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Stephen David Barber (February 22, 1938 – February 4, 2007) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) left-handed pitcher. He pitched for the Baltimore Orioles and six other teams in 1960–74. Barber compiled 121 wins, 1,309 strikeouts, and had a 3.36 career earned run average. Barber spent his first eight years with the Orioles where he complied an outstanding 95–75 record. Arm injuries hampered the rest of his career which saw him win only 26 and lose 31 for the rest of his 15-year career.[1] While with the Orioles, Barber was an All-Star for two seasons. From 1961 to 1967 Barber bucked baseball superstition by wearing number 13. He also wore this number with the Seattle Pilots.[1]

Steve Barber
Steve Barber 1963.jpg
Pitcher
Born: (1938-02-22)February 22, 1938
Takoma Park, Maryland
Died: February 4, 2007(2007-02-04) (aged 68)
Henderson, Nevada
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 21, 1960, for the Baltimore Orioles
Last MLB appearance
July 31, 1974, for the San Francisco Giants
MLB statistics
Win–loss record121–106
Earned run average3.36
Strikeouts1,309
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early yearsEdit

Barber was born in Takoma Park, Maryland, and graduated in 1956 from Montgomery Blair High School[2] located in Silver Spring in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Major League careerEdit

Barber signed with the Orioles in 1957. As a rookie in 1960, he had a record of 10–7 and an earned run average of 3.22 (sixth best in the American League), but also led the American League (AL) in both walks (113) and wild pitches (ten). In 1961, he tied for the AL lead in shutouts with eight, and had a record of 18–12. In 1963, he became the first modern Orioles' pitcher to win 20 games in a season when he compiled a 20–13 record, 180 strikeouts, and a 2.75 ERA, which led to him being selected as an American League All-Star for the first time in his career. He was again named an AL All-Star one last time in 1966. However, tendinitis in his elbow prevented him from appearing in the game, and also kept him out of the 1966 World Series as the Orioles swept the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers in four games for the first title in franchise history. On April 30, 1967, Barber was removed from a game against the Detroit Tigers with two outs in the ninth inning after having given up two runs despite having not surrendered a hit; Stu Miller got the final out to complete the no-hitter, although the Orioles lost 2-1.[3][4]

Barber spent the rest of his career plagued by elbow troubles. The Orioles traded him to the New York Yankees on July 4, 1967, for players to be named later, Ray Barker and cash. Later that year, on December 15, the Yankees sent minor-leaguers Chet Trail and Daniel Brady to the Orioles to complete the trade.[1]

Barber was selected by the newly-created Seattle Pilots in the 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft when the Yankees left him unprotected. Plagued by a sore arm, he worked in 20 games for the 1969 Pilots. He was released just before the 1970 season, but played that year for the Chicago Cubs, and then for the Atlanta Braves, pitching almost exclusively in relief. He remained with the Braves until they released him in May 1972, then joined the California Angels, where he remained until the end of the 1973 season. He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers but was released in 1974 during spring training. Barber later appeared in 13 games for the San Francisco Giants in the middle of the 1974 season. In August, he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, but never pitched for the team.

In 466 MLB games pitched, including 272 as a starter, Barber posted a 121–106 won–lost mark and a 3.36 earned run average. He registered 59 complete gamess and 21 shutouts. He also had 14 saves as a relief pitcher. He allowed 1,818 hits and 950 bases on balls in 1,999 innings pitched, with 1,309 strikeouts.

Later years and deathEdit

Barber and his wife moved to the Las Vegas area in 1978. He was employed as a driver for the Clark County School District, providing transportation for children with disabilities from 1992 to 2006.[5] Barber died of pneumonia in Henderson, Nevada.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Steve Barber Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
  2. ^ 1956 Montgomery Blair High School SILVERLOGUE Yearbook can be viewed at http://www.itsallaboutfamily.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=50716&g2_imageViewsIndex=3
  3. ^ Baseball Digest, December 2005, Vol. 64, No. 10, ISSN 0005-609X
  4. ^ "Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles Box Score, April 30, 1967 - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
  5. ^ "Seattle Pilots ... Where are they now?", Bill Reader, The Seattle Times, published July 9, 2006, accessed January 28, 2007.
  6. ^ "Barber, first 20-game winner for Orioles, dies at 67". ESPN.com. 5 February 2007.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Sonny Siebert
No-hitter
April 30, 1967
w/Stu Miller
Succeeded by
Don Wilson