Thursday, September 11, 2008

#746 Gene Larkin

Why this card is awesome: Because, my friends, love him or hate him, that is actually George W. Bush pictured. Seriously.

Cool stat: Larkin is by far best remembered for the game winning hit in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, widely regarded as The Greatest World Series Game Ever Played, thanks in large part to Jack Morris' 10-inning CG. Larkin had 3 other walk-off hits in the regular season, all singles, including a 2-run come-from-behind job off Gene Garber.


PyroMessiah said...

My first thought was that he looks a lot like Mike Mussina. You're right though, he resembles W as well.

Timberhill said...

As a lifelong Twins fan, that is easily the most memorable at-bat of my life.

It does make me feel bad though for Jarvis Brown, the guy who Gene Larkin pinch hit for. Poor Jarvis only had 227 career AB.

Gene Larkin got to experience what very few get to but millions have dreamed of, having a walk off hit to win a World Series. Lucky bastard.

David said...

I have 2 questions about this classic Game 7:

1. Why was Jarvis Brown called on to pinch hit for Chili Davis, only to be immediately replaced by Larkin?

2. A general question about walk-off hits: on a deep fly ball in which the winning run will apparently tag up and score easily, why not catch the ball and gun it in with the hope that the guy on third will hot-dog it or trip or something? If I remember correctly, Larkin's was a fly ball that was generally playable.

Andy said...

This doesn't apply to ALL walk-off hits, but does apply to Larkin's:

When there are less than 2 outs, a runner on third, and the game is tied in the bottom of the 9th or extra innings, the outfielders are pulled in and play quite shallowly. This is to catch or cutoff any shallowly-hit balls that might ordinarily be singles. Those are much more commonly hit than even average fly balls, and therefore it's a better defensive alignment than to keep your outfielders at regular depth. So, if a guy does hit a fly ball that would ordinarily be a sacrifice fly, it usually instead lands for a walk-off single.

With two outs, the defensive strategy is basically normal, since a fly-ball out ends the inning.

Timberhill said...

1. Why was Jarvis Brown called on to pinch hit for Chili Davis, only to be immediately replaced by Larkin?

Baseball Reference seems to have it wrong as far as when Jarvis Brown entered the game. Jarvis Brown actually entered in the 9th as a pinch runner for Chili Davis, and then pinch hit for by Gene Larkin.