W. Barry Blum
W. Barry Blum
Team: Baseball

W. Barry Blum '79
Hometown: Bristol, PA
Sport:
Baseball
Year Inducted: 1985
Other Sports Played: Football

How does a guy once described in the newspaper as a "noted thief" go on to become a respectable attorney in Miami? Wait - it's not the way it sounds. The only charge W. Barry Blum '79 can plead guilty to it the honorable one of stealing bases on the baseball diamond. He was a master at this, so good he holds the Brown records for most stolen bases in a season (23) and in a career (55). Blum was speedy, too: he rarely got caught. In his career at Brown, he stole 36 consecutive bases before being thrown out on an attempt in his junior year. As a junior, he broke the existing career stolen-base record of 34 set by Bill Almon '75, a major-league infielder today and a fellow Hall of Fame member. He was the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League's stolen base leader in 1977 and 1978. There was much more to Barry Blum's playing days at Brown than thievery, however. He set a record for career runs scored, and was named to the All-EIBL team first in 1977, batting .408, and again in 1979, batting .333. He also made the All-Ivy squads in both those years. Blum himself is particularly fond of remembering a doubleheader against Yale in his senior year, in which he had five hits and two home runs. "One home run was in the sixth inning, to tie the game, and the second was in the ninth, to win the game," he recalls. Blum's coach, Woody Woodworth, describes the centerfielder as "a sound outfielder with good hands, great speed, and solid at the plate." Barry Blum came to Brown having already won laurels aplenty at Delhaas High School in Bristol, Pennsylvania. He starred in both baseball and football there, being named captain and MVP in both sports and receiving All-League honors in both. His career batting average in high school was .400, and as quarterback he set a school record for total offense in a career. At Brown he also had a fine football career playing for four years at wide receiver and helping the Bruins to the Ivy title in 1976. At the annual football dinner in 1979, Blum returned to honor the man who steered him to Brown: Martin Wilenzik '56. "I met Mr Wilenzik when he came to my high school with Coach Andy Talley," Blum said. "I remember the time I told him over the phone that I had decided to go to Princeton. 'Don't do anything until I get there,' he said. And although he lives 45 miles away, he was at my house in 20 minutes! By the time he left, I had made my reservation for Providence." Lucky for Brown that this "thief" of bases was stolen right from under Princeton's nose.