Give Him a Ring

By Craig Muder

For 196 of the 205 days so far in 2012, Barry Larkin has been a Hall of Famer.

But he didn’t really believe it until he slipped that Hall of Fame ring on his finger this weekend.

Class of 2012 Hall of Famer Barry Larkin with the Hall of Fame class ring. (Milo Stewart, Jr./NBHOF Library)

The quiet and understated Larkin slipped out of character on Sunday at the Induction Ceremony, celebrating on stage with exuberant shouts – “This is un-stinking believable!” he told the crowd of 18,000 fans at the Induction Site – and tearing up while thanking his family and friends. On Monday, with the festivities wrapping up, Larkin returned to his calm demeanor, swapping stories with Hall of Fame teammates Tony Pérez and Billy Williams at a Voices of the Game event inside the Clark Sports Center.

But before heading onstage, Larkin recounted a moment at Sunday’s Hall of Famer dinner – the moment where Cooperstown went from a concept to reality.

Frank Robinson told me that now that I have the ring, it’s official,” Larkin said. “Frank said that until I got that ring, they could have taken it all away. He was joking, but I would have believed him. The ring makes it seem real.”

Barry Larkin: Class of 2012. That has a nice ring to it.

Craig Muder is the director of communications at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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