The 2009 Tennessee Smokies were stacked with two all-star second baseman - Darwin Barney and Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg served as the team's manager, while Barney served most of his time at shortstop during his tenure in Double-A. Barney now stakes his claim as one of the greatest fielding second baseman, in the game today.
During his time with the Smokies, Barney held a .949 fielding percentage and committed 16 errors over 74 games. In the month of April his bat stayed hot and he accumulated a .339 average. On June 5, 2009, Barney broke out, going 3 for 4 and driving in two runs in the eighth inning. That day, he helped achieve a 5-2 victory over the Chattanooga Lookouts, and played a crucial role in ending a Tennessee losing streak. He was promoted to Triple-A Iowa just one day after being chosen to play in the Double-A Southern League All-Star Game.
Barney made his Major League debut on August 12, 2010. Two seasons later he was awarded a Gold Glove and the Fielding Bible Award. Each award recognized him as the best defensive second baseman in the game. He was the first Cubs Gold Glover since Sandberg's nine year run from 1983-1991. He tied the MLB record for consecutive errorless games with 141, and tallied only two errors during the 2012 season.
Jeff Shoaf, Tennessee's assistant general manager, said of Barney, "He knew the game; he's a really smart player." Shoaf also mentioned a game where Barney made the decision to let a ball drop back so he could turn a double play instead of making an easy out. "He was a leader."
Many star players have etched their name in Smokies history, so don't miss your chance to see Hall of Fame performances here at Smokies Stadium, starting April 9th.
- Locker Room
- how it works