Pat Burrell (TRADING CARD DB)

Pat Burrell

This article was written by Rich D’Ambrosio

Pat Burrell (TRADING CARD DB)On the evening of July 24, 1998, a buzz ran through the crowd of 30,622 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. During the first game of a doubleheader against Florida, the scoreboard flashed the news that the Phillies had agreed to terms with first-round draft pick Pat Burrell. It was a relief for the fans as well as the organization, having been spurned by their 1997 first-round selection, J. D. Drew. A struggling team now had some hope for the future. Burrell would become an integral part of a rebuilding that culminated in a World Series championship in 2008.

Patrick Brian Burrell was born on October 10, 1976 in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. However, he was raised in Boulder Creek, California. He is the son of John and Mary Burrell and has a sister named Lisa.

Growing up in Northern California, Burrell was an Oakland Athletics fan who “always sat in the bleachers because I couldn’t afford good tickets.”1 Burrell’s baseball talent was evident while playing in Little League for San Lorenzo Valley. In an All-Star Tournament of Champions in July 1989, he hit three homers in a game and the following afternoon pitched all eight innings with 14 strikeouts. His coach, Rick Roberts, remarked, “He’s an amazing ballplayer — he always delivers.”2

Burrell attended San Lorenzo Valley High School as a freshman but transferred to Bellarmine College Preparatory High School in San Jose. At Bellarmine, Burrell played baseball and was quarterback for the football team. As a junior, he hit .374 and gave up football to concentrate on baseball. Burrell had a sensational senior season in 1995, hitting .369 with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs; he was named the California Coaches Association Player of the Year. He was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 43rd round of the 1995 draft but did not sign.

Burrell was recruited by college baseball powers including Cal State Fullerton, Arizona State, and Georgia Tech, but chose the University of Miami because he liked the program, facility, players, and coach Jim Morris. Burrell said, “Coach [Morris] was an infielder so I felt working with him could help me.”3 The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Burrell played third for the Hurricanes after regular third baseman Rudy Gomez asked to move to second. Burrell’s freshman season at Miami was “one for the books.” He hit .484 (a school record) with 23 homers and 64 RBIs (both Miami freshman records). He was the nation’s leading hitter and the College World Series’ Most Valuable Player.4

Coach Morris remarked, “Pat wasn’t highly recruited and our expectations weren’t that high. We only offered him a partial scholarship. We didn’t know what we had. Then he went to play in a summer league, and when he came back to play in the fall and took batting practice, we looked at each other and knew we had something special. We thought, ‘Oh, my goodness. This guy can hit!’”5

At Miami Burrell got the nickname “Pat the Bat.” He observed, “I don’t really like it. … I don’t know, it just stuck. I guess it rhymes. People like it.”6

As a sophomore at Miami, Burrell was named first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, and The Sporting News. That year he also played for Team USA, hitting .343 and leading the team with 12 homers and 42 RBIs.

In 1998, Burrell missed 38 games with a back injury yet still hit .432 with 17 homers and 47 RBIs. He won the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top amateur player. The Hurricanes went to their third consecutive College World Series, losing to Long Beach State in an elimination game. In one game of that CWS, Burrell hit a 500-foot homer.

Burrell finished his college career as one of the greatest players in Miami history, with a batting average of .442, 61 homers, 187 RBIs, and an .888 slugging percentage.

It was no secret that Philadelphia was going to make Burrell its top pick in the 1998 draft. The Phillies had selected Florida State’s J.D. Drew at number one the year before. Drew had made it clear that if the Phillies couldn’t meet his contract demands, they shouldn’t draft him. Nevertheless, they did, commencing a one-year battle with him and his agent, Scott Boras. Drew refused to sign with Philadelphia and eventually reentered the draft in 1998. The St. Louis Cardinals selected Drew — and signed him.

