Tuesday, August 20, 2013

#61 Gene Larkin

About the Front: "Come on now, Gene! Show us your angry face! Where's your angry face? There it is! Who's a scary man? Gene's a scary man! Oh yes he is!" All joking aside, this is Gene's last Topps card, as a strained left Achilles tendon limited him to 56 games in 1993. He retired in 1994 without playing another game.

About the Back: Rate stats like batting average and slugging percentage are subject to wide fluctuations. Larkin's numbers are eerily consistent. Look at his batting average for the first four years with the Twins: .266, .266, .267, .269. I don't know what this means, but it seems important.

Triple Play:

1. Gene attended Columbia University in New York. When he debuted with Minnesota in 1987, he became the first product of the Ivy League school to reach the big leagues since Lou Gehrig retired in 1939.

2. His only career two-homer game was on May 26, 1990 against Mike Boddicker and the Red Sox. The second of his two home runs was an inside-the-park job, the only such four-bagger in his career.

3. I am so glad I Googled Gene Larkin. Now I know that a) there is a largely Minnesota-centric website dedicated to celebrity drawings of giraffes, and that b) Larkin isn't much of a wildlife artist. The Internet.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: To my simple young mind, Gene was "the other Larkin". You know, the one that wasn't a future Hall of Famer. Perhaps if I had watched the 1991 World Series I would feel differently.

Bill James Said: "He draws a few walks, but what he does really well is take at bats away from guys who can actually play." Zing.

On This Date in 1993: August 20. The Oslo I Accord is signed in private in Norway, marking the first face-to-face agreement between the government of Israel (led by Yitzhak Rabin) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (headed by Yasser Arafat).


  1. I must confess that I've paid little attention to Bill James thru the years but reading some of his comments here make me wish I had.

    That's actually a pretty nice card. Seems perfect for the '93 design.

  2. Bob - Yeah, Bill James has always had that dry wit that offsets the wonkier baseball analysis. It's not all icky math.