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At age 53, Jesse Barfield still 'feeling good' on the baseball field

Charity Home Run Derby and Old-Timers' Day part of a big week for Barfield
07/05/2013 9:40 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

"The Boss" brought Jesse Barfield to the Bronx in an April 1989 trade.(New York Daily News)
Acquired in the April 1989 trade that sent Al Leiter north to Toronto, Jesse Barfield spent the final four of his 12 Major League seasons patrolling the outfield in Yankee Stadium, hitting .231 with 62 homers for the Bombers in that span.

His baseball swan song came in Japan in 1993, and two decades later, Barfield remains quite busy. Now 53, he has spent the last 20 years watching his two sons play baseball - older son Josh spent 2006-09 in the Majors with the Padres and Indians and now plays independent ball, while younger son Jeremy is in the Athletics organization - and in a chat on June 23, he revealed he's moved on to the cultivation of perhaps a third generation of Barfield baseball.

"These days, I'm just working with the kids back home (in Texas), watching both of my boys play, and enjoying being a grandfather," Barfield said.

While not as famous (yet) as some of his other quotes - like, say, the day in 1986 he told reporters that distraction from a UFO caused him to drop a fly ball - the above was uttered on a day where Barfield found himself doing something else he enjoys: returning to Yankee Stadium for Old-Timers' Day.

Barfield has been back several times, making multiple pilgrimages over the years to join with teammates of the past and reminisce about the glory days - and maybe even swap some stories as crazy as an extraterrestrial showdown in the Canadian sky.

"It's always fun. That locker room is cracking up right now, the guys are having a blast and my stomach is hurting from laughing," he chuckled.

Barfield has hit well in his Old-Timers' appearances, and this year, he even joined Willie Randolph in throwing some BP, making good of the arm that saw him become one of the most feared outfielders of the 1980s.

And, just a few days removed from taking part in a charity home run derby in his original baseball home of Toronto, Barfield joked that he's still got some pop in his bat even in his fifties, but may not quite have the recovery ability he had in his prime.

"I feel good, but I need to get loose and see what I have left," he joked. "It's been a rough week."

His baseball ability may have declined a bit thanks to Father Time, but it's clear that Barfield's wit will live on for a long, long time.

 

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