BY David Eskenazi 12:22AM 02/08/2011

Wayback Machine: “Kewpie” Dick Barrett

A look at the long career of the most popular Seattle Rainiers player ever

Legendary major league manager Connie Mack, left, chats up Kewpie Dick Barrett during a Seattle Rainiers spring training in Anaheim, CA., in March of 1940 / David Eskenazi Collection

Montoursville, PA., native “Kewpie” Dick Barrett pitched for legendary manager Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics in 1933, and for the National League Philadelphia Phillies during the war years of 1943 to 1945.

Seattle Rainiers speedster Jo Jo White and manager Connie Mack meet during spring training in 1940. White would be back playing for Mack's Philadelphia A's in 1943 and 1944 / David Eskenazi Collection

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. Seattle’s favorite baseball son, Fred Hutchinson, was fourth in the voting, despite having only played one year (1938) for the club.

Ticket stub from the March 7, 1940 game between the Seattle Rainiers and Philadelphia A's / David Eskenazi Collection

Approximately 60 years after Barrett began his pro career (1925), another rubber-armed Pennsylvania native, Souderton’s 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 David’s “Wayback Machine Archive”. David can be reached at (206) 441-1900, or at the following e-mail address:

“Wayback Machine” is published every Tuesday as part of Sportspress Northwest’s package of home-page features collectively titled, “The Rotation.”)


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  • uncle jack

    thanks dave forgot seattle had such a glorious sports way back

  • A top 75 prospect and a guy with 56 X-base hits in 399 PA, for Bedard and a glaringly wild relief prospect. I guess real talent evaluations are made by taking into account more than just one start.

  • Alex

    ouch.  Maybe you should have titled this “If I were a GM, I wouldn’t take Bedard”.  Most other reports coming out about Bedard were about the Red Sox’s continued interest in him.  So did you have different information, or did you just make this up?

  • Mike Kitsap

    he’s John Hickey, baseball beat writer for the last 20 years. He thinks he knows everything.

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  • Why in the world would the M’s want a left handed power hitter?  They only want singles hitters

  • jafabian

    Why would the M’s break the bank for Fielder?  They have Carp and Smoak who combined could produce comparable numbers if they stay healthy.  The M’s have bigger needs like getting another OF, shoring up the pen and getting a #2 starter.

  • Cruddly

    I have always wondered why a player like Pujols would suddenly chase money and leave a good situation like he had with the Cardinals.  He was going to make at least 120 million if he had stayed there, and that is not counting all the endorsement money he receives.  Plus, he was in a city where he is loved — and not just any city, but a real baseball town.  He had just helped them win the World Series, and he might have taken part in another, ultimately establishing a dynasty of sorts there.  But no.  Money calls — more money than he could ever spend.  Enough money to make him leave his comfort zone, his team mates, his friends and whatever else he had going on back in St Louis.  It make you ask,”How much money does one guy need?”  
    But it wasn’t like Pujols demanded this money from the Angels.  Their owner simply made an offer that he could not refuse.  Now the bar has been raised for all future signings, and teams like the Mariners are screwed.  I hope Pujols turns out to be a young looking 38 year old.

  • SeattleNative57

    Great post, Art. You are truly one of our finest sports columnists. You always “tell it like it is”, as the saying goes. And because of that, and the fact I’tv suffered Seattle sports my entire life, I pray you are wrong that Figgins is our only accomplishment come ST.

  • JoeFan

    I’m been saying it for years, but the M’s need to move on from Chuck and Howie, and that probably also means a new and vibrant ownership.

  • If they miss out on Fielder, it’s the nail in the coffin for me. I will be permanently abandoning this sorry joke they call a “franchise.” It also means they might as well just trade off Felix because all they’re doing is wasting his time. So sick of these soccer mom owners.

  • I will always be a baseball fan. I will always be a Mariners fan. But I can’t say the same for Major League Baseball. As much as I love sports, I just don’t think players should be making this kind of money anymore. Pujol’s signing just seems out of whack with what’s going on in the world today. Yeah, I know. It’s not my money and Moreno can do what he wants just like Hicks did when he signed Pay-Rod to that ridiculous contract.  The gap between the have teams and have not teams is widening in MLB. and as long as it’s all about the bottom line, so it will continue. This league needs a cap. 

  • Jim

    Ichiro Suzuki – 5 years, $90 million extention
    Felix Hernandez – 5 years, $78 million extention
    Franklin Gutierrez – 4 years, $20 million extention
    Chone Figgins – 4 years, $36 million free agent contract
    Dustin Ackley – 5 years, $7.5 million + $6 million bonus
    Danny Hultzen – 5 years, $8.5 million + $6.35 million bonus

    This team doesn’t spend enough money.  They must give Jack the financial resources to make big moves.

    Sorry, but my first trip to this establishment will be my last.

  • Artthiel

    Fair point. That’s part of why we have elections. However, for an SB bid, the city needs mostly to approve. Allen and the host committee will have to take all initiative. H’s capable. 

  • Rickm

    Wheres the roof? Seattle has none and it’s not new york

    • Artthiel

      Rickm, look out your window. Who needs a roof?

  • Jim

    That sentence about the Mariner’s made me snarf. Good column. This is so doable. It’s one game, not the owimpics.

    • Artthiel

      No need to build a thing. Just a cop or two to pivot a stop sign to a slow sign

  • Fred Smith

    @notaboomer – you’re right – your’re way off topic. A little insecure i guess- you’re right – a bunch of sissy-ass pansies who always fake injuries can’t hold a candle to professionals playing real sports…

  • Foley

    kewpie is my great grandpa

  • Foley

    kewpie is my great grandpa