Saturday, March 30, 2013

Unknown Heroes Before My Time Pt. 1: Marty Barrett

I started watching the Red Sox in 1991.  Marty Barrett still had cards showing him with the Red Sox that came out in 1991, but he had moved on to the Padres.

Barrett was a slick-fielding, singles-hitting second baseman for the Red Sox for the greater part of the 1980's.  He did not have a lot of power but was a decent table-setter for Boston.  He made his Major League debut in 1982 but did not have a full rookie season with the team until 1984.  He had a decent rookie season, hitting .303/.358/.383.  He would continue to have numbers close to those through 1988.  Of particular interest was Barrett's ability to walk far more often than he struck out.  He was one of the most difficult hitters to strike out.

1986 was possibly Barrett's best season.  He hit .286/.353/.381 with four home runs, 60 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases.  He lead the league in sacrifice hits, as he would for the next two seasons as well, and was among the league leaders in at-bats and several defensive categories.  In addition, Barrett performed very well in the postseason.  He won the ALCS MVP by hitting .367/.406/.433 with eleven hits and five RBIs.  His success continued in the World Series when he collected 13 hits and ended with a line of .433/.514/.500 with four RBIs.  His 24 hits in the postseason were a record at the time.  It certainly was not Marty Barrett's fault that Boston did not win the 1986 World Championship.

Barrett continued to play reasonably well for a middle infielder of that time period through the 1988 season.  He started to have injury problems though in 1989, suffering a knee injury that would plague him the rest of his career.  His career only lasted an additional three seasons, during which time he only played in 160 games.

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