Five minutes with Josh Barfield

Josh Barfield.
Josh Barfield. (Jonathan Tannenwald)
Posted: April 26, 2011

Playing at: Lehigh Valley (AAA)

Position: Second base

MLB service: 2 years, 158 days

Height: 6-foot Weight: 190

Age: 28

Born: Dec. 17, 1982, in Barquisimeto, Venezuela.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

How obtained: Signed as a minor league free agent, Nov. 22, 2010.

This season: Hitting .203 (12-for-59) with two doubles, a homer and seven RBI in 16 games . . . Hit .271 in spring training for the Phillies, who are struggling with depth at second base in light of Chase Utley's prolonged knee injury.

Must stay sharp: "You don't know what's going to happen with [Utley]," Barfield said before the season. "I feel like if I play well here, I feel like I definitely could help [the Phillies]."

Career at a glance: Had a fine rookie season for the Padres in 2006, .280 with 32 doubles . . . Was traded to Cleveland in the offseason and his career sputtered . . . Spent parts of three seasons with the Indians before the Padres picked him back up and put him at Triple A Portland last season.

Baseball blood: Barfield's father, Jesse, hit 241 home runs in 12 seasons in the majors with Toronto and the Yankees. His brother, Jeremy, is a 22-year-old rightfielder hitting .314 for Oakland's Double A affiliate. His godfather is Mike Jackson, a former Indians closer who broke in with the Phillies in 1986.

The Joe Carter home run: Barfield was 10 years old and rooting for the Blue Jays when Carter hit his monumental home run to beat the Phillies in the 1993 World Series. "It wasn't that long ago that my dad was with the team and we still followed the Blue Jays pretty closely," said Barfield, whose dad was with Toronto from 1981-89. "Rickey Henderson was one of my favorite players growing up. That was one of the classic games of all time."

Person in history he'd most like to meet: Martin Luther King Jr. "Because he's done so much, not only for African-Americans, but for this country. He was such an influential guy. There are so many questions I have and I would love to pick his brain about the stuff he went through."

Athlete he'd pay to watch:

LeBron James.

Most memorable athletic moment: "My first career walkoff in the big leagues is something you grow up dreaming about. It was awesome. The playoff race, last week of the season."

Details: Barfield hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off Colorado's Jeff Francis on Sept. 4, 2006. Earlier that season, he became the first Padres rookie ever to hit a pinch-hit grand slam.

Biggest athletic disappointment: Being sent down to the minors.

If he wasn't a baseball player: "I'd probably be homeless," he joked. But after some thought, added: "I'd be a chef. I'd go to culinary school."

His signature dish: "I make a really good chicken parmesan," he said.

- Ed Barkowitz

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