PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - He broke into the big leagues in 2010 and promptly won a gold glove award as the best defensive second basemen in the national league in his second full season.
Now, 33-year-old Southridge High and Oregon State University alum Darwin Barney is back safe at home.
His OSU teams that made three straight world series appearances from 2005 to '07, winning it all back-to-back, were mammoth in bringing baseball to the front burner in the beaver state.
Barney, a retired big leaguer, who starred for Murray Hill Little League is dreaming big to make his hometown major league as an adviser and investor to the MLB to PDX movement dare to dream.
After an eight-year MLB career, home was calling.
“It started eating at me a little bit. It made it less enjoyable, so I decided if I didn't break with a club, I wasn't going to go the minor leagues,” Barney said.
Barney is a big league stay-at-home dad to three princesses.
“When I came home, I finally saw my first game, which is sad. My kids are 10, 7 and 4 and I finally saw some softball in the summer,” he said.
When not golfing, the Southridge Skyhawk great is coaching 4th and 5th grade girl’s hoops.
Bone spurs in his throwing arm spurred his move to early retirement for which he is still coping
“It's a huge hole in my stomach now.”
Regarding the Portland Diamond Project, Barney is excited to see what baseball can become in the Rose City.
"Nothing would be better than to have a team in your backyard and to have any hand in that, any type of play in that, a big sense of pride comes because this is our home,” he said.
No rest until opening day, this is now about infrastructure and public transportation and oh yeah, that whole have a major league franchise to buy, thing either expansion or a struggling club seeking a new stadium that comes up for sale.
'We are ahead of those, couple of those (cities) that have teams right now. I feel like we are ahead in the development of the future land and stadium and all of that stuff that truly matters so we are in a good position,” Barney said.
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