This Year
Day and a Dream: How Slim Thug’s “3 Kingz” Is Far Superior To Rick Ross’ “3 Kings”Array
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”