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Jim Barnes Journal
Jim Barnes, a Cedar Rapids, Ia. native, joined the Navy after high school graduation, serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge for 39-months, including the last stages of the Korean War. After completing military obligation, he spent the next 11-years on radio and television. He worked for outlets in Iowa, Georgia and North Carolina. Most of his employment centered on news and sports. As an investigative reporter, he spent many hours assisting local police. Georgia Tech invited him, and four others, to audition for the play-by-play voice of the Jackets. Barnes rejected the opportunity, being uncomfortable in a city that large. He was contently working with a station in Augusta, Ga.. In his 30s, he created a series of tabletop sports board games. They were sold under his trade name, “Statis- Pro,” eventually produced by the Avalon Hill Game Company , and until 1990 the games were a Sports Illustrated retail product. The Northern Iowa University graduate developed a sports graphic, distributed to newspapers with millions of readers. The graphics opened doors for him to write pre-season sports magazines for a New York publisher, under his name and others. His last magazine series bore the name of the late “Jimmy the Greek,” a CBS pro football analyst. Turning 42, Barnes (pictured) hit the high mark of his career. Dabbling in sports statistics and writing the “Journal of Handicapping” while residing in Las Vegas, he became a consultant for the famed Stardust Race and Sportsbook He remained with “where the line originates” hotel until it was torn down 11-years later. Barnes was considered, in a former New York Times website about sports, “the forefather of many of the handicapping methods that are still in use today.” He still studies and writes about sports handicapping methods from his home in Eastern Iowa with his wife of 54-years and both sons close by. .
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