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Larkin, Santo inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Former Cincinnati Reds star Barry Larkin and longtime Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Sunday.

With his parents and family looking on from the front row, Larkin, one of the best shortstops in major league history, spent his entire speech thanking the people that molded him.

His parents introduced him to the game at age 5. Larkin singled out former teammates Pete Rose, Buddy Bell, Eric Davis, Dave Parker and Dave Concepcion.

"My inclusion in the Hall of Fame is the ultimate validation. I want to thank you all for helping me along the way," Larkin said.

Larkin, who played his entire 19-year career with the Reds, retired after the 2004 season with a .295 career average, 2,340 hits, 1,329 runs scored and 379 stolen bases.

Santo was a star third baseman for the Chicago Cubs and later a broadcaster for the team. His widow, Vicki, gave a heartwarming speech and ended it with: "This is not a sad day. This is a great day. I'm certain that Ronnie is celebrating right now."

Santo died of bladder cancer in December 2010.

In St. Louis, the Cubs players paid tribute to Santo by clicking their heels together as they jumped over the third-base line to start the game.

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