When asked about being the potential number-one pick, Burrell said, “To be honest with you, I haven’t really been overly concerned about it. Not that I know for sure where I’m going, but I think I have an idea.”7 On June 2, 1998, the Phillies fulfilled their intention. Burrell said, “I’m very happy to become a Philadelphia Phillie. I’m thrilled to have been selected. It is an honor to be the first pick overall, and I look forward to playing professional baseball.”8

Drew’s signing increased the pressure on Philadelphia to ink Burrell. Eventually, they agreed to a five-year deal worth over $8.5 million, plus a $3.15 million signing bonus. Right away, Burrell gave his high school, Bellarmine Prep, $10,000 and the University of Miami $15,000. He also donated $50,000 to the Phillies Fund “to refurbish and construct youth ballparks in the Philadelphia area.”9 On July 26, 1998, Burrell met with the Philadelphia media and took batting practice at Veterans Stadium with the Phillies before their game with the Marlins. Even some Marlins players stood and watched. Cliff Floyd of the Marlins said, “I wanted to see what $8 million looks like.”10

Burrell was sent to Class A Clearwater, where he was converted to a first baseman. Yet the Phillies had Rico Brogna at first, who was providing solid offense and defense. Scouting director Mike Arbuckle said, “I don’t think you can have too much talent at one position. It’s a nice dilemma to have. We’re getting to the point where we have a surplus at some positions.”11 At Clearwater, Burrell hit .303 with seven homers and 30 RBIs.

Moving up to Double-A Reading, Burrell hit .333 (the second-highest average in Reading Phillies’ history) with 28 homers and 90 RBIs. He was named Eastern League Rookie of the Year. Many fans from Philadelphia drove two hours to Reading that summer for a glimpse of the Phillies’ future slugger.

In July, the organization decided to move Burrell to left field. He’d never played the outfield at any level, yet he was enthusiastic: “Can’t wait to get out there. Can’t wait. I’m looking forward to this. Something new to work at and learn, and it’s quite a challenge. Any athlete who doesn’t love a challenge shouldn’t be playing.”12 Burrell’s work ethic paid off. He was never blessed with speed or known as a defensive standout — indeed, he drew criticism in some quarters for his range and glove. Still, his career .978 fielding percentage (.975 in left) was just slightly below league average. He also threw out many runners who tested his arm.

In late August, Burrell was promoted to Triple-A Scranton and hit .152 in 10 games. Then, in five post-season games, he batted .522 for the Red Barons with three homers. Burrell received the Paul Owens Award as the Phillies’ top minor-league player.

The 2000 Phillies felt ready to compete with the Mets and Braves in the National League East, but a 7-17 start presaged a last-place 65-97 finish. On May 10 Brogna fractured a bone in his left arm and missed two months. With the Phillies needing a first baseman, the fans and media clamored for Burrell to be brought up from Scranton. However, GM Ed Wade and manager Terry Francona called up Chris Pritchett instead. At the same time, they moved Burrell to first base at Scranton with the intent of getting him ready for the inevitable call-up.

Pritchett struggled to hit big-league pitching, so on May 24 the Phillies finally promoted Burrell, who was hitting .294 with 4 homers and 25 RBIs. “I’ve been waiting for this since I was a little kid. I can’t wait to get on the field,”13 said Burrell, who made it to the big leagues after only 725 minor-league at-bats. Wade added, “I told Pat on the phone that we don’t want him to feel like he’s coming here to be a savior.”14

Burrell (wearing #33) made his major-league debut on May 24 against Houston at what was then known as Enron Field. In the sixth inning, with the Phillies trailing 7-0, Burrell singled off Octavio Dotel for his first major-league hit and RBI. In the ninth, the Phillies still trailed 7-5, but Burrell’s triple to center field capped a game-winning four-run rally. Afterward, teammate Bobby Abreu commented, “He is awesome. He is young and he really has power and speed. He knows how to hit. Everyone is looking at him, and I am looking at him to be an All-Star.”15

The following night Burrell hit his first major-league homer off the Astros’ Scott Elarton. “It was great,” said Burrell. “When I hit it, I knew it was going to be out, so I just put my head down and ran. I feel pretty good up there right now. I just got a good pitch to hit.”16

However, National League pitchers soon caught up to Burrell; his average dropped to .188 in June. But a hot streak (24-for-56) from June 17 to July 8 boosted that mark to .268.

On July 26 the Phillies, mired in the National League East cellar, traded Curt Schilling to Arizona for four players, including Travis Lee, who became the regular first baseman while Burrell moved to left field. For the 2000 season, Burrell hit .260 with 18 homers and 79 RBIs in 111 games. He hit two grand slams, twice hit two homers in a game, and had five 9th-inning home runs. He also finished fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting. Burrell gave the Veterans Stadium fans something to cheer about in an otherwise wretched season for the Phillies.

