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Random Thoughts

A unique individual – Part 2


Last week I promised to discuss the life of a woman who is leading an interesting life. Her name is Perry Barber.

Barber and her twin sister, Warren, were born in New York City in 1953. Why her parents decided to give their daughters first names almost exclusively reserved for males is something I cannot answer.

The Barber girls were born into a socially and financially prominent family and became debutantes in 1972. As adults, they were beautiful, talented, witty and charming.

Perry decided she wanted to become a singer and songwriter. Some of her appearances on television shows in the 1970s are available on YouTube. They show her playing a guitar and singing folk and soft rock songs she wrote herself.

She had a fairly successful musical career that had her being an opening act for several big name performers including Bruce Springsteen, Hall and Oates, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Billy Joel.

After several years, however, Barber quit the music business to pursue a new passion she had discovered – umpiring baseball games!

Over the years, Barber has officiated contests at all levels from Little League to college to professional minor leagues. She estimates that she has umpired 150-200 games a year for the past three and a half decades.

To be sure, Barber is not the only woman to umpire in baseball's minor leagues. (No woman has ever umpired a Major League Baseball game.) But there are not many other women who can claim that distinction.

One was her sister (who died in 2011). Warren attended umpire school in 1982 when Perry did, but gave up umpiring after a few years.

Perry Barber has not only had to overcome the stigma of being a woman in an almost exclusively male domain, but at 5 feet 3 inches tall and 110 pounds she is hardly an imposing figure on the field!

In February 2018 the Society for American Baseball Research gave Barber a well-deserved prestigious award for promoting the idea that women have a place in the sport of baseball.


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