Barnard, Ernest Sargent


Known as “the father of Otterbein athletics,” Ernest Barnard rose through the ranks to become president of the American League in professional baseball in 1927, a position he held until his sudden death from a heart attack in 1931. Barnard, armed with a strong playing knowledge of athletics while a high school student, entered Otterbein in 1891 and was entrusted by school officials to help coach football and baseball. He remained with Otterbein after graduation in 1895, becoming the college’s first paid football coach. The Cardinals finished 5-1 that season, including a 14-6 win over Ohio State. Barnard left Otterbein after two seasons for various jobs, including sports editor of The Columbus Dispatch. His career in professional baseball began in 1903 when he was hired as traveling secretary by the Cleveland Bronchos, a team that would later change its name to the “Indians” in 1915. Barnard worked his way up through the Cleveland organization, becoming vice president and general manager in 1908, and president in 1922, a position he held until being elected league president in 1927.