Sunday, August 1, 2010


Lute Barnes was selected by the New York Mets in the 21st round of the 1969 amateur draft. A native of Forest City, Iowa who attended Oregon State University. Barnes worked his way through the minor-league system reaching Triple-A Tidewater in 1971. He was rewarded with a call up to New York the next season when starting shortstop, Bud Harrelson was forced to the disabled list. Barnes made his major-league debut on August 6, 1972 at Shea Stadium. The Mets were facing the Chicago Cubs that Sunday afternoon on route to a lopsided victory. Manager, Yogi Berra brought his starters out of the game in the top of the 7th inning. Lute would not come to the plate until the 8th inning facing Cubs' pitcher Steve Hamilton. In his first major-league at-bat he would lace a line drive to left field and drive in the 12th run of the game. One of 17 hits that the young infielder would record during his 24 games to close that year. He finished with a .236 batting average and six RBIs.

Lute was back in Tidewater for the entire 1973 minor-league season. Receiving a second call up when the major-league rosters expanded in September. During this visit he would only appear in three games as either a pinch-runner or pinch-hitter. He collected his last major-league hit in what would be his final major-league at-bat on September 26, 1973. A base hit to drive in a run back at Shea Stadium where his big league career had begun.

Barnes would play the next two years in Triple-A. Finishing his career with the Cincinnati Reds organization at Indianapolis before retiring in 1975.

I created the card for Lute Barnes in the set from an autographed index card given to me by my friend, Jessie on June 24, 2010.

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