Gary Barbaro Will Join Chiefs Hall of Fame

His career with the Chiefs ended in rancor 30 years ago, but free safety Gary Barbaro finally has returned to his original pro football home.

Barbaro will be announced Saturday evening as the newest member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame at the annual 101 Banquet. He will be introduced to the gathering and then will be honored during the 2013 Chiefs season during the annual Alumni Weekend. That’s when his name will go up on the façade inside Arrowhead Stadium as the 43rd member of the team’s Hall.

He’s just the fourth Chiefs player to hit for the cycle so to speak: he won the team’s rookie Mack Lee Hill award in 1976, the MVP in 1979 and now the Chiefs Hall of Fame. Before him only Christian Okoye (1987-1989-2000), SS Lloyd Burruss (1981-1985-1999) and LB Derrick Thomas (1989-1991-2001) received all three honors.

For Barbaro, it’s evidence that 30 years can heal old wounds – Barbaro left the team in a contract dispute in 1983, signing with the upstart United States Football League’s New Jersey Generals in November of that year.

His signing was considered one of the most important jumps by an NFL player to the new league given the fact Barbaro had been a 3-time Pro Bowler with the Chiefs (1980-81-82).

The Louisiana native ended up playing just one year for the Generals, earning first-team All-USFL status. He suffered a severe knee injury in a post-season game that year against the Philadelphia Stars and did not play again.

Coming out of Nicholls State University, Barbaro was selected in the 3rd-round of the 1976 NFL Draft at selection No. 74. He and fellow 3rd-round choice WR Henry Marshall were the best players to come out of that ’76 draft class that numbered 21 players.

Barbaro started every game he played in, 101 in all and finished his career with 39 interceptions, 10 fumbles recovered, 1 sack and 459 total tackles. He set an NFL record in 1977 when he intercepted a pass by Seattle QB Jim Zorn and returned it 102 yards for a touchdown, the longest interception return in history at that time. It now ranks as the fifth longest interception return in NFL history.

He had two other interception returns for scores, going 70 yards with a pick of Oakland’s Ken Stabler in 1979 and then 43 yards with an errant pass thrown by Steve DeBerg with Denver in 1982.

The now 59-year old Barbaro lives in New Orleans and often can be seen during broadcasts of Saints games because he works games at the Superdome as the NFL’s uniform reporter.

2 Responses to “Gary Barbaro Will Join Chiefs Hall of Fame”

  • March 2, 2013  - St Paul 1 says:

    This is nice to hear. I remember being somewhat bummed when he went to the Generals. If I remember correctly, they were owned by Donald Trump, and also signed Hershel Walker out of college, and lured Brian Sipe away from the Browns.

  • March 3, 2013  - cychief24 says:

    Barbaro ran from the Chiefs and the NFL after my 6th year as a STH.
    He will be the 2nd Chiefs Ring of Honor inductee I won’t stay in my seats to watch. Steadman was the other.

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News