The Lyons name in Biloxi was synonymous with baseball in the 1960s and 1970s.
The Lyons name in Biloxi was synonymous with baseball in the 1960s and 1970s. The Lyons brothers were all great athletes starting with the oldest, Kenny, and ending with the youngest, Barry.
Barry had a lot to live up to based on his older brothers’ sports accomplishments. Kenny was the starting quarterback at Ole Miss in 1971, succeeding Archie Manning. The next oldest brother, Tommy, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians but went to Ole Miss on a baseball scholarship. The third brother, Pat, played both football and baseball on the junior college level.
“I was the youngest, and all of my brothers were great athletes. I enjoyed being the youngest and looked up to them and wanted to be like them,” said Barry Lyons.
Barry’s dad Kenneth Sr. worked for the postal service for 35 years and was involved with all his sons’ youth sports. His mom, Germaine, was a nurse (RN), and both parents were well respected in the community.
Barry excelled on both the football and baseball fields throughout high school. Delta State University baseball coach Boo Ferris visited him his senior year at Biloxi High School, and that visit was life changing for Barry. “He made a lasting impression on me,” said Lyons, who was offered both a baseball and a football scholarship with Delta State but opted to concentrate on baseball.
Lyons led Delta State to the Division II College World Series where they finished third in 1982. He was a four-time All-Gulf South Conference and four-time NCAA All-Region selection for DSU. Barry left Cleveland as the career leader in home runs (36) and RBIs (185). In his All-American senior season, he was named the Mississippi Baseball Player of the Year.
Barry had early success in pro ball as he was named the Carolina League MVP in his second year. In 1985 he set the all-time Jackson Mets regular season record for RBIs with 108, was named the Texas League All-Star team and was second in the MVP voting. He was named the Mets Minor League Player of the Year in both 1984 and 1985.
Barry headed to New York and made the Mets’ opening day roster. He made his major league debut on April 19, 1986, against the Philadelphia Phillies. He was the backup to future Hall of Famer Gary Carter that season. Later that season, Barry was sent down to Triple A where his season ended in August when he broke his right forearm. Meanwhile, back in New York, the Mets were on their way to winning the 1986 World Series over Boston. Lyons attended game six and witnessed one of the greatest highlights in World Series lore when he saw Mookie Wilson’s ground ball go through Bill Buckner’s legs. “I would much rather have been down on the field in uniform, but I was seated directly behind home plate and don’t think I could have had a better seat,” Lyons said.
Barry was named the Mets’ opening day catcher in 1990, but later that season after an 8-year career with the team, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the conclusion of the 1995 season with the Chicago White Sox, Barry retired from baseball, concluding his 14-year baseball career.
Today, Barry can be spotted back in his hometown at MGM Park in Biloxi where he is the Shuckers’ Team Ambassador. The culmination of his 20 plus years of work was the arrival of minor league baseball in his hometown.
My childhood dream was to be a major league player and my adulthood dream was to bring minor league baseball to my hometown and honor my parents and family. I was glad to accomplish both.
Major League Baseball Stats
- Barry Lyons
- Born: 6/03/1960 in Biloxi
- Draft: 1982, New York Mets, Round: 15, Overall Pick: 370
- College: Delta State
- Debut: 4/19/1986
Career Regular Season
- At Bats: 628
- Runs: 53
- Hits: 150
- Home Runs: 15
- Runs Batted In: 89
- Batting Average: .239
- On-Base Percentage: .275