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Donald Odell Barbary
Born: June 20, 1920 in Simpsonville, S.C. 
Died: Sept. 27, 2003 in Simpsonville, S.C.
Debut: 1943 | Pos: PH
Ht: 6’2″ | Wt: 195 | B: R | T: R

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>> Visit the Red Barbary biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.

ed Barbary, who appeared in the major leagues with the Washington Senators in 1943, died on Satuday, Sept. 27, 2003 in Simpsonville, S.C. He was 83.

He was a former standout in South Carolina’s Textile Baseball Leagues. His career in the minor leagues began in 1939 and it was capped with a single at-bat in the major leagues in 1943.

His career in the textile leagues included: Simpsonville (1937, 1943-45, 1947, 1949, 1952-54); Ware Shoals (1941, 1946-51); Southern Bleachery (1940-42, 1945, 1948, 1951). According to his obituary, Barbary served as the manager of Ware Shoals from 1945-50 and Simpsonville from 1951-54.

In 1942, Barbary, 22, was a catching prospect playing for the Charlotte Hornets of the Piedmont League. According to a an article published in The State in 2003, the Hornets’ manager decided that any player on the team could play the positio nthey wanted since it was the end of the season.

As the story goes, Barbary has been telling the Hornets’ pitchers that it was a “shame talent like mine has to go to waste catching.”

When the manager’s decision was announced, the team’s pitchers wanted to make sure Barbary was going to be on the mound. Barbary gave up three runs in the second inning, but the Hornets tied the game 3-3 in the fourth inning.

At the end of 9 innings, the game was still tied and Barbary was still on the mound. He continued to pitch, inning after inning. In the 21st inning, Barbary returned to the mound, but his bad knee, the one that he hadn’t told many about, was beginning to hurt.

He made it through the 21st inning and then the 22nd inning. Finally, in the bottom of the 22nd inning, the Hornets put together consecutive doubles to win the game.

The organization fired the Hornets’ manager for putting Barbary’s career in danger with the stunt. Barbary made it to spring training with the team in 1943, but he would only make one pinch-hit appearance in the major leagues.

He was named the Western Carolina Textile League’s MVP in 1951 and the Greenville Textile League’s MVP in 1953. In 1991, he was inducted into the Greater Greenville Baseball Hall of Fame.

Other reports of his exploits, as told in Thomas K. Perry’s Textile League Baseball, include hitting five doubles in a game for Simpsonville in 1942. He also participated in a Central Carolina LEague All-Star team that season that played against other textile league all-star teams. However, the team’s challenge to minor league teams in the Southern area was never answered.

Barbary had suffered a stroke a few years ago and had spent the time since then at his home in Simpsonville that is located just across the street from the Simpsonville Mill where both he and his wife worked until they retired.

His house was also located near the old mill ballpark where he had played. The field had been renamed in his honor.

His grandson Travis was most recently managing the Ogden Raptors in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

Sources: Greenville News Obituary (9/27/2003), “The Night Red Wrecked his Career” by Patrick Obley (The State, 8/4/2003), Textile League Baseball (Thomas K. Perry).