Page 10- The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, September 17, 1986
Former 'M' shortstop Larkin fulfills
major league dream in Cincinnati
By ADAM OCHLIS
When the Cincinnati Reds
called up Barry Larkin from
Triple-A last month, apparently
nobody gave him the"you're in the
major leagues, now" talk. If
someone did, Larkin forgot to
The former Michigan and 1984
Olympic team star has acted
nothing like a rookie since being
promoted from Denver of the
American Association. In 110 at-
bats, Larkin is hitting .290 with
one home run, 12 runs batted in
and seven steals. Playing every
day, the 6-0, 200-pound shortstop
has committed just three errors
and made plays that Reds
General Manager Bill Bergesch
described as "Ozzie Smith-like."
BUT IT IS not his success that
surprises people. Rather, it is the
speed with which he's achieved it.
Larkin, the only two-time Big
Ten Conference Most Valuable
Player, left Michigan as a first-
round draft pick in 1984 to turn
pro. He played last season in
Vermont for the Reds' Double-A
team and started this season in
Denver. In more than 400 at-bats
in Triple-A, he hit .329 with 31
doubles, 10 triples, 10 homers , 51
RBI's and 19 steals. He won the
league's Most Valuable Player
award and the Rookie-of-the-
Year award, something only two
other players have ever done.
Bergesch said Cincinnati felt
no choice but to bring Larkin up
before the September 1 roster
"HIE'S DONE it all so well and
so fast that I think it has surprised
us a little, but it hasn't shocked
us," said Bergesch.
Larkin got an immediate
chance to start when18-year
veteran shortstop Dave
Concepcion was injured and
rookie backup Kurt Stillwell was
hitting under .220. He's been in
the lineup ever since.
"I didn't have a time table,"
said Larkin. "I knew that if I kept
playing like I was capable then I
would be called up."
LARKIN'S SUCCESS has
caused the Reds to reorganize
their infield situation.
Concepcion will probably be asked
to retire at the end of the year and
Stillwell, the "shortstop of the
future" back in April will have to
make way for Larkin.
"They're sending Stillwell to
winter ball in Venezuela to learn
how to play second base. Pete
(Rose, the player-manager) told
me I didn't need to learn how to
play second base so you can take it
from that," Larkin said.
It is this confidence that also
differentiates Larkin from other
rookies. He has said that he wants
to be the Reds shortstop for the next
10 to 12 years and has criticized
the organization for thinking so
highly of Stillwell.
HE ADMITS, despite his
success, that the big leagues are
nothing like the minors.
"The adjustment has been
tough," he said. "I didn't have
many expectations coming from
Denver. I just tried to be
"I've expected all along that I
was going to get to the big leagues.
I've got an agressive attitude and
I want to prove to myself that I can
play at this level."
I've expected all
along that I was
going to get to the big
leagues. I've got an
and I want to prove to
myself that I can play
at this level.'
IT DIDN'T take long for
Larkin to assert himself. In his
major league debut against the
San Diego Padres, Larkin drove
a Lamaar Hoyt pitch into right
field for a single.
A native of Cincinnati, Larkin
is fulfilling his lifelong dream of
playing for the Reds.
Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Reds' GM Bill Bergesch
Barry Larkin's "Ozzie Smith-like" fielding hasJ
OST COLLEGE STUDENT,
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"It's definately a thrill," h
said. "I still have butterflies a
I'm still nervous before every
game, but I think it's more
relaxing for me playing in front
of my friends and family. I want
to do well for all the people who
helped me when I was growing
ONE PERSON Larkin credits
for his success is Michigan
baseball coach Bud Middaugh.
"He's a great coach. He real'
prepared me well. Playing in the
majors is what he tells everyone
they're worki'ng for. He laid
down a foundation for me," said
The 19-year head coach refuses
the acknowledgment, however.
"We'd like to think that we
helped him out a little," sai
Middaugh. "But that's expected
college coaches. I can't take that
much credit.I wish I could."
Middaugh, who ranks Larkin
with Bill Doran, the All-Star
second baseman for the Houston
Astros as the best infielders he's
ever coached, sees great things
"He can be awful good and I
think people are starting
recognize that. He's approachi
it very aggresively by saying tha't
he wants to be the Reds shortstop
and I think that's how you have to
be just starting up," said
Middaugh."But nothing Barry
does surprises me."
The masked individual
kicked in the door of the building
and leveled a gun at the
"All right, where is it?" I want
it NOW! The prize! The prize!"
she screamed, unthinkingly
ripping off her mask.
"I KNEW before I came here
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said, her face flushed. "But t
other night in the Stockwell
cafeteria, I accidentally ate what
looked like. .. it's too horrible to
. "Now, I MUST have the
Griddes' prize," she yelled.
"You've got my sympathy,"
said the sportswriter. "But in
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Griddes. All you have to do is pi
the winners of this week's gam,.
and the total points of the
"Easy as slipping in a pile of. .
well, you know," said the
1. Oregon State at MICHIGAN
(pick total points)
2. Nebraska at Illinois
3. Navy at Indiana
4. Notre Dame at Michigan Sta
5. Minnesota at Oklahoma
6. Army at Northwestern
7. Colorado at Ohio State
8. Pitt at Purdue
9. Wisconsin at UNLV
10. Iowa at Northern Illinois
IL Penn State at Boston College
12. North Carolina at Florida
13. Alabama at Florida
14. BYU at Washington
15. Clemson at Georgia
16. USC at Baylor
17. SMUT at Arizona State
18. Maryland at West Virginia
19. Hope at DePauw
20. Jerry Mathers at DAILY
AP Top Twenty
2. Miami, Fla..............3-0-0
4. Alabama ................. 3-0-0
5. Penn State ...............1-0-
6. Nebraska ................1-"-
8. Louisiana St.............1-0-0
9. Baylor .................. 2-0-0
11. Brigham Young ....... 2
12. Arkansas................ 10
13. Florida ..................1-0-
14. Georgia ..................1-0-0
15. Florida State ................1-1-0
16. Texas A&M................0-1-0
17. Arizona ........ ..... .....2-0-0
18. Arizona State .............1-0-0
20. Notre Dame .............. 0-1-0
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