Inspired by his belief that sports relate to positive achievements in life, Barry Larkin describes why he remains committed to serving as a Sports Envoy:
"I think the common thread everywhere...is about the life skills that you learn...that are sharpened from participating in sports -- problem-solving, teamwork, dealing with adversity."
Major League Baseball All-Star and 2012 Hall of Fame inductee Barry Larkin visited Ecuador in February as a Sports Envoy for the SportsUnited Division of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Joe Logan, former player with the Montreal Expos and coach of the Orlando Reds, accompanied Larkin. This visit marked their fourth Sports Envoy program together, following past trips to South Korea, Taiwan, and Colombia. The two dedicated "sports diplomats" work together on these overseas programs to connect with young people through the game of baseball.
While in Guayaquil, Larkin and Logan conducted clinics for youth and their coaches at Yeyo Uraga, a local baseball facility. The envoys spoke with students about the importance of academics, positive health practices, and respect for diversity at the Centro Ecuatoriano Americano and Colegio Americano.
Regardless of school, city, or country around the world, it is mutually enriching experiences like these that make Mr. Larkin and Mr. Logan long-time devotees of the Sports Envoy program at the State Department.
In July, Mr. Larkin will be inducted in the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame, having been elected this year by the Golden Era Committee. Mr. Larkin's contributions as a Sports Envoy certainly play into his deserving such an esteemed recognition.
The SportsUnited Division brings youth athletes and coaches to the United States as well as sends sports envoys to countries abroad. See recent photos of the Sports Envoy program in Ecuador and videos of the past Sports Envoys in South Korea.