Barry Larkin 1995 Bowman's Best
Barry Larkin 1996 Pinnacle Starburst
Hooray for 90s Pinnacle inserts! Dufex parallels are simply the best, whether you call them "Starburst," "Museum Collection," or anything else. Bonus points for what looks like a flying bat attacking Barry's ass.
Barry Larkin 1996 SPx
Upper Deck's debut SPx product was a fun one, though It was expensive for its time, though, at $3.50 a pack for just one card! Fast forward almost 20 years and you find lots of them for only a quarter. To be fair, the '96 versions, featuring thick stock, die-cutting, and holographic images, were towards the high end. I wonder what kinds of top-shelf products will be this cheap in 20 years?
Barry Larkin 1997 Bowman Chrome
Here's another product debut that also includes a pretty nice cameo for the time since Dye and teammate Andruw Jones were hot stuff. So was the '97 Chrome set, buoyed by some white hot rookies like Adrian Beltre, Travis Lee, and Jose Cruz Jr. I recall dropping my jaw at the prices of packs, boxes, and singles at the time, though I believe I ripped a couple packs. In my opinion the Chrome set improved on the solid base product, and anyway Chrome almost always looks better!
Barry Larkin 1997 Finest Bronze
In one of those collecting oddities I ended up with the Refractor version of this card first, then picked up the base. The '97 Finest set is one of my favorites of the product's run as they continued the cool Bronze/Silver/Gold theme from the previous year, and again the design translated well to the Refractor parallels.
Barry Larkin 1998 E-X2001
In keeping with today's themes of new and/or high-end products, here's Larkin's card from Fleer's 1998 E-X2001 set. These came in packs of two for $4, and I think I may have even busted a box a couple years after it was released (for a much lower price, naturally). The cards are super high-end with their acetate stock, lots of foil, and whatever that's supposed to be on the left. Fleer also included some interesting and often low-numbered parallels in this product.
Barry Larkin 1998 Topps Gallery
1998 saw Topps release its third art-heavy Gallery product, and as usual it didn't disappoint. These baseball canvasses do well to blur the line between card design and art, and this one features a great shot of Barry, presumably after clobbering the ball again.
Barry Larkin 1999 Finest
I skipped a year of Finest with this purchase since I already own Barry's '98 card, and in my opinion the '99 set was a step back in the right direction after the weird design choices of 1998. Topps was still protecting these cards with their now ubiquitous peels, and at some point I'll probably go through Barry's cards, remove all the protectors I find, and re-scan them since they always look better that way.
Barry Larkin 2002 Diamond Kings
When it comes down to a choice of Gallery vs. Diamond Kings, it can be really hard to choose. Or is it? The obvious choice: both! The 2002 set is somewhat similar to the design of the following year, but it also has its own thing going for it with the simple white canvas background. These cards most certainly do justice to the reputation Donruss' Diamond Kings have built over the years.
Barry Larkin 2002 Donruss Originals #97, 187, 296, and 357
Speaking of Donruss, we end today's post with Barry's quartet of cards from that brand's 2002 Originals product. Donruss kind of did what Topps has done more recently with its Archives product, opting for modern players on past designs instead of straight-up reprints. For whatever reason they chose the 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1988 designs, though that at least gets you a nice amount of variety.
My largest Michigan Baseball PC increases its lead as Larkin's total jumps to 272.