A classic number-two hitter, Barrett batted a career-high .303 in his first full major-league season (1984), but was most valued for his excellent bat control and talent at moving runners along. He rarely struck out and was a skillful bunter, leading the AL in sacrifice hits three straight years from 1986 to 1988. Also renowned for his savvy at second base, Barrett often confounded enemy baserunners with decoys, bluffs, and the occasional hidden-ball trick.
A knee injury sidelined Barrett for much of the 1989 season, and by the 1990 Jody Reed had taken over as the Red Sox primary second baseman. A 12-game stint with San Diego in 1991 closed out his career.
Barrett's younger brother Tom, also a second baseman, played briefly for the Phillies in 1988-89 and appeared in four games for the Red Sox in 1992. (SCL)
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»June 23, 1981: Dave Koza scores Marty Barrett with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 33rd inning, giving Pawtucket a 3–2 win over Rochester and ending the longest game in professional baseball history. The game had been suspended April 19th after 32 innings and eight hours, seven minutes of play, but the continuation took only 18 minutes to complete. Bob Ojeda pitches one inning to earn the win. Future ML stars Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken go a combined 6-for-25.
»August 6, 1984: The Tigers and Red Sox split, with Detroit outslugging Boston in the opener, 9–7, and Boston replying, 10–2. Aurelio Lopez (8–0) wins Game One in relief as Chet Lemon and Lance Parrish each hit homers and drive in three runs. Marty Barrett has four hits for the Sox in the opener and Wade Boggs does the same in the nitecap. Two of his hits are homers to fuel Roger Clemens to his 6th win.
»June 10, 1987: At Baltimore, the Red Sox clip the Orioles, 15–4. Ellis Burks and Marty Barrett lead the 18-hit attack with grand slams.