In a lot of ways, Dustin Pedroia reminds me of Marty Barrett. They are both Arizona State alums, small in stature but big in heart, and play(ed) second base in ways that few others have. We all know what Pedroia has done for the recent teams and the potential he has, but take a look at some of Barrett’s highlights:
In 1981 he played in the longest professional game in history while with the Paw Sox; 33 innings and eight-an-a-half hours. He was 2-for-13 and scored he winning run.
He led the AL for three straight seasons in sacrifices.
In 1986 he was the ALCS MVP, and set a major league record of 24 hits in 14 post-season games. If not for the…shall we say…unfortunate way the World Series ended, he would likely have been MVP there as well. He was 13-for-30 (.433) with an OBP of .514 in the Series.
Perhaps my favorite stat: He successfully pulled off the “hidden ball trick” three times in his career – hilarious and humiliating to the victim.
On June 4th, 1989 he suffered a knee injury trying to beat out a ground ball that essentially ended his career. He would later sue Dr. Arthur Pappas and receive 1.7 million dollars in the malpractice suit. I remember that game vividly, because the Sox were beating the Jays 10-0 in a laugher, but blew it and lost 13-11. Barrett was injured in his only at-bat as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth.
Life after baseball included a career in real estate and community work in the Las Vegas area. There were rumors that following the high school graduation of his youngest son in 2007, Barrett might return to baseball as a manager. I’d love to see it.