Reds hire Larkin as Minor League instructor

Hall of Famer gets to work with Double-A Pensacola as first stop

Reds hire Larkin as Minor League instructor

CHICAGO -- Barry Larkin is a Reds icon and a Hall of Famer. And once again, the shortstop great is back with the organization.

The Reds announced on Friday that Larkin was hired as a Minor League roving infield instructor. His first stop for work has been this week with Double-A Pensacola. Discussions to bring Larkin into the fold began last winter when general manager Walt Jocketty asked Larkin if he would be interested in working with younger players at Spring Training.

"He said he'd like to but talk about maybe a more of an expanded role. We talked about it," Jocketty said. "When he came to Spring Training, we kind of worked on it some more. We just finalized something now. He still has a lot of commitments even though he doesn't have TV. At the time when I talked to him, in January, the first time, he was still waiting to hear on some TV stuff. Once that was cleared, he was able to spend a lot more time with us."

A Cincinnati native and member of the Reds for 19 seasons from 1986-2004, the 1995 National League Most Valuable Player Award-winning Larkin had a .295 lifetime average, with 198 home runs, 960 RBIs, 2,340 hits, a .371 on-base percentage and 379 stolen bases. He was a 12-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner and a nine-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Larkin was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

Larkin, 51, was also a key member of the Reds' 1990 World Series team. He was in Cincinnati last month during a 25th anniversary celebration of that title.

"He loves working with the young kids," Jocketty said. "It doesn't hurt to have a guy like that around either."

After last season, Larkin left his television analyst job with ESPN and interviewed for the Rays' managerial position that went to Kevin Cash. Larkin has made visits to Reds camp in recent years as a guest Spring Training instructor, but until this week, he did not have a formal role with the team.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.