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Johnny Barrett

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John Joseph Barrett (Jack)

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Outfielder Johnny Barrett spent fourteen seasons in professional baseball from 1937 to 1951. He spent five of those seasons in the Major Leagues from 1942 to 1946. Barrett had three good seasons in the minor leagues before getting his opportunity in the Major Leagues.

In 1937, his first year in the minor leagues, he had his highest batting average when he hit at a .378 clip and a .601 slugging number with 13 home runs for the Mansfield Red Sox of the class D Ohio State League. He led the league in both runs (97) and hits (129). The following season, Johnny came up with a .301 average in 521 at-bats for the Hazleton Red Sox of the class A Eastern League. In 1941, he hit for a .313 average in 517 at-bats for the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League. On September 10, 1941 Johnny was purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Hollywood club.

Johnny made his Major League debut with the Pirates on April 14, 1942 and immediately broke into the starting lineup, staying there until 1946. Regarded as one of the fastest runners in baseball, Barrett led the 1944 National League with 28 stolen bases and also with 19 triples. He received votes for both the 1944 National League Most Valuable Player Award and 1945 National League Most Valuable Player Award. In 1946, however, he suffered a knee injury and was traded to the Boston Braves on June 12, for Chuck Workman. 1947 would find Johnny back in the Pacific Coast League with the San Diego Padres. Barrett had one more good season in 1948 when he hit .339 with 14 homers for the Padres. He retired from baseball in 1951 at the age of 35.

Barrett was a salesman for a brewery from 1951 to 1961 when he was appointed superintendent of the Essex County, Massachusetts Training School, a job he held until his sudden death on August 17, 1974 at his summer home in Seabrook Beach, NH. He was 58 years of age.

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