Little is yet known about the Barto Club. The two members who have appeared so far, Captain Bartolomeo and his staff officer Gambia the Missionary, were entered as competitors in the tournament on Dress Rosa to win the Fire Fruit of Ace. When Gambia overheard Maynard disguised as a Capmanhe was summarily dispatched by the Vice Admiral.
A little later, when both the captain and the naval officer on undercover duty were scheduled to compete in the Battle Royale of the B-Block, the captain avenged his staff officer and also took out Maynard before the fight began. Since the gang and their captain are well-known and feared pirates who have made a name for themselves in the New World, it can be assumed that the crew has some fighting ability.
After the events on Dress Rosa, they joined the Straw Hat Grand Fleet and accompanied their idols to Zou, where they parted ways again. They then sailed around the New World, telling reluctant civilians about the exploits of the Straw Hat Pirates without being asked.
As it turned out, the gang started out as a gang of thieves or robbers in the East Blue and ruled over 150 different cities in the underworld. However, after Bartolomeo witnessed Luffy being saved by a lightning strike after declaring that he would become King of the Pirates, the gang leader became one of Luffy’s biggest fans. At an unknown time, Bartolomeo decided to emulate his role model and subsequently became a pirate.
Not only Bartolomeo, but also the rest of the gang consists of fans of the Straw Hat Pirates. However, since they are all originally gangsters from the country, they don’t own a navigator and mostly traveled through the Grand Line on their own luck. If they ever ran into a problem, they would call Gambia’s “grandmother” back home via Den-den Mushi to get tips from her. However, these were usually not helpful.
- The gang is also known as Barto Club (jap. バルトクラブ, Baruto Kurabu).
- In the SBS for volume 81, Oda explains that the “grandmother” isn’t really Gambia’s grandmother. In truth, she is not related to anyone in the Barto Club, but has known and supported them since they were small children.