The Obit For Ross Barnes

Obit Courtesy Of Rob Martindale
Rockford Morning Star
Saturday, 6 February 1915
p. 10


Greatest Second Baseman
Known to Baseball Passes
Away in Chicago.


Rockford relatives and friends were saddened last night by receipt of advices to the effect that Roscoe C. Barnes had passed away at Chicago after an illness of only three or four days from aneurism of the aorta.

"Ross" Barnes, as he was generally known, was born in Mt. Morris, N. Y., sixty-four years ago and came to Rockford with his familly in 1866. The then new game of baseball appealed to him and by devoting to it the same keen brains which his brothers displayed in mechanics he advanced so rapidly in this profession that by 1870 he had become a national diamond celebrity and started on a career where he attained such fame and standing that Henry Chadwick, the veteran journalist who was called the "Father of Baseball" up to the time of his death, a few years ago, maintained that he was the greatest second baseman known to the game, past or present, than which no higher praise could be bestowed.

Was Star at Boston.

Barnes played at shortstop with the famous Forest Citys of Rockford in 1868-69-70 and then accompanied A. G. Spalding and Fred Cone to Boston in the National association which was the forerunner of the National league, where he was under the management of Harry Wright and where for several years he covered second base in a manner which has never been eclipsed.

Later he was a member of the Tecumsh club of Gualph, Canada, for one brilliant season and with the Chicago National league club for several years, persistent ill health finally forcing his retirement in the late seventies.

Beau Ideal of Ballmen.

Barnes had remarkable skill in guaging ground and fly balls and many of the present batting rules were devised to cut off his "fair fouls" and other strategy at the plate, for he was one of the most scientific and consistentbatsmen in the history of the sport and stood high in both batting and fielding averages at all times.

He was the personification of grace and effectiveness on the field and in his prime was the beau ideal of the intelligent diamond athlete, on and off the field, a gentleman and man of honor deserving of the wide esteem in which he was held.

Was Accountant Lately.

After the close of his baseball career he engaged in various business pursuits, mostly in or about Chicago, his last connection being a long period spent as an accountant in the office of the People's Gas Light & Coke company, in that city.

Mr. Barnes is survived by two sisters and four brothers, Mrs. Lucy T. Putnam, of Rockford, Mrs. Martha Burnham, of Saco, Maine, J. Starkey Barnes, of Avon, N. Y., and John W. Fletcher and B. Franklin Barnes, of this city.

Funeral services will be held here at the home of B. Franklin Barnes, 715 North Church street, on the arrival of the remains from Chicago, on a date and hour of which further announcement will be made and interment will be in the West Side cemetery.