Barry Larkin lost member of 1984 U.S. Olympic team
The 1984 United States Olympic baseball team was loaded with future stars including Mark McGwire. However when Topps devoted 16 cards to the team in its 1985 set, a few now-famous members of the team were left out.
Barry Larkin, an all-american at the University of Michigan, played short stop and second base on the squad but did not have the numbers to warrant getting his own card in the Topps set. He played in three of team USA’s five games, but mustered just a .143 batting average during the Los Angeles games.
Leading up to the Olympics, Larkin played second base, short stop, third base and left field for the national team. On July 4, 1984 he collected two hits and a two-run home run.
During Team USA’s tour, he played in 24 games and had a .328 batting average with 22 hits, four doubles, a triples, three home runs and 13 RBIs.
By the 1992 Barcelona Olympics rolled around Topps and Dairy Queen created a special set devoted to Team USA baseball that were available at the restaurant with the purchase of a sundae. Larkin, who was in his seventh season with the Cincinnati Reds at the time, was featured in his team USA uniform along with other select members of the 1984 and 1988 olympic team as well as nearly every player of the 1992 squad.
Will Clark, of the San Francisco Giants, was also featured in the DQ collection after also being snubbed in 1985.
The U.S. entered the Los Angeles games as the favorites to take the gold metal.
During its three games in the preliminary round, the red, white and blue outscored it opponents 30-2 to easily advance to the medal round.
After beating South Korea in the semifinals, the U.S. fell to Japan 3-0 in the championship game.
The baseball medals however did not count in the official olympic counts because baseball was a demonstration sport at the Seoul games. Baseball was finally made a full Olympic sport in 1992 before being dropped altogether in 2008.