In 2001, Philadelphia hired Larry Bowa as manager. Bowa got virtually the same team that had finished last to play inspired baseball. An impressive 35-18 start had the Phillies in first place by eight games on June 1. They stayed at or near the top of the NL East all summer and were eliminated only on the season’s last weekend. By then wearing his familiar #5, Burrell came into his own as a major-league slugger. In his first full season he hit .258 with 27 homers and 89 RBIs. In a 14-game hitting streak from May 19 to June 2, he hit .431 with 14 RBIs.

For whatever reason, Burrell had unusual success against Mets closer Armando Benitez. On Memorial Day at Shea Stadium, his two-run, 10th-inning homer off Benitez gave the Phillies a 7-5 win. Despite less than a year of big-league experience, Burrell had faced Benitez five times, going 3-for-3 with two walks and three homers. After the game Burrell said, “See the ball, hit it. There is nothing comfortable about facing him. He’s got a big motion; everything is coming at you. Off a guy like that, who throws as hard as he does, all I’m trying to do is see the ball.”17 Mets catcher Mike Piazza said simply, “He crushed it.”18

Burrell had his best season in 2002, setting career highs in average (.282), at-bats (586), runs (96), doubles (39), and homers (37). He also drove in 116 runs. His homer and RBI totals were the most by a Phillies player since Mike Schmidt in 1986. He also became the first Phillie to reach 100 RBIs by August 31 since Greg Luzinski in 1977. Early in the season Burrell hit two walk-off homers within a four-day span. However, the Phillies never contended, finishing a distant third in the NL East. It was their 14th losing season in 16 years.

In November, Burrell was part of the MLB All-Star team that toured Japan.

Eager to shake their losing ways, Philadelphia aggressively pursued free agents that off-season, signing third baseman David Bell and first baseman Jim Thome. They also traded with the Braves for pitcher Kevin Millwood. In February 2003 the Phillies and Burrell agreed on a six-year, $50 million contract. “I love it here,” said Burrell at the press conference. “This organization has treated me better than I could ever imagine.”19 He also donated $100,000 to the Baseball Assistance Team and $150,000 to Phillies Charities for assisting youth baseball in Philadelphia.

An air of excitement surrounded the Phillies ahead of their final season at Veterans Stadium in 2003. Playing before larger crowds at home, the Phillies started strongly and challenged for the Wild Card. While Thome quickly won over the fans with his power, Burrell couldn’t get going offensively. He suffered through his worst year in Philadelphia. After going hitless against Montreal on July 17, Burrell’s batting average sank to .191. Even so, manager Bowa had no intentions of sitting his slumping left fielder: “Players are coming up on 300 ABs, that means they’re in there every day, and Pat’s gonna be in there every day.”20

Part of Burrell’s problems that season could be attributed to the negative influence of Tyler Houston, a backup infielder signed by the Phillies that January. Houston, a clubhouse jester, and Burrell dyed their hair blond. That was harmless by itself, but Houston had problems with Bowa all season. On August 29 Burrell snubbed Bowa in the dugout after hitting a homer at Shea Stadium. The Phillies’ coaching staff blamed Houston, who they claimed used Burrell to get back at Bowa for his limited playing time. Bowa convinced GM Wade to release Houston, which he did the next day.

There were some positives for Burrell in 2003. He hit his 100th career homer on August 22 in St. Louis. On September 28, he got the last hit in Veterans Stadium. Although the Phillies posted a winning record (86-76), they faded from Wild Card contention in September and again ended up third in the NL East. Burrell finished his disappointing year with a .209 average, 21 homers, and just 64 RBIs.

In February 2003 Burrell finished second in the fourth annual Big League Home Run Challenge charity. He collected $100,000, which he donated that October to San Lorenzo Valley High School in Santa Cruz, California, to renovate its varsity baseball field.21

The Phillies moved into their new home, Citizens Bank Park, in 2004. Burrell was eager to rebound from his poor 2003. He went to Clearwater, Florida, two weeks before spring training began and worked with Bowa and hitting instructor Charlie Manuel. Bowa was impressed with Burrell’s work ethic: “He came in with a completely different swing … where he stands, where he’s holding his hands. That’s a tribute to him. He could have very easily sat on his butt at home and said, ‘I’ll go out there Feb.1 and start over.’ But he didn’t.”22

On August 3, 2004, Burrell injured his wrist in batting practice in San Diego and went on the 15-day disabled list. On August 9, season-ending surgery was announced. “It’s terrible,” said Burrell. “The timing is awful because we are playing good at this time. The guys are starting to come together in the last six days. … To not be a part of it is tough, but you have to deal with it, take care of the problem and hopefully be ready for spring training.”23 At the time Burrell was hitting .263 with 18 homers and 68 RBIs.

