Reds Hall class
From the Reds:
CINCINNATI - SS Barry Larkin was selected by fans, and OF Cesar Geronimo, RHP Joey Jay and front office executive Garry Herrmann were tabbed by the veterans committee for 2008 induction into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. It is the largest and oldest continually operating team Hall of Fame in baseball.
The quartet will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in ceremonies at Great American Ball Park on July 19 and will increase the membership to 75, including 69 players, 3 managers and 3 executives. A Hall of Fame gala will be held July 20 at Duke Energy Center.
Geronimo will be introduced to Reds fans Friday at 5:45 p.m. on the Duke Energy Center's main stage at Kahn's Redsfest 2007, presented by Great American Insurance Group, benefiting the Reds Community Fund.
“With 2008 representing 50 years since the establishment of the Reds Hall of Fame, it is fitting that we honor the contributions of three players and a front office executive who have made a lasting impact on Reds baseball," said Reds Hall of Fame Executive Director Rick Walls. “We are pleased to recognize their many accomplishments with this important recognition and look forward to their induction next summer."
Larkin, 43, received 16,386 of the 25,269 fan votes tabulated in August at the ballpark, the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum and online at reds.com. Chris Sabo followed with 2,434 votes and Paul O'Neill with 1,724.
Larkin has been rated by baseball historian Bill James as "one of the 10 most complete players in history" and the sixth-greatest shortstop ever. He is included in Bill Deane's book The Top 10 Baseball Shortstops Of All Time. When he retired following the 2004 season, Larkin ranked among baseball's all-time leaders at shortstop in home runs (7th), batting average (10th), hits (12th), stolen bases (12th) and RBI (17th). Nine times in his last 15 seasons, he was rated by the Elias Sports Bureau Rankings as the top shortstop in the National League.
The Cincinnati native's 19 seasons with the Reds ties the club record shared by David Concepcion and Pete Rose. In 2,180 appearances from 1986-2004, Larkin hit .295 with 198 HR, 960 RBI and 379 stolen bases. In franchise history, he ranks second or third in almost every statistical category. The 12-time National League All-Star won 9 Louisville Slugger Awards (the most by any Reds player) and 3 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, he was the NL's Most Valuable Player in 1995 and 4 times won the Ernie Lombardi Award as the Reds' MVP. In 1996 he became the first shortstop in Major League history to produce at least 30 homers and 30 steals in a season. He was the club's captain from 1997 until he retired.
Geronimo, 59, was the center fielder on the Big Red Machine clubs of the 1970s, generally considered one of the greatest teams in baseball history. He is the seventh member of that starting lineup to be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame. Acquired by Cincinnati in the famous November 1971 trade that also included Jack Billingham and Joe Morgan, in 9 seasons with the Reds from 1972-1980 "The Chief" hit .261 while winning 4 consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (1974-77). He produced his best season during the 1976 World Series championship run, hitting .307 in 149 games.
Jay, 72, pitched for the Reds for 6 seasons from 1961-66 and compiled a 75-63 record and 3.80 ERA in 150 starts and 36 relief appearances. He was a National League All-Star in his first season with Cincinnati after going 21-10 with a 3.53 ERA and ranking among the league leaders in wins (1st), shutouts (4, 1st), complete games (14, 3rd), winning percentage (.677, 5th), innings pitched (247.1, 7th), ERA (8th), strikeouts (157, 8th) and starts (34, 9th). He finished fifth in that year's NL MVP voting. Jay is one of only 5 Reds pitchers since 1900 to win at least 20 games in consecutive seasons.
Herrmann, also a Cincinnati native, was the club's chief executive officer and general manager from 1902-27. Under his leadership, the Reds won the franchise’s first World Series in 1919, finished second in the National League 3 times and third 4 times. He spearheaded the construction of Redland Field, the ballpark that served as the home of the Reds from 1912 until 1970.
In 1903, Herrmann was chosen by baseball owners to be the president of the National Commission, baseball’s governing body at the time, and held that title until 1920. In that capacity, he was instrumental in mediating a conflict between the American and National Leagues that led to the establishment of the modern World Series in 1905, an achievement that earned him the nickname “The Father of the World Series.” Herrmann died in Cincinnati in 1931 at the age of 71.