Rex Barney was born on Friday, December 19, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska. Barney was 18 years old when he broke into the big leagues on August 18, 1943, with the Brooklyn Dodgers. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Rex Barney baseball stats page.
"With the possible exception of Sandy Koufax , no Dodger pitcher ever threw harder than Rex Barney. Throughout the late 1940s, Barney's fastball was the talk of baseball. In 1947 , at the age of twenty-two, he struck out Joe DiMaggio with the bases loaded in a World Series game. On a rainy night at the Polo Grounds in 1948 , Barney pitched a no-hitter against the New York Giants and appeared on the verge of realizing his greatness. Alas, it was not to be. 'Barney pitched as though the plate was high and outside,' Bob Cooke wrote famously in the New York Herald Tribune ." - Baseball Researcher Don Harrison (SABR Baseball Biography Project, "Rex Barney", Source )
Rex Barney Autograph on a 1949 Bowman Reprint Baseball Card (#61)
Rex Barney Pitching Stats
Rex Barney Hitting Stats
Rex Barney Fielding Stats
Rex Barney Miscellaneous Stats
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Rex Barney Miscellaneous Items of Interest
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|Rex Barney Stats by Baseball Almanac|
On August 12, 1997 , the Baltimore Orioles played an entire game, losing 6-8 to the Cleveland Indians in Camden Yards, without a public address announcer - the ballpark microphone was shut off, and every batter walked to the plate unannounced. Why? Rex Barney was the longtime voice of the franchise, announcing Orioles games from 1974 through 1997, and in honor of his death earlier that day, the Memorial Stadium public announcement system remained silent. The Baltimore Sun wrote:
"His voice was almost like a security blanket," said Mike Flanagan , former Orioles pitcher and now a television announcer, who joined the team in 1975, the year after Mr. Barney became the full-time public-address announcer at Memorial Stadium. "Being announced by Rex always gave me a quiet confidence, almost like the voice of a baseball god. He made you feel like everything would be all right."
Jim Palmer , Hall of Fame pitcher and Orioles broadcaster, said: "Baseball loses a great friend. He was always there for me, so easy to talk to, like having my own shrink, so gentle, compassionate and kind. I feel robbed."
In a world of sportswriting wise guys, Mr. Barney was a kindly, avuncular presence in the press box, a tall man with wispy gray hair offering no apologies for his sometimes saccharine style. A book reviewer once said he was "almost embarrassingly sentimental" about baseball, but folks say the sentiment sprang from genuine love for the game and compassion for people.
"He had such a passion for baseball," said Bob Brown, who worked with Mr. Barney for 15 seasons when he served as Orioles public relations director.
When Boston Red Sox slugger Carl Yastrzemski played his last game at Memorial Stadium in 1983, Mr. Brown wrote a tribute that Mr. Barney delivered to the crowd. The two men who sat next to each other in the press box had to agree they would not make eye contact during the presentation, lest they both be reduced to tears.
It was easy enough to hear Mr. Barney's corny radio patter, his unfailing politeness, his signature "thank youuuuu" and "give that fan a contract" for a good catch in the stands and assume he led a charmed life in the game. This lifelong love affair, however, was shadowed by unfulfilled dreams. For all his folksy ways, Mr. Barney knew as well as anyone how cruel baseball could be.
"I'll go through the rest of my life knowing I didn't become as good as I should have been," he told a Sun writer in 1989. "I had so much potential, and I just didn't live up to it."
The right-hander could throw so hard, 100 miles an hour at times. Broadcaster and former catcher Joe Garagiola wrote that Mr. Barney's fastball ranked with those of Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson . Hitters feared him, but often for the wrong reasons. It was anybody's guess where the ball would wind up.
Source of Excerpt: The Baltimore Sun. Arthur Hirsch and Mike Klingaman. August 13, 1997. Rex Barney, voice of Orioles, dies at 72 Ex-Dodgers pitcher served as stadium announcer since 1974. Full Article .
Rex Barney No Hitter (Box Score) | The Brooklyn Daily Eagle | September 10, 1948 | Page 20
Rex Barney said, "I had so much potential, and I just didn't live up to it" and wrote in his autobiography, "I should have been up there with the great. I should have gone right up the ladder in 1949 , but too many rungs were missing." No rungs were missing on a rainy night the year before, when Barney no hit the New York Giants in the Polo Grounds :
Rex Barney No Hitter, September 9, 1948 .
Rex Barney won only two of his first 12 starts for the third-place Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948 , then suddenly found himself. He had a 12-10 record when he faced the fifth-place New York Giants on Thursday night, September 9, 1948 , before 36,234 fans at the Polo Grounds.
Monte Kennedy , fast-balling lefthander, was Barney's rival in this game, which was delayed at the start 56 minutes by rain.
The only bad inning Barney had was the first when he had to escape from a bases-loaded situation. He began the frame by walking Lucky Jack Lohrke on four pitches. After Whitey Lockman was retired, Sid Gordon grounded to the mound and Barney threw the ball into center field, trying for a force on Lohrke at second. Johnny Mize then walked to load the bases but Willard Marshall bounced the first pitch to second baseman Jackie Robinson , who started an inning-ending double play via shortstop Pee Wee Reese and first baseman Gil Hodges .
Don Mueller , Walker Cooper and Buddy Kerr were easily retired in the second but Kennedy reached first at the start of the third when Robinson fumbled the pitcher's grounder to second. Barney then made a brilliant play on Lohrke's bounder to the mound, firing the ball to Reese to nip Kennedy at second and the Dodgers ' second double play was completed when Reese fired to first.
Not another Giant reached base on the big righthander, who many thought was the fastest pitcher in the majors this season. Barney needed some help, however. With one out in the fourth, Mize came the closest to a hit, sending a sinking line drive to center on which Carl Furillo sprinted in to make a fine running catch. At the start of the seventh, Gordon belted one to deep center but Furillo ran a long way to grab it.
It had begun to rain again in the eighth and Barney's task was all the more difficult in the last two innings. In the ninth, Joe Lafata batted for Kennedy and Rex struck him out on a bad pitch. Lohrke lifted an easy pop fly to Hodges at first and Lockman ended the game with a foul behind the plate which catcher Bruce Edwards caught near the screen.
The Dodgers had scored once in the second when Furillo singled, took third on Reese's double and scored as Hodges grounded out. They added the finally tally in the third when Billy Cox walked, took second on Edwards ' two-out single and scored on Furillo's single.
Barney finished the season with a 15-13 record, but three years later was so wild he could not hold even a minor league pitching berth.
Besides being Major League pitchers, who do Adonis Terry , Rex Barney, Cal McLish , Ralph Branca , Sandy Koufax , Don Drysdale , Joe Moeller , Dick Calmus , Fernando Valenzuela and Edwin Jackson have in common? They all had at least one win as a teenager with the Dodgers ' franchise!
Last-Modified: February 1, 2018 10:05 AM EST