Barfield following his father's footsteps
Josh saw big-league life early on with Major League dad
For Padres second baseman Josh Barfield, playing professional baseball is staying in the family business, following in the footsteps of his father, Jesse.While the memories of his dad and baseball are numerous, Josh also learned from his dad an important rule of baseball as a business: Don't take your work home with you. "He was always good about never pressuring me into playing. He never put extra pressure or expectations on myself," said Josh about his dad, who played in Major League Baseball from 1981-92. "I think that made it a lot easier and made us closer. When I wanted to talk about baseball, I could go to him if I wanted to talk about it. If I didn't talk want to talk about it, he was open to talking about other things. It was nice." Jesse was a two-time Gold Glove winner in the outfield (1986-87), and a Silver Slugger winner in 1986. While Josh enjoyed getting to see his dad play for the Blue Jays and then the Yankees to finish out his career, playing baseball with his father was what Josh liked best. "The father/kids games we'd have every year was probably a highlight. You always grew up watching your dad play, but to get a chance to go out on the field and play with him, and with all the guys on the team and their kids, that was something I looked forward to every year," the 23-year-old said. On those father/child events, every kid wore a smaller version of their dad's jersey for the game. "If you're really little, your dad would swing for you and carry you down to first. Once you get older, you get to swing yourself," Josh recalled. "It's not really that organized, but it's fun to be out there in full uniform with your dad, playing with your buddies." Now, Josh has a full uniform of his own. Josh is beginning to carve out a career of his own too, but some things remain the same from those father-kids games: the jersey still has No. 29 on the back, just like his dad's, with the name Barfield just above it.
Amanada Branam is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.