It’s no secret that Dayton loves baseball. This city consistently sells out Fifth Third Field to help our Dayton Dragons hold tightly to their record of the longest streak of sellouts in professional sports. You can pick any sports bar in the area and likely see that familiar green D, or the menacing eyes of the Dragon logo. If you’re lucky you’ll even see Heater or Gem, the mascots, interacting with fans at community events.
But you will also see a lot of red. Cincinnati Reds, red that is.
When we root, root, root for the home team here in Dayton, many will think of the Reds. Our Dragons are a Class A Minor League team that is affiliated with the Reds, just like the fans. You can wander into any barber shop and get an earful of opinions on how the Reds are playing, WLW takes over the airwaves on gameday, and there is an abundance of locals who were part of the excitement of the World Series win in 1990. Just ask around, you’ll find someone.
Barry Larkin. Also known to attendees of Reds games at Riverfront Stadium as Baaarrrryyyyy Larrrrrrkin. (Once you’ve heard it, you will always hear that when someone says his name)
Though retired from playing professional baseball since 2004, Barry Larkin has always stayed close to the game. Inducted to the Hall Of Fame in 2012, the Reds retired the famous number 11 jersey at GABP. After various coaching gigs around the league and a successful run as a baseball analyst for both MLB Network and ESPN. Larkin has come home. He is currently under the employ of the Reds as a part time instructor for the minor league teams.
Fans who attended this week’s games were delighted to see Barry Larkin in the Dragons dugout. He has been working with the young Dayton team on finessing their skills. When asked what his favorite part of this job was, he mentioned that it was when a particular player did well, and made a point to see that he noticed. Larkin has a passion for player development which is what makes this new job so fulfilling.
“Do you see yourself as a manager?”
With this, Larkin responded with a slight chuckle and a “Not right now”.
We’ll wait. Until then, we look forward to your visits here in Dayton.