Barney Olsen

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Bernard Charles Olsen

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Biographical Information[edit]

Barney Olsen was signed as an amateur free agent by the Chicago Cubs before the 1938 season. He spent four years in the minors (1938-1941) before getting a late season call-up to the big league Cubs, making his debut on August 23, 1941. The outfielder appeared in 24 games, hitting .288 in 73 at-bats with one home run and this was the sum-total of Barney's major league time.

He spent the 1942 year with the Los Angeles Angels of the then-AA (there was no AAA yet) Pacific Coast League, where he appeared in 174 games, hitting at a .302 clip with 15 home runs. At the season's end, Olsen was called up for military duty and served the next three years (1943-1945) with the United States Navy during World War II. Barney was back in time in '46 to get in 81 games with the now-AAA Los Angeles team and hit at a .255 clip in 208 at-bats. Olsen was traded by the Cubs to the St. Louis Cardinals in February 1947 for Eddie Malone.

Barney spent four more seasons in pro baseball, all in the minors, with four different clubs - the Columbus Red Birds, Rochester Red Wings and Houston Buffaloes before he finished up his pro career with the Tampa Smokers in 1950. Olsen's most productive season came in the '42 season with the Angels. He closed out his ten-year minor league career with a .279 batting average and 63 home runs, while appearing in 1,036 games.

After baseball, Olsen worked as truck driver for Standard Electric Supply Company in Everett, MA until his death. His death was caused by cirrhosis due to alcoholism, on March 30, 1977, at Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett, MA.

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