July 31, 2021

Ross Barnes Is First Baseball Pioneer Honored in Monument Series

September 10, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Saturday August 19, 2017 a monument was dedicated and unveiled for baseball pioneer Ross Barnes. The event took place at a little park on Main Street in Barnes hometown of Mount Morris, New York. Gary Passamonte a native of Mount Morris, who has been piecing together information and an extensive collection of baseball mementos on Ross Barnes for the past thirty years delivered a presentation.

The ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance. This done, by the memorial of Francis Bellamy, the Mount Morris native that wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.

With a large photo of Barnes next to him, Gary shared his knowledge to a crowd of about one hundred. A “cradle to the grave” speech on the life of Barnes, let the audience fully understand how Barnes is so deserving of this honor. He was considered the greatest player of the game by fellow players Albert Spalding and Cap Anson and today argued the best by baseball historians.

Concluding his speech, the monument was unveiled. The front side of the two-sided memorial includes a portrait and the following text:

This memorial is dedicated to the life of Roscoe C. Barnes

Born in Mount Morris, NY, May 8, 1850 to Joseph and Mary Barnes. Barnes played with the Rockford Forest Cities from 1866 to 1870. He began his professional career with the Boston Red Stockings of the National Association in 1871. Barnes played with Boston from 1871 to 1875 and complied a .391 batting average during that period, hitting over .400 three times. In 1876 Barnes joined the Chicago White Stockings of the newly formed National League. He hit .429 and was the league’s first batting champion. He hit the first home run in National League history on May 2, 1876. Barnes again played for Chicago in 1877. He played for Cincinnati in 1879 and finished his major league career in 1881 with Boston. Barnes lived in Chicago following his career and died February 5, 1915. In his obituary, he was described as the “greatest” second baseman known to the game.


The backside of the memorial includes a full body etching wearing a Boston uniform along with some career highlights as follows:

Career batting totals from 1871-1881

G          AB          R          H          HR          RBI          AVG          SB

499      2391      698      860         6           346         .360          103

Only player in major league history to bat .400 in four seasons

Winner of three batting titles – 1872, 1873, 1876

Was a great fielder, handling batted balls with either hand in pre-glove days

Played on five straight championship teams- 1872-1875 Boston, 1876 Chicago

Donated August 19, 2017 by

Gary and Myra Passamonte, David J. Stalker,

Archie Monuments, and Friends of Ross Barnes

Once unveiled, the crowd dispersed to Bellamy Park for a vintage base ball game by players from the Rochester, NY area. The game was played by the rules set in 1868. Those watching were able to sit in a beautiful wooden grandstand that was built in the 1930’s, one of the countries treasures.

102 years after his death in 1915 we can finally be assured that this baseball legend will be remembered forever. Ross Barnes and Gary Passamonte will always be remembered together, in the Village of Mount Morris, NY. Barnes will always be known in David Stalker’s Baseball Memorial Series as the first pioneer of the game which was honored in the series.

Dave Stalker (Watertown, WI) left with Gary Passamonte (Mt. Morris, NY)

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