Larkin, Casey chipping in this spring
Former Reds staples serving as camp instructors
MESA, Ariz. -- One was the captain and the other was known as "The Mayor." For a short time at least, Reds camp has been graced by the presence of both Barry Larkin and Sean Casey.For the first time since their departures, Larkin and Casey are wearing Reds uniforms as Spring Training guest instructors. At 45 years old and retired since 2004, Larkin still looked fit enough to play. "Looks can be deceiving," said Larkin while at his locker in the coaches room at the Reds' spring complex in Goodyear, Ariz. There was no deception, however, in the pride Larkin took in wearing the Reds uniform and his familiar No. 11 again. No one has worn that number since he left. "It feels good. It feels natural," said Larkin, who was the last player on the team to serve as its captain. "I was telling Joey Votto the other day about my opportunity to play with the Nationals. When I saw the Nationals uniform with 11 and 'Larkin' on the back, I told them I couldn't put the uniform on. I couldn't do it. I sat in my locker and just looked at it like, 'Something is not right about this.'" Larkin did join the Nationals' front office as a special assistant to former general manager Jim Bowden and only recently became friendly with the Reds again. A rift with members of the former Reds management led to a separation. Larkin had changed his mind about retiring near the end of the 2004 season but was told by the team he wouldn't be brought back. The current Reds regime has worked to get Larkin back to having ties with his hometown team. He was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2008 and made his first appearance at Redsfest last winter. Ownership, general manager Walt Jocketty and manager Dusty Baker all asked Larkin to come to camp this year.
2010 Spring Training - Major League Baseball
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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.