Barney Martin

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Biographical Information[edit]

Twenty-three-year-old Barney Martin , fresh off a lengthy tour of duty with the United States Navy in the Mediterranean theater of operations during World War II, signed with the New York Giants as an amateur free agent before the 1946 season. Martin then spent a seven-year tour of the minor leagues before getting a fleeting glance of Crosley Field and the Cincinnati Reds in 1953. Barney was a career minor leaguer from 1946 to 1956 in the Giants and Reds organizations with the exception of a two-inning relief stint he made for the Reds on April 22, 1953.

In his only appearance in the majors, which came against the St. Louis Cardinals, the first batter he faced was none other than Stan Musial, who he got to ground out to shortstop. Martin pitched two innings with no decision and his big league career was over. Barney had been sent to the Reds by the New York Giants in an unknown transaction; in reality it is said Barney wanted to be closer to his own railroad and that is what he would get. Barney had a great year for the Columbia Reds in 1952, going 23-7 with a 2.13 ERA, his 23 wins and 174 Ks where the best in the South Atlantic League and helped greatly as his team won the league pennant. In fact, after his whistlestop at Crosley Field in early 1953 he continued on to his home territory at Columbia and finished up 1953 with a 17-6 record and a 2.14 ERA.

Barney spent three more years in baseball, all in the minors, two with Columbia and finally his last stop was with the Savannah Redlegs; in railroad lingo this was his last stop on the line. All he picked up there were three losses, giving him a career record of 104-74 and a 3.36 ERA.

Barney, who was the father of Jerry Martin, a major league outfielder with five different teams from 1974 to 1984, was still with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, working until retirement in his native Columbia, SC, where he died on October 30, 1997, at age 74.

Sources[edit]

Baseball Players of the 1950s

Further Reading[edit]

  • Richard Tellis: Once Around The Bases, Triumph Books, Chicago, IL, 1998, pp. 152-158.

Related Sites[edit]