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Posted on Mon, May 7, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

Quitting on Bo Schembechler was no easy task for baseball Hall of Fame-bound Barry Larkin

By Rich Rezler

Barry Larkin will reach the pinnacle of his sport when he is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July.

To get there, the 12-time All Star shortstop with the Cincinnati Reds first had to tell legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler that he was quitting football.

That didn't go so well.


On his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame, former Michigan baseball player Barry Larkin had to tell Bo Schembechler he was quitting football.

Associated Press

During an interview with's Thomas Neumann, the two-sport recruit recalled the day he told Schembechler he was going to focus on baseball full-time with then-Michigan coach Bud Middaugh.

Larkin said Schembechler scattered papers with a pound of his fist and "almost climbed over the desk" to point and tell him, “No one comes to the University of Michigan and plays stinkin’ baseball!”

Despite his football coach's objections, the decision worked out well for Larkin. He helped the Wolverines to the College World Series in 1983 and 1984 and was an All-America selection in 1984 and 1985. His number 16 was retired by the school in May 2011 (see video below).

A Cincinnati native, Larkin was drafted fourth overall by the Reds in the 1985 Major League Baseball draft and he spent his entire 19-year career with his hometown team.

He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 22.

But not without some ribbing from his old football coach along the way. Larkin told Neumann that after his decision to leave football, "this guy in a hoodie" would show up at baseball practice to heckle him several times each month.

“LARKIN! Come hit a man who can hit you back instead of that sissy baseball!”

You can read the entire interview, which includes how former Michigan tailback Robert Perryman impacted Larkin's decision, on



Tue, May 8, 2012 : 8:09 p.m.

I really loved the years when Michigan alums made up 3/4 of the Cinci infield with Hal Morris at first and Chris Sabo at third joining Barry. What a threesome!!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:44 a.m.

during the LARKIN years and many others (until the fallout with middaugh) BO was a semi-regular along the 3rd baseline at ball games. remember he always claimed to have been a pretty good left-handed pitcher in his own right. as for LARKIN-----i can't believe there has ever been a better baseball player in A2. wonder what he would have been like on saturdays in the big house.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:26 a.m.

The Freep has a more complete telling of the story--and I must say, the loyalty and love that these players had for Bo is unreal. Hecklers always say, "ah, Bo stunk. Never won a championship, couldn't win bowls...", but this story is why we all love Bo and consider him a true Michigan legend. His players (and fans) were in awe of him, and he just got that respect and love, and gave it back (through gruff words..) Bo was one in a million.

Jim H

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

What a great story!