While on the DL, Burrell sought a second opinion and delayed the surgery. Following a brief rehab assignment in Reading, he returned to the lineup on September 3, but by then the Phillies were out of contention for the division title and wild card. Burrell finished the season with a .257 average, 24 homers, and 84 RBIs as the Phillies (86-76) finished second behind the Braves.

Following the 2004 season the Phillies named Charlie Manuel their new manager. Manuel’s laid-back approach was just what Burrell needed. Burrell was able to relax and take the pressure off himself. He didn’t worry about hitting homers every time up. “I’m going to hit home runs regardless. I’d much rather hit a bases-loaded single in a 3-2 count where two guys score than hit a solo homer in a 5-1 game.”24

Burrell once again started strongly in 2005, with a ten-game hitting streak that included 17 RBIs. Twice that year he was named NL Player of the Week (April 4-10 and May 16-22). Three times during the season Burrell hit two homers in a game. Burrell was also a main cog in a formidable Phillies lineup that featured Abreu, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard. The Phillies made a spirited run for the Wild Card but fell short on the last day of the season, finishing second (behind Houston) at 88-74. Burrell had a terrific season, hitting .281 with 32 homers and a career-high 117 RBIs. He also finished seventh in MVP voting.

In 2006 Burrell’s numbers declined a bit as the Phillies struggled through most of the season. On July 30 Philadelphia traded Abreu to the Yankees. Philadelphia was then 13½ games out of first in the NL East and seemingly out of contention. But they caught fire in August and September, going 21-13 down the stretch, only to be eliminated from the Wild Card chase on the last weekend of the season. While not spectacular, Burrell still had another solid season, hitting .258 with 29 homers and 95 RBIs.

In 2007 Burrell became the third player in club history to hit 20 or more homers for seven straight seasons, joining Schmidt and Abreu. By then the Phillies’ longest-tenured player, Burrell achieved two milestones in 2007. On July 17 at Dodger Stadium he hit his 200th career homer, a 7th-inning blast off Eric Stults. On August 17 he homered off the Pirates’ Shane Youman for his 1,000th career hit.

Several days after that, ESPN writer Jerry Crasnick attributed Burrell’s streakiness to his hitting mechanics. “When he’s slumping, he opens up too quickly on the front side, his head flies out, and he’s helpless against breaking balls down and away. When Burrell is dialed in, he stays more upright and behind the ball, and he’s better equipped to drive pitches up the middle and the opposite way.”25

After losing to the Rockies on September 12, the Phillies were in second place, seven games behind the Mets. The next day they began a 13-4 run, and on the final day of the season they won the division for the first time since 1993. However, the celebration was short-lived; the Phillies were swept by the Colorado Rockies in the National League Division Series. Despite good regular-season numbers (.256, 30 homers, 97 RBIs), Burrell hit only .182 in the postseason.

In November 2007 Burrell married Michelle Fonseca. The couple had no children before divorcing in 2009.

The year 2008 was the last of Burrell’s six-year, $50 million contract — which many in the media believed had been a mistake. Despite being one of the most prolific sluggers in Phillies history, he was only a .258 career hitter with numerous injuries. He was frequently removed for defensive replacements, in part to give his aching feet a rest. As spring training for the 2008 season approached, Burrell was asked whether he wanted to remain with the Phillies: “One hundred percent.”26 Burrell also addressed the possibility of not being re-signed: “I’d love to stay. If they would want me to come back, I’d love to come back.”27

Philadelphia played solidly in 2008, remaining in or near first place throughout the season. After falling 3½ games behind the Mets on September 10, the Phillies got hot, going 13-3 over the final two weeks of the season, and clinched their second consecutive NL East title on September 27. Burrell’s production declined a bit — he hit only .250 with 33 homers and 86 RBIs in 157 games. On September 22 he hit his final regular-season homer for the Phillies in a 5-2 win over the Braves. The Phillies went 22-9 in games in which Burrell homered in 2008.

