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August 10, 1998 - Image 16

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1998-08-10

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16 - The Michigan Daily -- Monday, August 14, 1998
V t: C
i
' f
K
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I

Larkin's Legacy
College highlights: Batted.361 in three
seasons (1983-85) at Michigan. Two-time
Big Ten Player of the Year and allAmerica
selection.
DIated: Selected by the Cincnnat Reds
irhe second round of the 1932 amateur
draft; did not sign ... Selected by the
Cincinnati Reds in the first round (fourth
pick overall) of the 1985 amateur draft.
Professional highlights: Named the 1995
National League Most Valuable Player,
the first shortstop to win the award since
Maury Wills in 1962 ... In 1996, became
the first shortstop in Major League histo-
ry to join the 30/30 club, hitting at least
30 home runs and stealing at least 30
bases in one season ... Named the Most
V.r able Player on the 1990 World
Champion Cincinnati Reds ... Was given
the 1993 Roberto Clemente award, pre-
sented annually to the player who best
exemplifies baseball both on and off the
field ...Two-time Gold Glove winner, in
1994 and 1996 ... Eight-time all-star
selection, three-time starter.

sits on a chair in front of his lAckir at Tiger Stadium, the Larkin
nameplate slightly of-ceteri swhtich is lining forthe day. I is Buckeyes
-rsey hangs loosely offll s bdy, ut ted, and sweat drips down ihis
face
I browneyes, squinting, d t a looking for aswersiwhen
the iiswer is-really nitis A
t Harry it's Neg eaueda .ad oug 0fr-5?"'a_-rammate jokes,
makIgLakin's arays. oo vnwre
ldt yS \ iit ; naI r l s si
thrug hits vce. is I-fo- daly hait in t do sit listiait ti
ph it Niie tligro sdist n r
Busckyes nitorn
Iitlrceyea rsB Lar'a I itd: i a t Isbatg tiit ehio
St ateBaityes nievry oter Big Ia uLeaitns iylint culd lhe LICi
denycne td lo Itlp a teini calld thecitkeyces' Maybe; the leain is
just the Cincinnati Buckeyes, a ion-gone Ngro Leagute tme hut i's
the Buc-e.-s nonetheless.
Larkin sighs, smiles and goes back in time.
It's 1985 now, and Larkin is a junior at Michigan, an estabished cii- C
legiate star. In a couple months, the Cincminati Reds will draft him for
the second time, but for now, he is focusing on another Ohio t-an
the Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Big Ten season is winding down and the Wolverines need some
wins in Colmbns to give them momentum heading ito the postsea-
son. In steps Larkin.
It was the first game of a doubleheader, said Bud Middaugh,
Larkin's -coach at Michigan. "I've neer seen a player dominate a game
as much as he did that game, and from the shortstop position, no less.'
Runners on first and third, one out? Larkin turns the double play.
Two outs with the Buckeyes threatening? Larkin lays out, body flying
across the infield parallel to the groundt gloves the ball, acrobatically
leaps up and darts the ball to first base. Ihreat over.
Men on base w ith Michigan in need of some runs? No problem.
I arkin's bat peppers balls all o er the field.
"He made just about every play that you could possibly make"
said Midd ugh. "Any questions that anyone had about his ability
v ere answeledi that game.
Hecwasnit ju tmaking the key plays he as making them iu
we needed them. That's hat separates a good player from
cait pler - haing the timeliness to make the play
the cltch. Barry did tht
GC back some more to June 1982. Barrya
Iatin, ia ighi schitolseititrhad aprtty
ta t ldecision inifrnofin. Oih'
mad, am m atughonesalready -Lrkin
toued down football scholarships from
butt Michigntand Notre Dame. He
w a shortstop, not a defensive back.
But the Cincinnati Reds, his home-
town team, had just taken him in the
Amateur Baseball Draft with the
first pick of the second round, the Z
27th pick overall.
Larkin didn't jump at the
money, though. He knew him-
self, knew he wasn't ready and 4
decided to go to college.
It was tough, but I
knew and my parents knew
that I wasn't ready mental-
ly," Larkin told The Daily in
1983. "I wasn't ready to live on my own with 23- or 24-year olds and go out
to the bars every night, or whatever they do. All in all, I was set on college."
Which made Middaugh a happy man. His team needed a shortstop, and
Larkin was the answer.
"His family, they were very academic-minded people," Middaugh says.
"They wanted him to go to college. But they told me coming in that he prob-
ably wouldn't stay all four years."
It didn't take long for Middaugh to realize he had something special.
"As soon as I saw him, I knew," Middaugh said. "He had good hands, quick
feet and great arm strength. And he just got better and better."
It was 1983, his freshman year, before he got better and better, when he
played on the best team. Larkin was the emerging star at shortstop, senior
Chris Sabo was holding down the hot corner and Scott Kamieniecki, a fresh-
man, was establishing himself as an ace starting pitcher.
"My first year we went to the World Series and finished third," Larkin said.

I

r

I remember that
A Ml tiiier inI his tr r
thc Yt i and ant all- mn iictit. Me
h m junwr year. ini C - kin r
uicrci th ddraBt and isa: tat i thit
Rods igain, this time in ith irsi round
ith the foitit Ioveti s-ral pik.
But things quickly weni from all-good to
all-bad for the Wolverines. In the summer of
1989, shortly after Larkin, Sabo
Kamieniecki and Hal Morris left Michigan
the NCAA began to question how Michigan
was able to land such stars.
Accusations swirled: Middaugh loaned
players over $1,000. Middaugh cheated while
recruiting.
The result? The NCAA found 43 rules vio-
lations and slapped the Michigan baseball pro-
gram with two-year probation, the first time any Michigan team had ever been
penalized by the NCAA for a rules violation. Middaugh resigned, and
Michigan baseball hasn't been the same since.
"That's something private with the University and I don't talk about it,"
Middaugh said.
Was Larkin involved? While no evidence points that way, the question still
hangs. Larkin denies any involvement, but was "told to stay clear of things"
and not to "be involved with the program" during the investigation.
Larkin says that's why he hasn't spoken to Middaugh in years.
But baseball is baseball, and no matter how he got to Ann Arbor, Larkin
brought a lot of smiles to the stands of Fisher Stadium.
"Being able to watch Barry Larkin was a blessing," Middaugh said. "it was
a blessing for my team, for the Michigan fans and everyone who got a chance
to see him play."

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