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RIP Steve Barber

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by casty33, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. casty33

    casty33 Active Member

    He was a pretty good left-handed pitcher, one of the super pitchers the Orioles used to have on their staff. I didn't know him but maybe some of our Baltimore-area members can tell us a little about him. All I know is he once won 20 games for the O's.

  2. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    After some arm problems he wound up with the 1969 Seattle Pilots and figured in "Ball Four."

  3. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    Shared a lost no-hitter with Stu Miller, I think.
  4. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    didn't he throw a losing no-hitter? or have i confused him with another? ??? ??? ???

    thanks, micro man. :D
  5. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    "Arm problems? No, no, it doesn't hurt ... just stiff. I'm just taking this as a precautionary measure, nothing to worry about, Skip."

    RIP Steve. Pound that ol' Budweiser.
    Baron Scicluna and Slacker like this.
  6. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    From BaseballLibrary.com:

    One of the Orioles' "Baby Birds" (a group of promising young pitchers), Barber came up as a flame-thrower with a reputation for wildness. He led the AL in walks his rookie year, but by 1963 had settled down to become Baltimore's first modern-day ML 20-game winner. Tendinitis in his elbow sidelined him for the second part of 1966, and Barber missed pitching in the All-Star Game and World Series. He went 8-1/3 innings in his first start of 1967 before giving up a hit to Jim Fregosi, and threw a combined no-hitter with Stu Miller against Detroit two weeks later (Baltimore lost that game 2-1). He was traded to the Yankees in mid-'67. Problems with his elbow and his pitching mechanics limited his success with five more teams.
  7. lantaur

    lantaur Well-Known Member

    RIP, Steve. As a longtime O's fan (although after Barber pitched for them), I know he was a very good pitcher from 1960-66 before injuries took their toll. As someone else mentioned, he was a member of the Kiddie Korps which helped keep the O's in the '64 pennant race.

    From baseball-reference.com:
    On April 30, 1967, pitcher Steve Barber of the Baltimore Orioles combined with teammate Stu Miller to pitch a combined no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers. However, the O's lost the game 2-1 because of Miller's wild pitch, followed by an error in the 9th inning.

    After his playing days he was a school bus driver.

    He was elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1988 and still ranks among the club's all-time leaders in strikeouts (seventh, 918), wins (eighth, 95), complete games (tied for eighth, 53), innings pitched (ninth, 1415) and starts (10th, 211).
  8. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Trivia note: He was the losing pitcher in Bo Belinsky's no-hitter.
  9. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    He was part of four-man rotation with Jim Palmer, Dave McNally and Wally Bunker in '66. That was a pretty good set to throw out there.

  10. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Feb. 11, 2007
    Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

    JOHN L. SMITH: Late big-league pitcher found better zone through
    love of kids on his bus

    The first thing you notice upon entering the home of Patricia and
    Steve Barber is what's missing.

    The walls of the neat, garden-style bungalow at MacDonald Ranch in
    Henderson display not a single piece of baseball memorabilia in the
    home of a man who played 15 years for seven big-league teams, won 20
    games in 1963 and helped the Baltimore Orioles to the 1966 World
    Series. There was a time when Barber, who died last week at 68,
    possessed one of the most coveted left arms in Major League Baseball.

    But there is a trophy, of sorts.

    There, on the refrigerator, is a small magnet containing the simple
    words: "No. 1 Bus Driver Mr. Barber."

    Patricia, Barber's wife of 42 years, says her husband was as proud
    of that magnet as his World Series ring. It was a gift from the
    family of a special-needs child who rode Barber's school bus, and he
    cherished it as if it were gold.

    It might surprise some people that Steve Barber, former hotshot big-
    league pitcher, drove a Clark County School District bus the last 15
    years of his life. If you didn't know Barber, you might guess it
    would be something he'd want to conceal from his high-flying old
    friends, many all-stars and Hall of Famers among them.

    On the contrary, Patricia says.

    That was the uniform he was most proud of.

    That was the most important job he ever held.

    That was the job that helped change Steve Barber's life.

    A Maryland native, Barber was a cocky prospect when he joined the
    staff of the Orioles at age 22 for the start of the 1960 season.

    When Patricia met Steve, he was establishing himself as a ballplayer
    and was a "meat-and-potatoes man" who was fond of bologna, cheese,
    peanut butter and Fritos sandwiches. "It made me sick to make them,"
    she says, smiling. She eventually broadened his palate and taste in
    clothing, too.

    They managed to raise four children despite bouncing between
    franchises, sometimes barely unpacking boxes from the moving van
    before receiving a new assignment.

    During the season, her husband traveled first class and was talented
    enough to remain in the big leagues until 1974 despite severe arm

    When his career ended, the Barbers relocated to Las Vegas, where he
    parlayed his professional sports connections and became a successful
    car salesman. But his wife admits that the atmosphere did nothing
    for him. He made good money, but the job left him feeling empty.

    "He hated it," Patricia recalls. "He truly hated the car business."

    Barber's life began to change after the birth of his grandson, Jake,
    who was diagnosed with autism. The boy's challenges gave the
    grandfather a new perspective. Driving the special-needs bus
    appealed to him, his wife says. He grew to know the children as
    individuals and started to see the world in a different light.

    Barber learned up close that autism was a far more common malady
    than most people believe. The kids on the bus sometimes tested his
    patience, but Barber saw in them the courage of champions. He
    admired them for having the strength to carry on despite daunting
    medical, emotional and mental challenges.

    And they cared for Barber, too. Each Christmas he received homemade
    cards and tins filled with cookies.

    As for baseball, well, Barber didn't watch many games in recent
    years. Each week he received letters from fans and baseball card
    collectors seeking autographs, and he signed the requests and even
    called fans to answer questions.

    But he put the game of his youth behind him. He'd found more
    important work.

    His experience on the bus gave Barber strength in his final days as
    he battled smoking-related lung problems that gradually ravaged his
    health. He died Feb. 4.

    On Thursday, Barber's 1-inch obituary was published in the Review-
    Journal. It probably will be among the last scraps of news printed
    about a man whose own big-league scrapbooks once filled volumes. A
    casual reader would learn that Barber was a school bus driver who
    wanted donations to be made to the Special Olympics.

    There was no mention of his baseball career and his passing stardom.

    "I'm sure my husband would want to be remembered as a school bus
    driver of special-needs kids," Patricia says. "He loved those kids."

    He was their No. 1 Bus Driver and had the trophy to prove it.

    John L. Smith's column appears Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and
    Friday. E-mail him at Smith@reviewjournal.com or call 383-0295.

    Find this article at:
  11. beautiful story
  12. James Kruger

    James Kruger New Member

    A fantastic story about a great man. Growing up, I pretended to be Steve Barber playing wiffle ball. It was hard for me, a rightie, to throw left-handed.

    The world needs more Steve Barbers!
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