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Jesse Barfield
Right fielder
Born: October 29, 1959 (1959-10-29) (age 50)
Joliet, Illinois
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 3, 1981 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
June 17, 1992 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Batting average     .256
Home runs     241
Runs batted in     716
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Jesse Lee Barfield (born October 29, 1959 in Joliet, Illinois) is a former Major League Baseball right fielder who played for the Toronto Blue Jays (1981-89) and New York Yankees (1989-92). He batted and threw right-handed.He lived in Tenafly a very afflluent suburb of New York City.

Barfield was better known for his powerful throwing arm, universally hailed as the strongest outfield arm of his time, and one of the strongest ever in major league baseball history.[citation needed] It was not only strong, but accurate as well. He led American League outfielders in assists three times (1985-87), a remarkable total, since few opposing runners dared to even challenge his skilled throws. Along with George Bell (LF) and Lloyd Moseby (CF), Barfield starred in what many analysts considered the best all-around outfield of the 1980s.

Selected by the Blue Jays in the ninth round of the 1977 amateur draft, Barfield debuted in the majors in 1981 and was a regular the following season. In 1985, he helped Toronto to reach the playoffs for the first time. He also topped 20 home runs six times, became the first Blue Jay to hit a pinch grand slam (1982), and the first to hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases in the same season (1985).

Despite the Blue Jays' failure to defend their division title from the previous year, Barfield enjoyed his best personal season in 1986. He collected career-highs in batting average (.289), RBI (108), runs (107), hits (170) and doubles (35). He also hit a career-best 40 home runs, leading the major leagues and setting a team record. In addition, Barfield was awarded the Gold Glove Award and selected to the American League All-Star team.

Barfield was traded to the Yankees for pitcher Al Leiter on April 30 1989. He won his second Gold Glove in 1987, but his offensive numbers declined noticeably. He hit 25 home runs for New York in 1990, but never produced like the club had hoped. Injuries and general ineffectiveness forced his retirement in 1992, at age 32, after he hit just .137 in 30 games. He played 1993 in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants, reuniting with Moseby, but batted just .215 in 114 games and was released.

He joined the Houston Astros for spring training in 1994, and was projected to be the opening-day right-fielder, but injuries prevented him from making the ballclub.

Throughout his career Barfield was a free swinger and racked up more than 140 strike outs in five seasons ('85, '86, '87, '89 & '90). For most of his time in the major leagues his productivity overshadowed his strikeouts, however by 1990 1 in 3 Barfield at bats resulted in a strikeout.

Barfield was a career .256 hitter with 241 home runs and 716 RBI in 1428 games. He was inducted in the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.

His son, Josh Barfield, is a second baseman with the Cleveland Indians and he has another son, Jeremy Barfield, selected by the New York Mets during the 2006 draft. Jeremy opted to attend San Jacinto Community College instead, and was drafted in 2008 by the Oakland Athletics. He is currently playing for the single-A Kane County Cougars

On August 22, 2006 it was reported by the Associated Press that Barfield's younger son, Jeremy Barfield, pushed his father down the stairs, causing Jesse to be hospitalized. The incident also resulted in Jeremy's arrest.[1]

In June 2007, Barfield became a color commentator for Blue Jays games on CBC.

Popular Televangelist Joel Osteen claims that he and Barfield are close personal friends [Joel Osteen Weekly Broadcast December 16, 2007]. Currently Jesse Barfield works at Legends in The Woodlands, Texas.

Contents

Quotes

From the book Baseball Quotations (ISBN 0-345-38123-8) edited by David H. Nathan:

One time I dropped a fly ball in Milwaukee and, after the game, the writers asked me what happened. I told them, "Well, I was looking up and a UFO flew right across. It was weird. I never saw anything like that in my life." Man, I was only joking and they wrote it up and put it in the paper. -Jesse Barfield, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder, 1986.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Reports: Barfield taken to hospital after fight with son". ESPN.com News Services. August 21, 2006. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2556053. Retrieved March 10, 2010. 

External links

Preceded by
Darrell Evans
American League Home Run Champion
1986
Succeeded by
Mark McGwire
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