'Spark plug' lights up Vegas
Catching up with Marty Barrett
LAS VEGAS -- He was the spark plug for the Boston Red Sox during the 1980's. Playing second base and hitting second in the lineup, Marty Barrett was beloved by Red Sox Nation.
"The thing that I liked most about playing for Boston was the fans appreciated baseball so much," said Barrett. "There is such a rich tradition there. They understood the game probably better that any city in the country on how it should be played. That's how I made my living was trying to play the game smart. It was nice to know they appreciated it so much."
Barrett played a total of 10 years in the major leagues with nine seasons in Boston from 1982-90 and one more year in 1991 with the San Diego Padres with whom he played in only 12 games with before retiring.
"It definitely was a dream come true," Barrett said. "To play in a city like Boston where Carl Yastrzemski was one of my favorite players growing up was nice. I knew a lot about the players when I got up there. I was a big fan of Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Carney Lansford, and Tony Armas. They were just unbelievable guys and I felt really fortunate."
After retiring, Barrett stayed on with the Padres organization coaching for their Triple-A team, the 51's, which played in Barrett's hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1995, Barrett took an opportunity to manage for the first time with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, Class A affiliate of the Padres.
Barrett had the chance to manage current Chicago Cubs' players Derek Lee and Matt Clement.
"I had a great time doing that," Barrett said. "I really enjoyed it because you get the guys attention when you are the manager. They look you in the eye. In (Class) A ball the kids really have a hunger for learning and hearing from someone that's been in the big leagues and what it takes to be in the big leagues."
After the one season managing the Quakes, Barrett decided he wanted to remain in Las Vegas to spend more time with his family. He still lives there with his wife Robin and three children - Eric, 23, Katy, 18, and Kyle, 15.
"I got asked to manage in Double-A, but my son (Kyle) wanted me to coach his Little League team, so I decided to coach him for the next six years," said Barrett. "It's been really fun watching my kids grow up. I've got to see so many things that I wouldn't have seen if I was still in baseball. I wouldn't give that up for anything."
Barrett was a key member of the 1986 Red Sox World Series team, which came within one out of winning it all. Continued...