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Patrick Barham, Second Base

Inducted into FOBL Hall of Fame: 2019

Drafted in the second round (64th overall) by the Utah Raptors in 2001.

Utah Raptors (2001, 2013-2017)
Norfolk Zippys (2002-2006)
Des Moines Delinquents (2007-2010)
Philadelphia Billyclubs (2011-2012)

Fake Baseball Reference Entry

Career:
17 seasons, .277 BA, .826 OPS, 466 HR, 702 SB

Best season:
2007: .288 BA, 33 HR, 101 RBI, 201 H, 84 SB

Awards:
GL Gold Glove 2004, 2005, 2013
All-Star Team 2003, 2011, 2012, 2013

Patrick Barham was a player that was more spectacularly solid than solidly spectacular. Meaning, Barham was consistenly excellent as opposed to leading the league in many offensive categories through his career. Barham played for 17 seasons with four teams. He hit 20 or more home runs in 14 of his 17 seasons as well as stealing more than 25 bases in 12 of his years in the league, leading the league in steals in 2004 with 77.

Barham also makes a constant appearance on the FOBL career leaderboards which shows how great of an all-around player he was. He ranks third all-time in FOBL history with 109 triples, fourth all-time with 661 doubles. Barham led the league in doubles twice in his career as well. Barham's legacy is even more prolific than this as he ranks among FOBL career leaders in runs scored, ranking fifth with 1,786 and eighth in total bases. He also ranks ninth in runs batted in with 1,706, ninth in games played with 2,629 and ninth in at bats with 10,450. Barham put those at bats to good use, as he is 17th in career hits with 2,897. He wasn't just a contact hitter though as exhibited by the fact that he is 20th all time in home runs with 466.

Barham played every game on the FOBL 162 game schedule six different times. He was a player that a team never had to worry about, penciling into the lineup every single game. The slick fielding second baseman was fantastic in the field, anchoring a team's middle infield as well as on offense, anchoring a lineup as a feared middle of the order hitter who could hit the long ball and drive in runs or slap a base hit to the opposite field or sacrifice to move a runner up a base. In addition to that, once he got on base, which was often, pitchers had to watch him often as his 702 stolen bases, which rank third all time in the annals of FOBL, attest. Barham was also successful on 83% of his steal attempts which made his presence on the basepaths that much more essential for his teams.

After being drafted by Utah in the second round in 2001, Barham jumped immediately into the big leagues playing in 157 games in his rookie season. Barham may have not been ready as a 23 year old rookie since while he hit 25 homers, drove in 87 runs and stole 43 bases, he only hit .235 and struck out 116 times for the Utah Raptors. In his second season, he was shipped to the Norfolk Zippys, labeled as a disappointment, in exchange for fellow second baseman Chris Araujo and pitcher Justin Noggle. A change of scenery served Barham well, as he hit .314 in his second season, with 31 homers and 109 RBI. He also stole 41 bases and was caught just eight times.

He would spend five seasons with Norfolk until he was eligible for free agency in the 2006-07 offseason after his sixth season. At this point, the star second sacker had established himself as a star and his struggles as a Utah rookie were long behind him. In his five seasons with Norfolk, he hit over 30 homers every season including two seasons over 40 long balls. He also knocked in over 100 runs and stole over 40 bases in each of the five seasons he played for the Zippys. However, Barham took the money and ran for the big lights, and bright city of Des Moines who opened up their checkbook and signed him to a one year, $22.6 million dollar contract which created long term waves in FOBL and helped to change the free agent landscape forever. However, the money created a focus on Barham that he wasn't used to and he had a disappointing season, hitting just 20 homers, a career low with 93 RBI, his second lowest total. He hit .283, but this was not what Des Moines expected when inking Barham to a landmark contract for big money.

After that season, Barham would re-sign with Des Moines for the security of a five year contract worth $10.6 million for year and he rebounded. The next season, in 2008, Barham exploded with 39 homers, knocking in 120 RBI while scoring 144 runs and stealing an incredible 75 bases and only getting caught 10 times. In 2009, Barham would go on to set his career best for steals in a single season with 84. Again, he only got caught 10 times. The 84 steals are the eighth highest mark in one season in FOBL history.

At the age of 33 and a 10 year FOBL veteran, the Delinquents of Des Moines traded Barham to the Philadelphia Billyclubs for 3B Joe Smith. After having a rough first season, Barham's total of four seasons in Des Moines were a success. He registered his first 200 hit season in 2009. After struggling personally under the weight of a $22 million contract in 2007 and where Des Moines finished under .500, the Delinquents then won over 90 games in Barham's next three seasons with the team. The 2007 season was the only time in Barham's career where a team he was on would finish lower than .500.

Barham would spend just two seasons with Philadelphia and had two successful seasons, helping to lead the Billyclubs to two 90+ win seasons and two FOBL postseason appearances. However, the Billyclubs chose to go in a different direction after the 2012 season, Barham's second with the club, and was allowed to file for free agency. Utah then signed him to a one year, $10.1 million, where Barham started his career. Barham had a great year in 2013 after signing this contract where he hit 33 homers and drove in 114 RBI, but a big missing piece in his arsenal was his phenomenal base stealing as a 35 year old. He only stole nine bases and would never climb above that in his next four seasons, spent all with Utah as he finished his career with the team he started it with. Barham had one last great season in 2016, his second to last season in FOBL, where he had 214 base hits and hit .318, both career highs, while driving in 84 runs and scoring 108. He would retire after the 2017 season at the age of 39, just 103 hits shy of 3,000 career hits.

The four time FOBL All-Star starter was simply a winner, and that is another reason why he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Of his 17 season, just one time did a team he was on fail to have over a .500 record. Even more impressive, 14 of his 17 seasons were spent on teams that won over 90 games in a season. Barham had five appearances in the FOBL postseason but never did play for an FOBL Champion. This shouldn't detract from Barham's career as his long record of team and individual success prove that he is one of the most successful players in both regards in FOBL history.