Merry Christmas Duluth: Barker’s Back

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Updated: July 26, 2015

December 25, 2021; Duluth, MN – Surprise!  Dave Barker is back!

OK, not BACK back (wouldn’t that be splendid).  But he is back with the organization that drafted him fourth overall a decade ago and with which he won nearly 100 PEBA games.  With the recent reassignment of Cade Phillps to Single A Rapid City, the team had a key opening of pitching coach at AAA Madison.  Barker seemed like a natural fit after announcing his retirement from the field shortly after the Planetary Extreme Championship several weeks ago.  So GM Bill McKenzie announced on Christmas morning that Zoom Zoom would be hired to the Warrior organization and assigned to the current opening as pitching coach in AAA Madison.

Barker accrued a 114-59 record over nine PEBA seasons, 7+ seasons with the Warriors and the last season and a half with the Aurora Borealis.  Zoom Zoom’s 3.29 ERA is still the best career value for a starting pitcher in team history as is his 96 wins.  The Salinas, CA native won his first and only PEC title with the Borealis last season.  “Last season has definitely bittersweet,” the 32 year old pitcher told Unga Bunga.  “I felt the joy that comes with winning the ultimate victory in Aurora, but it felt a bit hollow since I couldn’t pitch in the playoffs.”  Unfortunately, arm troubles set in after an August start.  The original symptoms of shoulder inflammation never really subsided, followed by a diagnosis of minor but permanent nerve damage in the shoulder.  Rather than try to pitch again below his previous level, he left baseball for good in November with a solid PEBA career and hollow ring on his mantle.

Welcome back, amigo!