EDITOR'S NOTE (February 21,2023): Yesterday, we received a comment on an article written by Bruce Darrow about the passing of Coach Bob Barth, dated June 22, 2010. Coach Bob died suddenly in 2010. The article brought back many fond memories of him, as such, we decided to re-publish it in its entirety.
By Bruce Darrow
CNB News Sports Reporter
BROOKLAWN, NJ --There are times when writing a story you need more than words. Readers must be able to envision what is being written. Enjoyment in reading comes with the great ability to put yourself in the place and time that is being written.
Listen to the Phillies on the radio; you can actually see the beads of sweat dripping from a pitcher as he approaches a batter with the game on the line. A swing and a miss can be visualized. The tension and emotions are now within each listener.
Memories can be measured by how a story took on a life of its own. From Brooklawn to Boyertown the lasting positive impression of a single family can be felt and remembered. Baseball, basketball, and clinics are the norm in many area towns but unlike other communities, stability is a Brooklawn standard.
The Barth family in Brooklawn is what sports are all about. Not just baseball but basketball and even Wiffleball. Few know that Joe “Pop” Barth coached a grammar school basketball team in the late 1960s that won 102 games while losing only 2. Son Dennis Barth is known for his baseball coaching but did an excellent job as the Gloucester Catholic Rams Basketball coach. Anytime you needed any information about coaching you contacted a Barth for their opinion.
But, one Barth stood out against the rest. Bob Barth, former Lions Baseball coach, former Gloucester Catholic Baseball coach, Overbrook High School Basketball coach, and recently an assistant basketball coach at Lindenwold died suddenly in an auto accident.
Bob was a man better known for his voice than anything else. You knew when Bob was coaching even when you did not see him. His command as a coach could be felt throughout the fields or courts.
Growing up Bob was known on the Brooklawn courts as the player to call a miss on his shot only to see it bank in. He along with others spent their youth on the Brooklawn courts. As time passed Bob's interest moved to other things but he never forgot Brooklawn.
… Bob was the announcer for the Brooklawn Wiffleball Championship game and before anyone knew what RED BULL was Bob drank 5 cans before he went wired behind the mike.
Bob was instrumental in starting a summer baseball camp in Gloucester.
…Coach Bob, little players would say told them the same story after camp each year
Bob was a great instructor with a love of the game.
…after Brooklawn Clinched the Mid-Atlantic Championship and were bound for Las Vegas. Bob became so worn out celebrating he passed out and was taken away by ambulance.
Bob's knowledge to adapt to the game situation was outstanding. He coached from the first pitch to the last pitch never stopping to breathe.
…in the game in Brooklawn not only was the opposing team upset with Bob but the opposing fans asked the umpire for him to please stop Bob from talking. They said he was driving them crazy
Coach Barth loved the one on one clinics he held at Sportz Central
…Coach Barth worked with me and made me a pretty good pitcher.
No one has ever said anything but great things about Bob. He brought his teaching skills out of the classroom and unto the fields. Bob’s hair may have been messed he may have forgotten to tuck in his shirt but everyone who knew would expect nothing less from Coach.
Coach Bob Barth has passed on. He died alone but did what he loved. Bob was getting ready to coach another player. Only yards away from his clinic Bob lost his life.
…during a game Bob took over the microphone at Campbell Field and announced that the Boyertown busing was running, and the air condition was on, because the game was over.
Memories of Bob will never be forgotten. There are way too many happy times. Bob was a legend within a legendary family. His craziness and caring for others will be missed.
…up steps Dan Mc Carthy, Dan is a .780 hitter but when he bats right. Dan is a Wiffleball legend.
Bob has gone away from us. Maybe Bob and his brother John are seated with Dan Mc Carthy watching the BROOKERS play. To know Bob was to love and laugh with Bob.
…Dad, like my Harry Kalas shirts says the voice is gone but will never be forgotten.
As a fan and friend of Bob, you will be missed. Not just this generation but for generations to come.
REST IN PEACE, COACH.
Funeral services are under the direction of the Gardner Funeral Home, Runnemede NJ.