Barger became the President of the Pittsburgh Pirates Major League Baseball team, serving from 1987 through the beginning of 1991. He became the first president of the Florida Marlins (now the Miami Marlins) on July 8, 1991. However, he suffered an aneurysm during the MLB's Winter Meetings in 1992 in Louisville, Kentucky and later died. On April 5, 1993, the day that the Marlins played their first-ever regular-season game, the Marlins retired the number 5 in Barger's memory, as his favorite player was Joe DiMaggio (who wore number 5 in his career). The only other persons to have uniform numbers retired by the Marlins are pitcher José Fernández, whose number 16 jersey was retired following his death on September 25, 2016, and Jackie Robinson, whose number 42 jersey was retired throughout Major League Baseball to honor his achievement of breaking baseball's color barrier.
However, on February 11, 2012, the Marlins unretired #5, as that number was requested to be worn by Logan Morrison, a player for the Marlins from 2012–2014. He is currently honored with a plaque with #5 depicted on it honoring Barger.
- Lupica, Matt (2012). The Baseball Stadium Insider: A Comprehensive Dissection of All Thirty Ballparks, the Legendary Players, and the Memorable Moments. iUniverse. pp. 285–286. ISBN 1462083676.
|President of the Pittsburgh Pirates
|President of the Florida Marlins