Historic Baseball

Historic Baseball

Bringing Baseball History To Center Field

Walter Lawrence Barbare
Nickname: Dinty
Born: Aug. 11, 1891 in Greenville, S.C. 
Died: Oct. 28, 1965 in Greenville, S.C.
Debut: 1914  | Pos: 3B/SS
Ht: 6’0″ | Wt: 162 | B: R | T: R

8 500 1777 173 462 1 155 37 .260

>> Visit the Walter Barbare biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.

In 1914, while “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was in the early stages of his career in Cleveland, another South Carolina baseball player was ready to become his teammate. In September 1914, Walter Barbare got the chance to take the field with the Indians. 

Barbare played in 15 games that season, hit .308 and drove in five runs, but at some point he suffered a broken jaw. His teammates that season included Jackson and Nap LaJoie. Barbare returned with the Indians in 1915 and he got a chance in the starting lineup. He started 68 games at third base and 1 at first base. He only hit .191, however, and drove in 11 runs. That year, Cleveland finished 57-95, 44.5 games out of first.

In 1916, he had another shot with the Indians, playing in 13 games, including 12 at third base. Barbare hit .229 and drove in 3 runs in 48 at-bats. The next year, in 1917, Barbare did not play in the major leagues. 

Major League Baseball faced a player shortage in 1918 when World War I service called for a number of professional athletes. Barbare got his chance to return to the professional level when he played in 13 games with the Boston Red Sox. He started 11 games at third and a game at shortstop and drove in 2 runs while hitting .172. His teammate that year was pitcher and slugger Babe Ruth and Boston went on to win the American League Championship. 

The next year, 1919, was Barbare’s best effort so far. He joined the Pirates that year and hit .273, driving in 34 runs and adding a home run in 85 games. That Pirates team included a player who would become a future manager, Casey Stengel. 

In 1920, Barbare returned with the Pittsburgh Pirates and played a total of 57 games. He hit .274 and drove in 12 runs. Barbare’s seasons seems to have been cut short that year by a broken jaw. At some point in the off season, Barbare was involved in a trade between Pittsburgh and the Boston Braves for a future Hall of Famer, Rabbit Maranville. 

With Boston in 1921, Barbare played in his first full season in the major leagues. In 134 games, he hit .302 and drove in 40 runs. He also added 11 stolen bases. The next year, Barbare played in 106 games with the Braves, hitting .231 and driving in 40 runs. That was his last season in the majors. 

After his career ended in professional baseball, Barbare returned to play Textile baseball in South Carolina. He played for Judson Mills in 1924, Lyman in 1926 and Brandon in 1911 and 1928. He also managed and worked as an umpire in minor league baseball. He died in  Greenville, S.C., on Oct. 28, 1965.

Sources: Sports Encyclopedia, Textile League Baseball: South Carolina’s Mill Teams 1880-1955