Bob Barney is still involved as a university professor after 45 years at Western (London, Ontario) and 10 at four different American universities. An expert in physical education and intercollegiate athletics, he teaches and supervises master’s and doctorate students, researching and writing sports history. His diverse interests include the German-American Turnverein Movement in the United States, American and British American history, and baseball.
A visit to the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles inspired him to establish a research centre to provide serious scholarship into the games. The Centre for Olympic Studies was created at Western and remains the only independent research facility in the world focused solely on the Olympics. In 2010, he received the Pierre de Coubertin Award of the International Society of Olympic Historians for “lifelong and dedicated historical work on behalf of the Olympic Movement”.
Bob was a long-time editorial review board member of NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Social Policy Perspectives. He became a member of the board of governors of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, for a time chairing the Hall’s Selection Committee. A Boston Red Sox fan from the days of Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove, he is the author of countless baseball-related abstracts and journal articles. His contributions to the understanding of baseball’s development in Canada include the groundbreaking research, with his former graduate student Nancy Bouchier, into the seminal Canadian baseball episode—Beachville in 1838.