LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—John Barfield, a left-hander from Arkansas who pitched three seasons for the Texas Rangers beginning in 1989, died in a shooting in Little Rock, police and family members said. He was 52.
Police said Barfield was fatally shot Dec. 24 after an altercation with an acquaintance in downtown Little Rock. William Goodman, 59, of Pine Bluff is being held in the Pulaski County jail on preliminary charges of first-degree murder in connection with Barfield’s death, which has been classified as a homicide. Court records do not list an attorney for Goodman.
Barfield was a native of Pine Bluff and led his high school team to a state championship, then played at a community college in Missouri and at Oklahoma City University. He was drafted in the 11th round by the Rangers in 1986.
Barfield’s sister, Debra Hudson, tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that she is devastated by her brother’s death, saying he was not an aggressive person and that he had a loving personality.
— N. Diunte (@ExamineBaseball) December 26, 2016
“He had the kindest heart of any human I had ever known,” Hudson said.
She said Barfield was a fierce competitor on the field but was always willing to sign autographs for young fans.
“We will always be proud of him,” she said.