Philadelphia met the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Division Series. The Phillies won two of the first three games, but Burrell went 0-for-8. Then in the third inning of Game Four at Miller Park with the Phillies leading 1-0, Burrell hit a three-run homer off Jeff Suppan. With the Phillies up 5-1 in the eighth inning, Burrell hit his second homer of the game, off Guillermo Mota. Behind the bats of Burrell and Jimmy Rollins, and the pitching of Joe Blanton, Philadelphia won, 6-2, to take the NLDS.

Afterward Burrell said, “I wasn’t sure I was going to be in there. I hadn’t been helping, and this is the time of year you’ve got to go with who’s hot. I understand that.”28 He’d taken extra batting practice that morning and was pleased to see his name in the starting lineup. Despite Burrell’s offensive woes in the series, manager Manuel said, “Yeah, I’ve stuck with him. People come up to me and say, ‘How can you play him today?’ And I say, ‘Yeah, well I’ve played him four years and I’m playing him today.’ I stick with my players, the ones I think can put it on the board.”29

The Phillies faced Los Angeles in the NL Championship Series. In the opener at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia trailed 2-0 going into the sixth inning. Derek Lowe had held the Phillies to five hits. But then Shane Victorino reached on an error and scored on Utley’s homer. With one out Burrell hit a shot that Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez just watched sail into the seats. That homer proved to be the game-winner as the Phillies edged the Dodgers 3-2.

After the game Burrell said, “Tonight I’m facing a guy, he’s a great pitcher, great sinker. I’m not sure I’ve had a whole lot of success against him. And if I did, I don’t remember. I really just told myself to grind it out. Stay in there on him. Make him throw some pitches. Make him work.”30

The Phillies beat the Dodgers in five games to win the pennant, the sixth in club history and first since 1993. Burrell hit .333 in the NLCS with three RBIs.

Facing the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, Philadelphia split the first two games on the road and won Games Three and Four at home. However, Burrell had gone 0-for-12 with just one RBI. Game Five began on a raw, windy night with light rain falling. Despite the weather, 45,940 fans jammed Citizens Bank Park hoping to cheer the Phillies to a world championship. Behind ace Cole Hamels, Philadelphia took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. By the time the sixth inning began, the rain intensified. The Rays were able to tie the game, but the infield was a muddy mess and the grass too slick. Play was halted and Commissioner Bud Selig suspended the game. It was scheduled to resume the following night but continued heavy rain in Philadelphia forced another day’s postponement. Finally, on October 29, the Series continued.

The suspended game resumed in the bottom of the sixth, tied 2-2. The Phillies took the lead that inning, but the Rays tied it again in their half of the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Burrell led off with a drive to left-center field that caromed away from the center fielder. Burrell pulled into second with a double — his last hit in a Phillies uniform. He was removed for a pinch-runner. That runner, Eric Bruntlett, scored what proved to be the winning run on Pedro Feliz’s single. The Phillies won the Series as Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske for the final out.

Afterward Burrell remarked, “I’m taking in the moment. The players, the fans. We’ve been through a lot. To be able to hand this city this championship, it’s something I wouldn’t have understood five, six, seven, eight years ago. I’m proud to be here now. You appreciate it. You’re realistic as a player.”31 When asked if he would return to the Phillies in 2009, he said, “It’s not really in my hands. It’s up to them.”32

The Phillies held their victory parade through downtown Philadelphia on October 31. Over two million fans flooded Broad Street to salute the champions. To honor Burrell, the Phillies placed him, his wife Michelle, and their pet bulldog Elvis in the lead float, a horse-drawn Budweiser beer wagon. During a Zoom reunion of the champions in 2020, various team members swapped jocular memories of how the beer flowed at the parade and the Game Five afterparty at the house of Burrell, who was known for his love of nightlife.33

Along the route fans chanted, “Please sign Pat! Please sign Pat!”34 However, that November, Burrell filed for free agency, ending his tenure in a Phillies uniform with a .257 average, 1,166 hits, 251 homers, and 827 RBIs. He is fourth on the team’s all-time home run list and seventh in RBIs.

