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Frobby

Steve Barber

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I started following the Orioles late in 1966.  Steve Barber's a guy who was on the '66-'67 teams that I followed, but I don't think I ever saw him pitch.

Barber had a really nice start to his career, debuting in 1960 and going 91-66 with a 118 ERA+ through 1966, including winning 20 games in 1963.    But he was never the same after that.   We traded him midway through the '67 season and though he remained in the majors through 1974, he went 30-40 with an 84 ERA+ after the '66 season.  

It just goes to show you, you can never be sure when a successful pitcher will suddenly lose it.    I think Barber pitched through a sore arm in '67 if I recall correctly, and that may have screwed him up permanently.   

Barber also was part of a no-hitter that he lost, 2-1 while still with the O's in '67.    He walked the first two batters, they were sacrificed over to 2nd and 3rd, and the next batter fouled out for the 2nd out.    Barber then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score, walked that batter, and was yanked.   Stu Miller came in and induced a grounder to short, but throw to 2B for the force was dropped by none other than Mark Belanger, who had entered the game as a defensive replacement at 2B, allowing the go-ahead run to score.   That game was pretty symbolic of the 1967 season for the O's, a year when anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.   

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Barber was also a local boy, born in Tacoma Park, Md.

Frobby has a good memory:

Quote

In 1963, he became the first pitcher of the modern Orioles 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 All-Star for the first time in his career. He was again named an AL All-Star one last time in 1966, but tendinitis in his elbow prevented him from appearing in the game, and also kept him out of the World Series as the Orioles swept the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers in four games for the first title in franchise history.

He spent the rest of his career plagued with elbow problems.

According to his wiki page, he is a widow living in the Las Vegas area.

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6 hours ago, Redskins Rick said:

Barber was also a local boy, born in Tacoma Park, Md.

Frobby has a good memory:

He spent the rest of his career plagued with elbow problems.

According to his wiki page, he is a widow living in the Las Vegas area.

Nothing's from memory, I looked it all up.    I'm not sure what his wiki page said, but Barber died back in 2007, per BB-ref.

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16 hours ago, Frobby said:

Nothing's from memory, I looked it all up.    I'm not sure what his wiki page said, but Barber died back in 2007, per BB-ref.

Dang, I missed that last crucial sentence.

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Barber was one of the bright young stars of the Orioles (and, I guess, of the game) when I started following the team in 1962. It was obvious to me that Barber and Pappas, and maybe Chuck Estrada, would be anchoring the staff for years to come, with Jim Gentile, Brooks and Russ Snyder leading the offense. Even though the Birds fell back to below .500 in '62, the radio announcers (Chuck Thompson and, I'm pretty sure, Frank Messer) convinced me that all that young talent would be contending soon.

 

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9 hours ago, spiritof66 said:

Barber was one of the bright young stars of the Orioles (and, I guess, of the game) when I started following the team in 1962. It was obvious to me that Barber and Pappas, and maybe Chuck Estrada, would be anchoring the staff for years to come, with Jim Gentile, Brooks and Russ Snyder leading the offense. Even though the Birds fell back to below .500 in '62, the radio announcers (Chuck Thompson and, I'm pretty sure, Frank Messer) convinced me that all that young talent would be contending soon.

 

Messer didn't join Chuck Thompson until 1964.  I started following the O's in earnest in 1961 right after my dad brought me a transistor radio back from Japan after being stationed there for a while. The notion of beneficial atmospheric conditions is thoroughly lost on anyone below the age of 50 these days, except truckers maybe.   

Thompson moved back to the O's from the Senators in 1962, so you got in on the ground floor so to speak.  I'm very happy with Gary and JP, but Chuck Thompson will always be the voice of the O's for me.

And Barber, Pappas and Estrada will always be Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz to me as well...

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On 4/15/2017 at 9:28 PM, 24fps said:

... I started following the O's in earnest in 1961... And Barber, Pappas and Estrada will always be Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz to me as well...

I started following them the year they moved to Baltimore, the same year I started kindergarten right across the street from Memorial Stadium. We went thru a a lot of JAGs before we got to Barber, Estrada, and Pappas. We also traded the best of a bad bunch - Bob Turley and Jack Harshman. Then it seemed like we were able to kind a couple great young arms every year for awhile. I often wonder what kind of careers Barber , Estrada, and Wally Bunker would have had if they had had access to today's surgical and rehab capabilities

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