John Joseph “Jack” Barry
Born: April 26, 1887 - Meriden, CT
Died: April 23, 1961 - Shrewsbury, MA
Career BA: .243
Managerial Record: 90–62
Philadelphia Athletics AL (April 26, 1887 - April 23, 1961)
Boston Red Sox AL (1915–1916, 1919; player-manager: 1917)
“Black Jack” Barry played on six pennant-winning teams as well as five World Series Champions. Not bad for a guy with a .243 lifetime batting average. As part of Connie Mack’s $100,000 infield along with Eddie Collins, Stuffy McInnis and Home Run Baker, Barry was a dependable shortstop with great range and instincts.
Signed out of Holy Cross College, Barry never batted higher than .275 but was a valuable clutch hitter, with all of the tools to be a leader on the field and in the clubhouse. On September 20, 1909, in a heated pennant race with the Detroit Tigers, Barry was spiked by Ty Cobb, who was known to come into the bag with reckless abandon, not caring who he took out in the process. Needless to say, Barry was injured and lost to the team. Some say that was the reason why the Tigers won the pennant. Cobb evidently accomplished his mission.
Black Jack had some pretty good seasons thereafter, anchoring the A’s in the leadership category. After the 1915 season, Barry was purchased by the Red Sox, and continued his winning ways playing on the 1915 and 1916 World Series Champs. He became player-manager of the 1917 team leading them to 90 wins. Barry left to serve in the military during WWI, missing the 1918 season, and retired early in 1919.
He went on to coach the Holy Cross Crusaders for the next 40 years with the highest winning percentage in collegiate history. Over a span of 39 seasons, he compiled a remarkable 616–150 record. His 1924 team went undefeated and the small college won the NCAA championship in 1952. Referred to as the “Knute Rockne” of college baseball, Jack Barry is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html