This lefty has the right stuff

John
John Browne
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Pasadena's Greg Barry helpings make Guards a contender

Veteran baseball coach Joe Wadden calls Greg Barry "an old-time ball player," and that's as good a compliment as it gets for local baseball these days.

"He'll do whatever it takes to get on base," said Wadden of the Guards pitcher.

"He just wants to get the win."

So far this season, Barry's pitching perfect in the St. John's Molson Senior Baseball League with a pair of wins in his first two starts - a two-hit, 3-2 decision over Holy Cross and a three-hit, 4-0 victory over defending league champion H.J. Bartlett Storm.

Guards lefthander Greg Barry has allowed just five hits and two runs in winning his first two St. John's senior baseball starts. - Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Veteran baseball coach Joe Wadden calls Greg Barry "an old-time ball player," and that's as good a compliment as it gets for local baseball these days.

"He'll do whatever it takes to get on base," said Wadden of the Guards pitcher.

"He just wants to get the win."

So far this season, Barry's pitching perfect in the St. John's Molson Senior Baseball League with a pair of wins in his first two starts - a two-hit, 3-2 decision over Holy Cross and a three-hit, 4-0 victory over defending league champion H.J. Bartlett Storm.

"He mixes his pitches and he's smart," said Wadden. "He doesn't give up on anybody. He goes after you. No matter what the count is, he'll throw his pitch.

"He's not shy. He'll move you inside ... he's competitive - like the old-time ball players," said Wadden, a member of Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame and the provincial baseball hall, who played all-out all of the time during his long career.

"No one is touching him (so far) this season," said Wadden.

Wadden's advice to his players when Barry's on the mound?

"You've got to move up in the (batter's) box and don't let him fool you."

A native of Pasadena, Barry moved to St. John's this summer for work opportunities.

Barry said it didn't matter which team he played for in the St. John's league as long as he got to pitch and play first base, a preferred field position for a left-hander.

"I've always played first when I wasn't pitching back home and, out here, it's the same thing so far," said Barry.

"I know some guys like the role of just being a pitcher, but I like to be in every game," said Barry, who is hitting around .250 this season.

"Hopefully, I'll improve on that," he said with a laugh. "I'm not a power hitter ... more of a contact hitter."

Barry's not concerned about getting his share of mound duty.

"I'll get my starts," he said. "They basically let me start whenever I feel healthy enough and fresh enough to go."

Although Guards have the use of eight pitchers, including two from the intermediate ranks, coach Bernie Davis didn't hesitate to make a trade in order to pick Barry first in the pre-season draft.

Barry has been getting the call from a variety of provincial teams heading to mainland competition in recent years, and that doesn't surprise Wadden.

"Even when he was living in Calgary, he came back here for the playoffs,.

"He's a good asset to any team because he comes to play every night," said Wadden, before adding, "He's got a great personality.

""If we (Knights) go any further, he's the first guy we pick up."

Barry said his goal is to win a national medal with a team from this province.

"Hopefully, I'll get a chance to play with the Capitals at the nationals this year," he said.

The five-foot-10, 150-pound southpaw throws a curve and change-up, but said his bread-and-butter pitch is "my tailing fastball, if I had take a guess."

He said there's a definite difference in playing senior ball on the east coast of the province compared to the west coast.

"Not to knock the west coast, but there's a larger pool of players here (in St. John's and Mount Pearl)," said Barry.

"The biggest difference," he said, "is that out here, you've got guys one through nine who can swing the bat, whereas on the west coast, one through five are really good, but the bottom part of the lineup is a little weaker."

The tougher lineups in St. John's and Mount Pearl are actually helping Barry improve his game.

"You've got guys like Gerald Butt and Gerry Stone out here and you've got to stick with it for the entire game. You can't let up or lose focus."

Barry has been playing baseball all of his life.

He recalls playing T-ball at three or four-years-old and said his dad, Terry, taught him the basics of the game growing up.

The southpaw spent a couple of his high school years in Alberta which he says helped improve his pitching skills.

When he was Grade 10, his family moved to Calgary for work reasons and said he got very good coaching in the Alberta baseball program. His team's pitching coach had played for Canada's Olympic team, "and he really helped me out a lot," he said.

Barry played in the Alberta triple A midget league, which meant travelling all around the province where he got to play over 60 games during the summer.

He said the midget players saw a lot of Calgary Cannons games because they helped out selling tickets. The Cannons, a AAA minor league team in the Pacific Coast League, relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2002.

At 27, Barry said his best years may still be ahead of him.

"I'm hoping I've got a good five or 10 years left in me," he said with a smile.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Molson Senior Baseball League, Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall, Capitals Pacific Coast League

Geographic location: St. John's, Pasadena, Calgary Alberta Mount Pearl Canada Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Recent comments

  • Pretty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    If coach Wadden admires Greg Barry so much, why did he go and trade his first overall pick away, knowing he would not get Barry 2nd?
    Something don't add up there!!

  • Todd
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Hey Joe:

    Maybe you should have talked to Vey before he traded the first pick away.......

    Todd

  • Doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I'm not a power hitter ... more of a contact hitter.

    Gee I don't know but I'm guessing a contact hitter should be doing better than a .250 clip!

  • Joel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Wait a minute. So the Knights traded the first pick (Greg Barry) away? Who would trade a players of Barry's calibre?

  • Yarrr
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Hey man stop making fun of the corner brook senior league, its our lively hood. And just a small correction, the Pasadena Pirates have a wicked 1 thru 9 batting lineup.

  • Pretty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    If coach Wadden admires Greg Barry so much, why did he go and trade his first overall pick away, knowing he would not get Barry 2nd?
    Something don't add up there!!

  • Todd
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Hey Joe:

    Maybe you should have talked to Vey before he traded the first pick away.......

    Todd

  • Doug
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    I'm not a power hitter ... more of a contact hitter.

    Gee I don't know but I'm guessing a contact hitter should be doing better than a .250 clip!

  • Joel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Wait a minute. So the Knights traded the first pick (Greg Barry) away? Who would trade a players of Barry's calibre?

  • Yarrr
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Hey man stop making fun of the corner brook senior league, its our lively hood. And just a small correction, the Pasadena Pirates have a wicked 1 thru 9 batting lineup.