Erich Barnes, Star Defensive Back for the 1960s Giants, Died at 86

Erich Barnes, the hard-hitting, fast-paced man who helped propel the Giants to three NFL competitive leagues in the early 1960s, died Friday in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.

His death, at the hospital, was announced by the Giants, who said he came after a long illness but did not give further details.

Playing for 14 seasons – three with the Chicago Bears, four with the Giants and seven with the Cleveland Browns – Barnes often competed with the best leagues.

In his career he hit 45 passes and ran seven returns for touchdowns. He tied the NFL record for the longest interception back in the tournament when he got past the Dallas Cowboys’ Eddie LeBaron in action in October 1961 and ran 102 yards. for the score.

At 6 feet 2 inches and 200 pounds, Barnes has the size for the angle of his time.

He told in 2008, “I’m like an administrator or a threat,” he told in 2008. I never let them get into one. sound. I always want the recipient to go where I want him to go. “

Barnes was voted for the Pro Bowl with the Bears in 1959, with the Giants all season from 1961 to 1964, and with the Browns in 1968. He was selected as the first All-Pro team in 1961, when he intervened seven times. spread, returning two for points.

“Barnes is tall and lean, and he has a little bit of meaning in it,” the famous rugged Giants center linebacker Sam Huff recalled in “Tough Stuff: The Man in the Middle” (1988), written by Leonard Shapiro. “If you catch a ball in front of Erich Barnes, it’s going to make you pay for it. And when you catch something near the sideline, you’re better off off the road because Erich will come after you. “

Erich (said EE-Rich) Theodore Barnes was born on July 4, 1935, in Elkhart, Ind. His father, Sylvester, was a real estate agent; His mother, Lura, is a landlord.

Erich grew Browns fans. Got by Purdue, he plays half offensively and defensively and is a recipient of the same. He was selected by the Bears in the fourth round of the 1958 NFL standard.

Barnes joined the Giants in 1961 by trading the three ways they returned the Lindon Crow to the Los Angeles Rams.

Trained by Allie Sherman, the Giants won the Eastern Conference from 1961 to 1963 but lost every year in the NFL Tournament, twice to the Green Bay Packers and later to the Bears.

The Giants at the time, including Andy Robustelli, Dick Modzelewski, Roosevelt Grier and Jim Katcavage on the line, Huff on the linebacker, Barnes and Dick Lynch on the corner and Jim Patton on the safety, turn defense play into the beauty of soccer. Quarterback YA Tittle, acquired by the San Francisco 49ers, became a New York celebrity with his passing.

Barnes intercepted 18 passes while playing for the Giants, and his block on the Packer punt in the 1962 NFL Tournament game put an end-zone comeback by Jim Collier, giving the Giants their only touchdown in 16-7. lost.

One of Barnes’ most spectacular performances came when the Giants played the Philadelphia Eagles at Yankee Stadium in November 1961.

Pete Previte, a clubhouse participant, told Giant coaches that, as the brewing season progressed, they put some of the fastest players who were not normally used to break into the production.

In the first half, Sherman inserted Barnes and Patton as receivers, replacing the two backs, while keeping his crossers regular, flanker Kyle Rote and ending Del Shofner and Joe Walton, in the game. All five head downfield, and Tittle threw a 62-yard touchdown cross over to Barnes. The Giants won the game, 38-21.

After the Giants’ third round of competition, the students of the group began to leave for business or retirement. After going 2-10-2 in 1964, the Giants transferred Barnes to the Browns in August 1965.

Barnes retired after 1971 and became a Special Planner for the New York area business.

He is survived by his wife, Violet Ward Barnes; daughters, Charissa Barnes-Johnson, Djuna Barnes and Tessa Robinson; his sisters, Joan Murkey and Linda Turner; three grandchildren; and two grandchildren. It is home to Yonkers, NY, and Joliet, Ill.

Barnes is a pretty good player, despite his reputation for hitting that sometimes goes beyond the edge. Sports Illustrated once told him, “When I was with the Giants and I was coming to Cleveland, they called me dirty,” but after he switched to the Browns, “The Giants would call me dirty and Cleveland would call me aggressive. ”

As he puts it, “It all depends on what you play.”

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