Ellis Burks

Ellis Rena Burks (born September 11, 1964) is a former outfielder who played in Major League Baseball for 18 seasons. He batted and threw right-handed.

Ellis Burks
Ellis Burks 2007
Ellis Burks in 2007
Born: September 11, 1964 (age 54)
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 30, 1987, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 2004, for the Boston Red Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.291
Home runs352
Runs batted in1,206
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Burks was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi but raised in Fort Worth, Texas and attended Everman High School.[1] Burks was initially overlooked by scouts and only received a scholarship offer from Ranger Junior College after a showcase at Arlington Stadium.[2] His school lost a junior college championship to the Jay Buhner-led McLennan Community College.[3]


Selected by the Boston Red Sox in the first round (20th pick) of the 1983 Major League Baseball draft, Burks made his debut in the 1987 season as a regular center fielder at age 22, becoming the third player in Red Sox history to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in one season. He was selected to both the Baseball Digest and Topps "All-Rookie" teams. Defensively, Burks showed excellent range, a sure glove and a strong arm. Burks, however, was injury-prone. He had shoulder surgery in 1989, and it was the first of many setbacks for him. During the 1990 season he hit two home runs in the same inning of a game, to become the second player in Red Sox history to achieve the feat; Bill Regan was the first, in 1928.

At a time when Boston and the Red Sox had a reputation of being inhospitable to black people and ballplayers, Burks had very uneasy relationships with manager Joe Morgan and clubhouse leaders Wade Boggs and Mike Greenwell, both southerners.[4] Burks was especially shaken by the case of Charles Stuart, a white Bostonian who murdered his wife, alleged that the murderer was a black man and was initially believed by the police and media.[3][4]

Later, Burks suffered from bad knees and back spasms. After six seasons in Boston, and despite his injuries, he ended up leaving as a free agent and signing with the Chicago White Sox in January 1993. He surpassed expectations around him by turning in a solid, injury-free season, filling the White Sox' urgent need for a quality right fielder. He was one of the club's better performers in the playoffs, batting .304. A free agent at the end of the season, he signed a five-year contract with the Colorado Rockies (1994–98). On April 17, 1994, Burks hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Montreal Expos. It was the only major league walk-off home run ever hit at Mile High Stadium.[5] His 1,000th career hit also came against the Expos, a triple in July 1995.[6]

In 1996 Burks enjoyed his best season. He led National League hitters in runs (142), slugging average (.639), total bases (392) and extra-base hits (93); was second in hits (211) and doubles (45), and fifth in home runs (40) and RBI (128). His .344 average was also second in the batting title race (behind Tony Gwynn, .353). Burks finished third in the MVP voting. He also stole 32 bases that season, marking only the second time that two players from the same team collected at least 30 home runs and 30 steals, as Colorado outfielder Dante Bichette accomplished the feat. He remains in the top ten in many offensive categories for the Rockies.[1]

While with the Rockies, Burks was part of the Blake Street Bombers that included Andrés Galarraga, Bichette, Larry Walker and Vinny Castilla. This was the heart of the Rockies' lineup that was second in the National League in home runs by team in 1994, then led the National League in home runs from 1995 to 1997.[2]

Burks was traded to the San Francisco Giants in mid-season 1998 for Darryl Hamilton and Jim Stoops. In 2000, batting fifth behind Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent, he compiled numbers of .344, 24, 96, in only 122 games and 393 at-bats. He won the 2000 Willie Mac Award for his spirit and leadership.

He was signed by the Cleveland Indians after the season. In his new role as a DH for the Indians, Burks provided consistent production in the middle-of-the-lineup, hitting .280, 28, 74 in 2001, and .301, 32, 91 in 2002. He sprained his wrist in spring training of 2003 and kept playing in 55 games until the muscles in his right hand affected his ability to swing the bat. He underwent season-ending surgery to repair nerve damage in his right elbow. The Indians did not pick up their 2004 contract option or offer him salary arbitration, and he returned to the Red Sox in 2004. He retired at the end of the season with a World Series ring with the team that he began his career with.

In an 18-year career, Burks was a .291 hitter with 352 home runs, 1206 RBI, 1253 runs, 2107 hits, 402 doubles, 63 triples, and 181 stolen bases in 2000 games. Defensively, Burks recorded a .983 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions.

After the 2005 season, Burks joined the Indians' front office staff as a special assistant to the general manager.

