A look at the long career of the most popular Seattle Rainiers player ever
Montoursville, PA., native “Kewpie” Dick Barrett pitched for legendary manager Connie Macks Philadelphia Athletics in 1933, and for the National League Philadelphia Phillies during the war years of 1943 to 1945.
Before and after these major league stints, Barrett won more than 200 games and three pennants while wearing a Seattle uniform over 10 seasons.
Two of Barrett’s better years in Seattle occurred in 1940 and 1942. In 1940, Barrett went 24-5 with a 2.48 ERA. In 1942, he won 27 games with a 1.72 ERA, and was named minor league player of the year by The Sporting News. Four years earlier this same honor had been bestowed on Barrett’s teenage Rainiers teammate Fred Hutchinson, a 25-game winner for the first-year Rainiers.
All told, the rubber-armed Barrett pitched professionally for 28 seasons, starting in 1925.
In August of 1954, Seattle fans were asked to vote on their all-time favorite Rainier players. Kewpie Dick tallied the most fan votes. He was followed closely by two other key players from the Rainiers championship years (1939-1941), center fielder Bill Lawrence and offensive sparkplug Jo Jo White. Seattles favorite baseball son, Fred Hutchinson, was fourth in the voting, despite having only played one year (1938) for the club.
Approximately 60 years after Barrett began his pro career (1925), another rubber-armed Pennsylvania native, Soudertons Jamie Moyer, started his professional baseball career. Moyer won 145 games as a Seattle Mariner from 1996-2006, leading the franchise to the post-season in 1997 and 2001. Moyer returned to his native Pennsylvania to play in 2007, winning a World Series ring with the Phillies in 2008. In 2010, Moyer pitched nine games for the Phillies in his 26th professional season.
The accompanying photos of Barrett and Mack (top) and White and Mack were taken before the Rainiers played Mack’s Athletics, who still employed an aging (38) future Hall of Famer in Al Simmons, in a pair of exhibition games in early March, 1940, in Anaheim and San Fernando, CA. The Rainiers lost twice, 6-3 on March 3 in Anaheim, in front of 4,100, and 4-1 on March 7. In the March 7 game, White went 1-for-2 and hit a home run.
Many of the historic images published on Sportspress Northwest are provided by resident Northwest sports history aficionado, David Eskenazi, who writes The Wayback Machine every Tuesday. Check out Davids Wayback Machine Archive. David can be reached at (206) 441-1900, or at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wayback Machine is published every Tuesday as part of Sportspress Northwests package of home-page features collectively titled, The Rotation.)