Barfield is considered to have had "by far the best outfield arm of the 1980s". He led American League outfielders in assists for three consecutive years (1985–87). Along with George Bell (LF) and Lloyd Moseby (CF), Barfield starred in what many analysts considered the best all-around outfield of the 1980s with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1985, he achieved a relatively rare combination with at least 20 each of home runs (27), stolen bases (22), and outfield assists (22).
Barfield in 2009
|Born: October 29, 1959|
|September 3, 1981, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 17, 1992, for the New York Yankees|
|Runs batted in||716|
|Career highlights and awards|
Selected by the Blue Jays in the ninth round of the 1977 amateur draft, Barfield debuted in the Majors in 1981, hitting .232 in just 25 games. He was a regular the following season and hit .246 with 18 home runs and 58 RBI, including the first pinch hit grand slam in Blue Jays franchise history. He finished eighth in American League Rookie of the Year voting and solidified himself as a regular in the lineup for years to come.
In 1983, Barfield hit .253 with 27 home runs and 58 RBI. The following year, he increased his average to .284 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI.
In 1985, Barfield batted .289/.369/.536, which was 42 percent higher than the league average or adjusted OPS+. He hit for both power and speed, with 27 homers and 22 stolen bases. Further, as a defensive standout, he recorded 22 outfield assists and netting 6.8 Wins Above Replacement. His 1985 .289 season batting average was a career-high, and he became the first Blue Jays player to hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases in the same season. That season, Toronto reached the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. In his only playoff competition—the American League Championship Series (ALCS)—Barfield batted .280 with 1 home run, 4 RBI, and 1 stolen base.
Despite the Blue Jays' failure to defend their 1985 division title, Barfield enjoyed his best personal season in 1986. He collected career-highs in batting average (.289, tying the previous season), 40 home runs, 108 RBI, 107 runs, 170 hits, 35 doubles, and wRC+ (147). His 40 homers led the Major League and set a team record that lasted one year. Also, Barfield won both a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award, and he was selected to the American League All-Star team.
The 1987 season saw Barfield play in a career-high 159 games, hitting .263 with 28 home runs and 84 RBI. He also won his second Gold Glove that year. The following year, his average dipped to .244 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI. In 1989, he hit just .200 with 5 home runs (out of 16 total hits) and 11 RBI in 28 games before being traded to the New York Yankees for Al Leiter on April 30.
Barfield finished the 1989 season with the Yankees, and his average increased slightly to .240, with 18 home runs and 56 RBI. In 1990, he hit .246 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI, but he never produced quite like the club had hoped. In 1991, he hit just .225, although he produced 17 home runs and 48 RBI for a Yankees team that was one of the worst in recent history.
By 1992, injuries and general ineffectiveness forced his retirement at the age of 32, after he hit just .137 (13 hits in 95 at-bats) in 30 games. He was granted free agency on November 4.
In 1993, he played in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants, reuniting with Lloyd Moseby, but he batted just .215 in 114 games before he 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 team.
Throughout his career, Barfield was a free swinger and racked up more than 140 strikeouts in each of five seasons (1985–1987, 1989, and 1990). 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, 716 RBI, and 39 WAR in 1,428 games. He was inducted in the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.
His elder son, Josh, is a former infielder with the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians. Another son, Jeremy, was selected by the New York Mets during the 2006 draft. Jeremy opted to attend San Jacinto Community College instead and was drafted again in 2008 by the Oakland Athletics. He spent eight seasons in the Athletics' and Colorado Rockies' minor league systems and two independent leagues before joining the Boston Red Sox organization in 2017.
On August 22, 2006, the Associated Press reported that Jesse Barfield was taken to a hospital after he suffered a head injury when he was allegedly shoved down a flight of lower stairs by his son, Jeremy, during a family argument. The incident also resulted in Jeremy's arrest on a Class A misdemeanor charge of family assault.
The 1981 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's fifth season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing seventh in the American League East with a record of 37 wins and 69 losses. The season was suspended for 50 days due to the 1981 players' strike, and the league chose as its playoff teams the division winners from the first and second halves of the season, respectively.1985 American League Championship Series
The 1985 American League Championship Series was played between the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays from October 8 to 16. Major League Baseball decided to extend the Championship Series in both leagues from its best-of-five (1969–1984) to the current best-of-seven format starting with this year, and it proved pivotal in the outcome of the ALCS. The Blue Jays seemingly put a stranglehold on the Series, earning a three games to one lead over the Royals after four games. However, Kansas City staged an improbable comeback, winning the next three games to win the American League Championship Series four games to three. The Royals would proceed to defeat their cross-state rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, in the World Series four games to three.1985 Toronto Blue Jays season
The 1985 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's ninth season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing first in the American League East with a record of 99 wins and 62 losses. The win total of 99 is a franchise record, and the division title was the franchise's first.
