*Italian Heritage Doubtful/Unlikely
Card: 1978 Olde Cards Halsey Hall Recalls #7
Herbert Paul "Babe" Barna (b. March 2, 1915 in Clarksburg, WV – d. May 18, 1972 in Charleston, WV) was a star football player in college, an end who excelled as a receiver. He had “mercury in his shoes and glue on his finger tips.” He starred at football, basketball, and baseball at West Virginia University and received an offer by Bert Bell of the Philadelphia Eagles to play professional football after the 1937 baseball season had ended. But scout Ira Thomas of Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics had gotten to him first. He’d signed to play baseball, and elected not to become a two-sport pro for fear of suffering an injury that could cost him his baseball career.
Babe enjoyed a lengthy career as an outfielder in professional baseball that lasted from his college graduation in 1937 through the 1952 season, playing in over 2,000 games, though only 207 were at the major-league level.
He played in five seasons from 1937 through 1943, mostly for the New York Giants, though he’d begun his big-league career with the Athletics and ended with the Boston Red Sox. During those five seasons, he was up and down from the minors and actually wore a total of seven different uniform numbers in his five years of major-league ball.
Babe started a company with a partner, the B & H Sportsman’s Club, and he was the president and manager of a private social club in Charleston. There were a few bumps in the road in the restaurant business, and the partnership.
A few years later, Barna was given a 120-day suspended jail sentence for charges of illegal sale and possession of whiskey. It may have been a private social club, but whether the membership bar was set high enough may have been called into question again in 1958, when club member George Goff, Jr., 28, stabbed Barna in an “altercation” in the club, giving him a 14-inch pen-knife wound across his abdomen. “He had been cuffing me around and I got tired of it,” Goff told police. The police ordered the closing of the club, but it reopened after Barna got out of the hospital.
Barna died in Charleston, West Virginia, at the age of 57.
Babe Barna is the last stop on the New York/SF Giants Players Tour – Go Home
Babe is also part of the Boston Red Sox Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Babe is also part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop
*Babe is part of the Italian Ancestry Unsure/Doubtful Tour – go to the Next Stop
See all Babe’s baseball cards at TCDB
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