Dick Barone

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Richard Anthony Barone

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Biographical Information[edit]

"Dick Barone... rates with me as the best defensive shortstop out of the major leagues... [He will] be a fine prospect for the majors. Good hands, great arm and speed—he's got them all." - Larry Shepard, quoted in the Joplin (MO) Globe, January 22, 1960

Dick Barone appeared in three games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960, a team which went on to win the World Series. Barone was a light-hitting shortstop in the Pirate organization and batted just .204 as the starting shortstop for the Pirates' AAA Columbus affiliate in 1960. But on September 6th, as the Pirates fought for the National League pennant, starting shortstop (and NL MVP) Dick Groat suffered a broken left wrist when struck by a Lew Burdette pitch. For the remainder of the month, utility infielder Dick Schofield took over as the Pirates' starting shortstop while Barone was recalled from Columbus to back up Schofield.

Barone made his major league debut on September 22nd, as a pinch-runner. He made his second appearance, and only major league start, on September 27th. The Pirates had already clinched the NL pennant (thanks in part to a superb month from Schofield at shortstop) and gave Barone a chance to start. He played shortstop, had 3 putouts, 2 assists and no errors but went hitless in 5 at-bats with one strikeout. He left for a pinch-hitter (Smoky Burgess) in the bottom of the 13th inning in a game the Pirates would win, 4-3, in 16 innings. Barone entered his final game on September 30th, in the 8th inning, replacing second baseman Bill Mazeroski, as Barone played shortstop while Schofield moved to second base; he was hitless in his only at-bat. Those three games constituted his entire major league career. All told, he was hitless in six at-bats and flawless in the field. He was not on the Pirates' 1960 World Series roster, as Groat returned and Schofield resumed his reserve role.

Barone's minor league career started in 1951, had a break in 1953 and 1954 due to military service during the Korean War, and went through 1962. In his last season, with Hawaii, his teammates included Faye Throneberry, Bobby Knoop, and Irv Noren. He lived to see grandson Daniel Barone make his MLB debut in 2007.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Joe Schuster: "Dick Barone", in Clifton Blue Parker and Bill Nowlin, ed.: Sweet '60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 9-12. ISBN 978-1-93359-948-9

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