Personal life

Burks resides in Chagrin Falls, Ohio[7] and his son Chris plays baseball for the San Francisco Giants organization. He also has three daughters, Carissa, Elisha, and Breanna.[8] He met his wife, Dori,[8] in Connecticut in 1985.[3]

He is a cousin of fellow Major League outfielder Roosevelt Brown.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Sullivan, T.R. (November 17, 2000). "Rangers going after Burks, Velarde". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  2. ^ Murff, Red (1996). The Scout. Thomas Nelson Inc. ISBN 9781418560041. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Holley, Michael (February 6, 2004). "Boston Red Sox - Burks decision a sign of times". Boston Globe. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b Bryant, Howard (2013). Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston. Routledge. ISBN 9781135297763. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Team Batting Event Finder: From 1925 to 2018, All Teams, Home Runs, Walk-off, at MileHigh Std". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  6. ^ "Batting Event Finder — Ellis Burks: From 1987 to 2004, Hits, 607 - 1044". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  7. ^ Hoynes, Paul (March 2, 2009). "Cleveland Indians instructor Ellis Burks talks about the present and the past". cleveland.com. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  8. ^ a b Moss, Irv (9 December 2015). "Colorado Classics: Ellis Burks has fond memories of his playing time in Denver". The Denver Post. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Coming up Roses". Vicksburg Post. April 2, 2002. Retrieved 1 January 2018.

External links

Preceded by
Andrés Galarraga
National League Player of the Month
April 1994
Succeeded by
Lenny Dykstra & Mike Piazza
1983 Boston Red Sox season

The 1983 Boston Red Sox season was the 83rd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished sixth in the American League East with a record of 78 wins and 84 losses, 20 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the Red Sox' first losing season since 1966.

1987 Boston Red Sox season

The 1987 Boston Red Sox season was the 87th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fifth in the American League East with a record of 78 wins and 84 losses, 20 games behind the Detroit Tigers.

1989 Boston Red Sox season

The 1989 Boston Red Sox season was the 89th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League East with a record of 83 wins and 79 losses, six games behind the Toronto Blue Jays.

1990 Boston Red Sox season

The 1990 Boston Red Sox season was the 90th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League East with a record of 88 wins and 74 losses. It was the second AL East division championship in three years for the Red Sox. However, the team was defeated in a four-game sweep by the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS, as had been the case in 1988.

1991 Boston Red Sox season

The 1991 Boston Red Sox season was the 91st season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished tied for second in the American League East with a record of 84 wins and 78 losses, seven games behind the Toronto Blue Jays.

1992 Boston Red Sox season

The 1992 Boston Red Sox season was the 92nd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished last in the seven-team American League East with a record of 73 wins and 89 losses, 23 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays. It was the last time the Red Sox finished last in their division until 2012. The Red Sox hit seven grand slams, the most in MLB in 1992.

1993 Chicago White Sox season

The 1993 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox' 94th season. They finished with a record of 94-68, good enough for first place in the American League West, which they won on September 17th, eight games ahead of the second-place Texas Rangers. However, they lost the American League Championship Series in six games to the eventual World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays. It would be the last year the Sox would compete in the American League West, as they would join the newly formed American League Central in 1994.

1994 Colorado Rockies season

The Colorado Rockies' 1994 season was the second for the Rockies. They tried to win the National League West. Don Baylor was their manager. They played home games at Mile High Stadium.They finished with a record of 53-64, 3rd in the division. The season was cut short by a player strike.

1999 San Francisco Giants season

The 1999 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 117th season in Major League Baseball, their 42nd season in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 40th and final season at 3Com Park at Candlestick Point. The team finished in second place in the National League West with an 86-76 record, 14 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.

2000 San Francisco Giants season

The 2000 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 118th season in Major League Baseball and their 43rd season in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season. The Giants finished in first place in the National League West with a record of 97 wins and 65 losses. They lost the National League Division Series in four games to the New York Mets.

The team played their first season in newly opened Pacific Bell Park.

2001 Major League Baseball draft

The 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft, was held on June 5 and 6.

Bob Zupcic

Robert Zupcic (born August 18, 1966) is a former professional baseball outfielder. He played four seasons in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox (1991–94) and Chicago White Sox (1994). He batted and threw right-handed.

In his career, Zupcic posted a .250 batting average with seven home run and 80 runs batted in in 319 games played. Despite only hitting seven home runs in his career, Zupcic's greatest accomplishment may have been hitting two grand slams during his rookie season of 1992. As of 2011, the only other Red Sox players to have accomplished this feat are Ellis Burks and Ryan Kalish (in 1987 and 2010 respectively).Alphabetically, Zupcic appears last on the all-time list of Boston Red Sox players. For the Chicago White Sox, only 1910 outfielder Dutch Zwilling appears after Zupcic.