On January 5, 2009, Burrell signed a two-year, $16 million contract with Tampa Bay. Upon signing, he said, “Coming into free agency, the thing that was most important for me was to go somewhere I thought had a good a chance or better to repeat and go back to the World Series, or at least get into the playoffs.”35 Rays manager Joe Maddon added, “He just makes us so much better.”36 On April 3, the Rays played a preseason game at Citizens Bank Park. Beforehand, the Phillies honored Burrell with a video presentation. After it concluded, Burrell waved and tipped his hat to the 39,338 fans in attendance.

Burrell, the Rays’ designated hitter throughout the season, started slowly and hit just .221 with 14 homers and 64 RBIs in 122 games. In 2010 he continued to struggle. He was hitting just .202 with two homers and 13 RBIs when the Rays designated him for assignment on May 15.

On May 29, the San Francisco Giants signed Burrell. Returning to the NL seemed to rejuvenate him — he hit .338 in his first month for San Francisco. “These guys gave me a chance,” said Burrell. “For me it was, ‘I need to see if I can do this anymore.’ I hadn’t done it in a year-and-a-half. It’s not like riding a bike. I went down to Fresno and played four or five games, and the next thing I was back. It couldn’t have worked out any better.”37

Pat Burrell (TRADING CARD DB)Burrell hit .266 with 18 homers and 51 RBIs for the Giants, who clinched the NL West title on the season’s final day. San Francisco faced Atlanta in the NLDS. The Giants won Game One at home, 1-0. In Game Two, Burrell hit a three-run homer in the first inning, but the Braves came back to win, 5-4. Burrell went hitless in Games Three and Four, but the Giants won both games by identical 3-2 scores to capture the series.

In the NLCS, the Giants faced the Phillies, who had the best record in the National League in 2010 and featured a dominant pitching staff led by Roy Halladay, Hamels, and Roy Oswalt. The teams split the first two games in Philadelphia. Burrell went 2-for-3 in Game One but did little else in the series, hitting .211 overall. The Giants upset the favored Phillies four games to two, winning the pennant.

The Texas Rangers opposed San Francisco in the 2010 World Series. After splitting the first two games, the Giants won the Series easily. Burrell, however, went 0-for-13 with 11 strikeouts. Still, he earned his second World Series ring. He also provided amusement by appearing as a masked character called “The Machine” in the background of a Fox Sports interview with teammate Brian Wilson.

The Giants re-signed Burrell after the Series to a one-year deal worth $1 million. He struggled to regain his form in 2011; he hit only .230 with just 7 homers and 21 RBIs. On June 28 at Wrigley Field, he went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and hit his final career homer in a 13-7 win over the Cubs. On July 15 he was placed on the disabled list with an injured foot, subsequently missing six weeks. Returning on August 31, Burrell managed just two hits in his last 11 at-bats.

Burrell was granted free agency on October 30. In November he told the media he was contemplating retirement because his foot had not healed. “I have not decided yet, but I don’t think I can play anymore. It hurts me to say that.”38

On January 12, 2012, Burrell made it official. He finished his career with a .253 average, 1,393 hits, 292 homers, and 976 RBIs. With his long, sweeping swing, he was prone to striking out, yet that tendency was not extreme compared to many other modern-day sluggers. His ability to draw walks also boosted his career on-base percentage to .361.

Burrell had particular success against the Mets — 42 of his homers came against the divisional rival, far more than he hit off any other opponent. His results against Hall of Fame pitchers were mixed. He hit Greg Maddux well, going 17 for 49 (.347) with three homers, but struggled against Randy Johnson (15 strikeouts in 25 at-bats) and Pedro Martinez (1 for 26 with 11 strikeouts).

In 2012, the Giants hired Burrell as a scout. On May 19, he signed a one-day minor-league contract with Philadelphia so he could retire as a Phillie. He threw out the first ball that night before the Phillies’ game with Boston. In 2015 he was added to the Phillies’ Wall of Fame.

Burrell was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in Omaha in 2017. NBC Sports Bay Area hired him as a pre-and post-game analyst for the Giants in 2019. He was hired to be a hitting coach for the Single-A San Jose Giants in 2020, but the COVID pandemic canceled the season. Burrell is currently a roving minor-league hitting instructor in the Giants organization.

Last revised: November 10, 2021

 

Acknowledgments

This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Joe DeSantis and fact-checked by Kevin Larkin.