Despite having the second-best record in Major League Baseball, the Blue Jays collapsed in the American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals, blowing a 3–1 series lead and losing in seven games.1986 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1986 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 57th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 15, 1986, at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, the home of the Houston Astros of the National League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 3-2 and ended a streak where the NL won 13 of the last 14 games. Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens was named the Most Valuable Player.1986 Major League Baseball season
The 1986 Major League Baseball season saw the New York Mets win their second World Series title, their first since 1969.1986 Toronto Blue Jays season
The 1986 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's tenth season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing fourth in the American League East with a record of 86 wins and 76 losses.1987 Toronto Blue Jays season
The 1987 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's 11th season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing second in the American League East with a record of 96 wins and 66 losses. They had been in first place by 3½ games over the Detroit Tigers with a week left to play, but they dropped their next seven games in a row, capped off by a sweep at the hands of Detroit at Tiger Stadium on the last weekend of the season, and lost the division by two games.1989 New York Yankees season
The New York Yankees' 1989 season was the 87th season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 74-87, finishing in fifth place, 14.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays. New York was managed by Dallas Green and Bucky Dent. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.1989 Toronto Blue Jays season
The 1989 season was the Toronto Blue Jays' 13th season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing first in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses. They lost the ALCS in five games to the eventual World Series champion Oakland Athletics. It was the team's last season at Exhibition Stadium, before moving to SkyDome halfway into the season. The Blue Jays hit eight grand slams, the most in MLB in 1989.1990 New York Yankees season
The New York Yankees' 1990 season was the 88th season for the Yankees. The team finished in seventh place in the American League East with a record of 67-95, finishing 21 games behind the Boston Red Sox. It was the Yankees' first last-place finish in 24 years, the first in the two-division era, and their most recent to date. New York was managed by Stump Merrill and Bucky Dent. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.1991 New York Yankees season
The New York Yankees' 1991 season was the 89th season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 71-91 finishing 20 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays. New York was managed by Stump Merrill. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.Jamie Campbell (sportscaster)
Jamie Campbell (born May 20, 1967) is a Canadian sportscaster with Sportsnet. He is currently the host of Toronto Blue Jays telecasts and previously provided the play-by-play from 2005 to 2009.Josh Barfield
Joshua LaRoy Barfield (born December 17, 1982) is a former American professional baseball second baseman. He is the son of former major league outfielder Jesse Barfield. Barfield was born in Venezuela during his mother's two-week winterball visit with his father. He attended Klein Oak High School in Harris County, Texas and holds the District 5 single season home run record.
His younger brother Jeremy Barfield was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 8th round of 2008 Major League Baseball draft.Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame
The Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame was established to honor those who have made a significant contribution to professional baseball in Kinston, North Carolina. Inductions usually occur during a "hot stove" banquet in late January or early February. There were four inductees in the initial class of 1983. There were no inductees in 1986 or 1987. Grady Little was elected in 2000 but could not be inducted until 2001 due to a snow storm.
Following each person's name is the year of induction in the Hall of Fame:
Jesse Barfield (1990)
Steve Blass (1997)
Bobby Bragan (1998)
Sean Casey (2009)
Pat Crawford (1983)
Cecil Fielder (1994)
Lou Gorman (1985)
Johnny Goryl (2002)
Mike Hargrove (1992)
Charlie Keller (1983)
Clyde King (1999)
Ray Kuhlman (1989)
Grady Little (2001)
Carl Long (2003)
Gordon Mackenzie (2005)
Leo Mazzone (1993)
John McLaren (1991)
Charles Nagy (2004)
Sam Narron (1988)
Chad Ogea (2008)
Pete Peterson (1984)
Jim Price (1995)
Jay Schroeder (1996)
Stan Spence (1983)
George Suggs (1983)
Eric Wedge (2007)
Rocket Wheeler (2006)List of Toronto Blue Jays home run leaders
List of the Toronto Blue Jays franchise home run leaders with 50 or more home runs.(Correct as of April 23, 2019)Toronto Blue Jays award winners and league leaders
This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Toronto Blue Jays professional baseball team.Utica Blue Sox
The Utica Blue Sox was the name of two minor league baseball teams based in Utica, New York.
In the 2010s, the Utica Blue Sox is the name of a collegiate wooden bat baseball team of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League based in New York State.