Barry Larkin’s Canadian connections

During his 19-year big league career, Barry Larkin feasted on Canadian hurlers Rheal Cormier and Ryan Dempster, but fared poorly against Paul Quantrill and Mike Johnson.

And though the 12-time all-star and most recent National Baseball Hall of Fame electee enjoyed a four-hit game against the Montreal Expos on May 29, 1992, he hit only .272 overall against the Canadian club.

Let’s take a look at some of the legendary shortstop’s Canadian connections:

 In 124 games against the Expos, Larkin registered 128 hits, including 10 home runs. His first homer against Montreal was belted off of reliever Bill Campbell in the fourth inning of an 11-5 Reds’ victory on April 6, 1987 in Cincinnati.

 In 65 games at Olympic Stadium, Larkin batted .279 with two homers and 28 RBIs. His first round-tripper in Montreal was clubbed off of right-hander Randy St. Claire in the seventh inning in a Reds’ 12-6 win on May 13, 1987.

 Larkin had four Canadian teammates over the course of his career: Nigel Wilson (1995), Chris Reitsma (2001 to 2003), Ryan Dempster (2002, 2003) and Aaron Myette (2004).

 Among the notable ex-Blue Jays that Larkin played with in Cincinnati are Tony Fernandez (1994), David Wells (1995), Juan Guzman (1999) and B.J. Ryan (1999).

 Among the notable former Expos he played with are Pete Rose (1986), Bill Gullickson (1986), Tony Perez (1986), Terry Francona (1987), Jeff Reardon (1993) and Lee Smith (1996).

 As mentioned, New Brunswick-born southpaw Rheal Cormier dreaded facing Larkin. The star shortstop hit .500 (six for 12) off of him, including a home run and a double. Larkin also batted .350 off of Dempster, although all seven of his hits off the Sechelt, B.C. native were singles.

 The pride of Port Hope, Ont., Paul Quantrill held Larkin to just one hit in five at bats, while Edmonton-born righty Mike Johnson didn’t allow a hit to the perennial all-star in three at bats in his start for the Expos  on May 31, 2000.

 Larkin’s last big league hit (his 2,340th) was recorded on October 2, 2004 against Jason Bay (Trail, B.C.) and the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a pinch-hit single off of Mike Gonzalez. Former Blue Jay Ryan Freel pinch ran for Larkin.

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2 thoughts on “Barry Larkin’s Canadian connections

  1. Thanks for the kind words, Devon. I have an extensive library of baseball books. I buy a lot of new books, but I also enjoy scrounging through used book stores. I also use online resources like BaseballReference.com

    I had a good conversation with former Larkin teammate Chris Reitsma at the Baseball Canada banquet on Saturday and I should have a post up on that soon.

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