Burks is a common surname, and may refer to:

Alec Burks (born 1991), American basketball player who plays shooting guard and currently plays for the Utah Jazz in the NBA

Antonio Burks (basketball, born 1980) (born 1980), American basketball player who plays point guard and has played in the NBA

Antonio Burks (basketball, born 1982), American basketball player who plays guard-forward and has played in the ABA

Arthur Burks (1915-2008), American mathematician and computer scientist who worked on the ENIAC

Barbara Stoddard Burks (1902–1943), American psychologist

Charlotte Burks (born 1942), American politician

Ellis Burks (born 1964), American baseball player

Gregory Burks (born 1980), American former professional basketball player

Marion E. Burks (1912-1989), American judge and politician

Mary Fair Burks (1920–1991), American educator, scholar, and civil rights activist

Mary Ivy Burks (1920-2007), American activist

Oren Burks (born 1995), American football player

Robert Burks (1909–1968), American cinematographer

Tommy Burks (1940–1998), American politician

William R. Burks II (born 1962), Texas Music Educator, Wind Band Conductor, celebrated School Administrator

Danny Doyle (baseball)

Howard James "Danny" Doyle (January 24, 1917 – December 14, 2004) was a catcher in Major League Baseball who played briefly for the Boston Red Sox during the 1943 season. Listed at 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m), 195 lb. Doyle was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed. He was born in McLoud, Oklahoma.Doyle attended Oklahoma State University, where he earned seven letters – four in basketball and three in baseball. He entered the majors in August 1943 with the Red Sox, appearing in 13 games while hitting a .209 batting average (9-for-43) with six RBI, two runs, and one double without home runs.

After that, Doyle enrolled the USAF during World War II and never appeared in a major league game again. He served from 1944 to 1946 and received a service related disability that would keep him from playing again. Then, he returned to Oklahoma State and worked as an assistant coach before become the basketball and baseball coach at Auburn University from 1947-49.

Doyle became a successful scout for the Boston Red Sox almost continuously since 1949 (he spent one season, 1965, as a scout for the New York Yankees). Some of his signings included Jim Lonborg, Roger Clemens and Ellis Burks. In 1988, he was named MLB's National Scout of the Year. He also was a member of the Oklahoma State University Baseball Hall of Fame. In March 2009 Doyle was named the "Best Athlete to wear #24 in Oklahoma State history" by GoPokes magazine.

Doyle died in Stillwater, Oklahoma, at the age of 87.

Ellis Burks Field

Ellis Burks Field is a baseball venue located in Ranger, TX and the home of the Ranger College Rangers baseball team. The facility was named after former MLB outfielder Ellis Burks who helped with the funding of the construction of the ballpark. The field is located in the southern section of the Ranger College campus.

Randy Kutcher

Randy Scott Kutcher (born April 20, 1960) is a former Major League Baseball utility outfielder for the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox from 1986 through 1990. He batted and threw right-handed.

Kutcher was born in Anchorage, Alaska. He was a member of two division-winning teams in his three seasons with the Red Sox, in 1988 and 1990, when he and Kevin Romine split duties as reserve outfielders for the Red Sox behind All-Star starters Mike Greenwell, Ellis Burks and Dwight Evans. Kutcher wore jersey number 5 and, later, 55.

In 448 career at bats, Kutcher was a .228 hitter with 10 home runs and 40 runs batted in.

Roosevelt Brown (baseball)

Roosevelt Lawayne Brown (born August 3, 1975) is a retired professional baseball player who played outfielder in the Major Leagues from 1999-2002. He played for the Chicago Cubs in Major League Baseball and the Orix BlueWave in Japan. Brown ended his career after a season playing for the Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, in 2005. He is currently the hitting coach for the Sioux Falls Canaries of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. His cousin is Boston Red Sox's outfielder, Ellis Burks

Silver Slugger Award

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.The prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. In addition, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead.Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position.

Willie Mac Award

The Willie Mac Award is named in honor of Willie McCovey. It has been presented annually since 1980 to the most inspirational player on the San Francisco Giants, as voted upon by Giants players, coaches, training staff, and more recently, Giants fans. McCovey personally presented the winner with the award in a pregame ceremony at AT&T Park near the conclusion of each season until his death on October 31, 2018.


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