02/13/2005 3:53 PM ET
Nationals name Barry Larkin as special assisant to general manager
The Washington Nationals today named former big league shortstop Barry Larkin as Special Assistant to the General Manager. Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement from the club's Spring Training complex in Viera, FL.
By joining Washington's front office, Larkin ends his wonderful 19-year playing career, spent entirely with the Cincinnati Reds. Larkin's 19-year tenure with the Reds was baseball's longest streak among active players having played with just one club.
Born in Cincinnati and a 1982 graduate of Moeller High School, Larkin hit .295 (2340-for-7937) with 441 doubles, 76 triples, 198 home runs, 960 RBI and 379 stolen bases in 2,180 games spanning 19 seasons with his hometown Reds. Larkin's 19-year tenure with the Reds matched Pete Rose and Dave Concepcion as the longest in the annals of baseball's oldest franchise.
"With the addition of Barry Larkin, the Washington Nationals organization is discernably better today than it was yesterday," said Bowden, who worked closely with Larkin as Reds General Manager from 1992-2003. "I have long admired Barry's on- and off-field knowledge and judgement of the game. While his tasks and challenges will be different than he experienced as a player, Barry's presence coupled with an eagerness to be involved in all facets of our operations will undoubtedly yield positive results for both Barry and the Nationals."
A 12-time National League All-Star, Larkin served as Reds' captain from 1997-2004. He was named MVP of the Reds on four occasions, including 1990, when Cincinnati won the National League West wire-to-wire en route to a World Series sweep of the heavily-favored Oakland Athletics. Larkin batted .300 during the Reds' 1990 post-season run, including .353 in the Fall Classic. However, Larkin's extended offensive excellence is best represented by his nine Louisville Silver Slugger Awards.
In 1995, Larkin was named National League Most Valuable Player, becoming the Reds' first MVP since George Foster won the same award in 1977. He garnered the citation by hitting .319 with 29 doubles, 15 home runs, 66 RBI and 51 stolen bases while leading the Reds to a National League Central Division title.
Larkin followed up his '95 MVP season with an even better season. In 1996, Larkin hit 33 home runs and swiped 36 bases to become the first shortstop in major league history-and only the second non-outfielder-to post 30-or-more home runs and 30-or-more stolen bases in the same season.
Larkin leaves the Reds ranked among the franchise's top five in numerous categories, including games (third), hits (second), total bases (third with 3,527), doubles (second), runs (second with 1,329), extra-base hits (third with 715).
In the field, Larkin's rare combination of arm strength and range resulted in three Rawlings Gold Gloves (1994-96) and the admiration of a generation of shortstops.
Off the field, Larkin's 19-year tenure was filled with tireless efforts in the Cincinnati community. In 1993 Larkin received the Reds' Roberto Clemente Award for performances both on and off the field. He was also twice a finalist for Major League Baseball's Branch Rickey Award. For years, Barry hosted underprivileged children at Reds games as part of his "Barry's Bunch" program.
Larkin joins a former manager, Bob Boone, and a former teammate, Jose Rijo, as a Nationals special assistants to the General Manager. Both Boone (December 11, 2004) and Rijo (January 5, 2004) were recently hired by Bowden.