 

Sources

2008 Philadelphia Phillies Media Guide

baseball-reference.com

retrosheet.org

 

Notes

1 Sam Carchidi, “Phillies, Burrell agree to terms,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 25, 1998, C3

2 Brendan Gill, “More Heroics for SLV’s Burrell, “Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 16, 1989, pg. 58

3 Bob Rubin, “FSU will test UM and its 2 fab freshmen,” The Miami Herald, April 5, 1996, 3D

4 David Kiefer. “Superlative season came as a surprise,” Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 12, 1996, B1

5 Bob Rubin, “Pat the Bat,” The Miami Herald, October 8, 2000, 2D

6 Bob Ford, “Phils’ hopes come in a big package,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 28, 1998, F1

7 Jayson Stark, “Burrell almost certainly will be Phils’ draft pick,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 2, 1998, D1

8 Associated Press, “Burrell top cat: Phillies take Boulder Creek resident No. 1 in amateur draft,” Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 3, 1998, B1

9 Tim Pannacio, “Burrell’s donations” in Phillies Notes section, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 27, 1998. F6

10 Mike Phillips, “Burrell sighting” in Notebook section, The Miami Herald, July 27, 1998. 6D

11 Sam Carchidi, “Phillies, Burrell agree to terms,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 25, 1998, C3

12 Kevin Mulligan, “On-the-job training has begun,” The Philadelphia Daily News, July 21, 1999, 96

13 Jim Salisbury, “Help on the way for Philadelphia,” Lancaster New Era, May 24, 2000, C1

14 Salisbury, “Help on the way for Philadelphia.”

15 Michael Lutz, “Burrell is more than a hit in MLB debut,” Santa Cruz County Sentinel, May 25, 2000, B1

16 Paul Hagen, “Homer adds to lists of first by Burrell,” Philadelphia Daily News, May 26, 2000, 168.

17 Kevin Roberts, “Burrell’s HR lifts Phillies over Mets,” Camden Courier-Post. May 29, 2001, D1

18 Roberts, “Burrell’s HR lifts Phillies over Mets.”

19Marcus Hayes, “Burrell makes long term commitment,” Philadelphia Daily News, February 4, 2003, 68.

20 Bill Conlin, “Get ready for a wild-card race,” Philadelphia Daily News, July 7, 2003, 93.

21 David Scharfenberg, “Burrell’s big bat pays off for SLV High,” Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 7, 2003, 1.

22 Marcus Hayes, “Determined Pat goes back to Bat,” Philadelphia Daily News, February 3, 2004, 68.

23 Rob Maddi, “Phils Take Wrist Shot: Lose Burrell for Season; Acquire Lidle from Reds,” The Scranton Times. August 10, 2004, 17.

24 Marcus Hayes, “The Strong, Silent Swipe,” Philadelphia Daily News, September 20, 2005, 70.

25 Jerry Crasnick, “Some players coming to life after slow starts,” ESPN.com, August 22, 2007.

26 David Murphy, “‘I’d love to come back’.” Lancaster New Era, February 19, 2008, 21.

27 Rich Hoffmann, “Pat’s incredible in the long run,” Philadelphia Daily News, June 18, 2008, 76.

28 Bob Ford, “Much-maligned Burrell has his shining moment,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 6, 2008, 47.

29 Ford, “Much-maligned Burrell has his shining moment.”

30 Mike Jensen, “With homer, Burrell’s crazy ride continues,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 10, 2008, D4.

31 Bob Ford, “Burrell’s (almost) storybook ending,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 30, 2008, E1.

32 Ford, “Burrell’s (almost) storybook ending.”

33 “The World Series Afterparty at Pat Burrell’s House,” NBCSports.com, June 21, 2020.

34David Murphy, “What’s left to say?” Philadelphia Daily News, November 1, 2008, 55.

35 Gary Shelton, “Pat provides more than a bat,” Tampa Bay Times, January 6, 2009, 17.

36 Shelton, “Pat provides more than a bat.”

37 Paul Hagen, “The Reborn Identity: Former Phillie Burrell is having a blast in San Francisco,” Philadelphia Daily News, August 17, 2010, 54.

38 Baseball Report, Philadelphia Daily News, November 11, 2001, 84.

Full Name

Patrick Brian Burrell

Born

October 10, 1976 at Eureka Springs, AR (USA)

If you can help us improve this player’s biography, contact us.

Tags

None

© SABR. All Rights Reserved