Rick Burleson

Richard Paul "Rooster" Burleson (born April 29, 1951) is a former Major League Baseball shortstop. "Rooster," as Burleson was nicknamed, was a famously intense ballplayer. Former Boston Red Sox teammate Bill Lee once said of Burleson, "Some guys didn't like to lose, but Rick got angry if the score was even tied."[1]

Rick Burleson
Rick Burleson 1976
Born: April 29, 1951 (age 68)
Lynwood, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 4, 1974, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
July 8, 1987, for the Baltimore Orioles
MLB statistics
Batting average.273
Home runs50
Runs batted in449
Career highlights and awards

Minor leagues

Burleson was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft upon graduation from Warren High School, but did not sign. After a year at Cerritos Junior College, the Boston Red Sox selected Burleson #5 overall during the January secondary phase of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft.

Burleson spent his first professional season with the Winter Haven Red Sox of the Florida State League. He batted only .220, and committed 38 errors at short. In 1972, Burleson was named an Eastern League All-Star while assigned to the Pawtucket Red Sox. Following Luis Aparicio's retirement, he battled Mario Guerrero for the starting shortstop job in spring training 1974.

Boston Red Sox

Though Guerrero won the job, Burleson still managed to earn a call to the major leagues by May. On May 4, Burleson tied a major league record by committing three errors in his major league debut, and was replaced by Guerrero at short by the end of the game.[2] Despite the inauspicious start to his career, he would eventually end up being considered among the best defensive shortstops of his generation, earning a Gold Glove Award in 1979.

Burleson was batting .298 with one home run, 28 runs batted in and 45 runs scored to be elected the starting American League shortstop at the 1977 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[3] For the season, Burleson batted .293 with three home runs, 52 RBIs and 80 runs scored, and was second to Jim Rice among team hit leaders with 194 base hits.

Burleson received All-Star nods in 1978 and 1979 as well. In 1979, Burleson batted .278, scored 90 runs and earned the AL's Gold Glove Award at short to earn his first of two consecutive Thomas A. Yawkey Awards as the Most Valuable Player of the Boston Red Sox. He batted .278 with a career high eight home runs and 89 runs scored, and set a major league record for double plays by a shortstop in a single season with 147 en route to winning the award the following season. From 1975 to 1980, he played in at least 145 games and got at least 140 hits each season.

California Angels

Following the 1980 season, Burleson was traded to the California Angels with Butch Hobson for Carney Lansford, Rick Miller and Mark Clear. His first season with the Angels, he batted .293 with 33 RBIs and 53 runs scored while playing 109 of the Angels' 110 games during the strike shortened season. He won the Silver Slugger Award as the best hitting shortstop in the American League and the Gene Autry Award as the MVP of the California Angels.

A year later he injured his throwing arm, appearing in only 51 games over the next three seasons, and missing the entire 1985 season. He returned in 1986 to bat .284 with five home runs, 29 RBIs and 35 runs scored in 93 games for the American League Western division winning Angels. Along with backing up Dick Schofield at short, he appeared in 38 games as a designated hitter, and played second and third base for the first time since his rookie season.

Following the season, he signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles. He batted .209 in 55 games as a second baseman for the Orioles in 1987 before he was released during the All-Star break.

Coaching and managerial career

Following his playing career, Burleson coached for the Oakland Athletics (1991), Red Sox (1992-1993) and Angels (1995-1996).

Since the 1997 season, he has managed in the minors for the Lancaster JetHawks (1997-1998), San Bernardino Stampede (1999), San Antonio Missions (2000), Billings Mustangs (2001-2003) and Louisville Bats (2003-2004), before returning to Billings for two seasons (2005-2006). In 2007, he replaced Pat Kelly as manager of the GCL Reds, after Kelly was named bench coach by the Cincinnati Reds.

In 2008, Burleson worked as a Minor League Roving Instructor for Cincinnati and also spent some time as the hitting coach of the Visalia Oaks. From 2009 to 2012, Burleson served as hitting coach and first base coach for the Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League, the triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Private life

Burleson is the father of three sons, J. Tyler, R. Chad and W. Kyle, and a daughter, Lauren.

See also


  1. ^ Ray Birch. "Rick Burleson". The Baseball Biography Project. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
  2. ^ "Texas Rangers 1, Boston Red Sox 0". 1974-05-04.
  3. ^ "1977 Major League Baseball All-Star Game". 1977-07-19.
  • The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia – Gary Gillette, Peter Gammons, Pete Palmer. Publisher: Sterling Publishing, 2005. Format: Paperback, 1824pp. Language: English. ISBN 1-4027-4771-3

External links

Preceded by
Jim Rice
Thomas A. Yawkey Memorial Most Valuable Player Award
1979, 1980
Succeeded by
Dwight Evans
Preceded by
Richie Hebner
Boston Red Sox Hitting Coach
Succeeded by
Mike Easler
Preceded by
Don Zimmer
Boston Red Sox Third-Base Coach
Succeeded by
Gary Allenson
1969 Major League Baseball draft

The 1969 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft took place prior to the 1969 MLB season. The draft featured future Hall of Famers Bert Blyleven (pick 55) and Dave Winfield (pick 882).

1975 Boston Red Sox season

The 1975 Boston Red Sox season was the 75th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League East with a record of 95 wins and 65 losses. Following a sweep of the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS, the Red Sox lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in seven games. In their 4 losses in the World Series, they had at least a one run lead in each game, only to let the Reds come back and win all 4, spoiling the Sox's chances at winning the World Series for the first time since 1918, which would have ended the Curse of the Bambino. In game 7, the Red Sox had a 3-0 lead at one point, but the Reds rallied back to spoil the Red Sox chances of a major upset.

1975 World Series

The 1975 World Series of Major League Baseball was played between the Boston Red Sox (AL) and Cincinnati Reds (NL). In 2003, it was ranked by ESPN as the second-greatest World Series ever played. Cincinnati won the series in seven games.

The Cincinnati Reds recorded a franchise-high 108 victories and won the National League West division by 20 games over the Los Angeles Dodgers then defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, three games to none, in the National League Championship Series. The Boston Red Sox won the American League East division by 4½ games over the Baltimore Orioles then defeated the three-time defending World Series champion Oakland A's, three games to none, in the American League Championship Series.

Boston star left fielder Jim Rice missed both the ALCS and the World Series due to a broken hand.

The Reds won the seventh and deciding game of the series on a ninth-inning RBI single by Joe Morgan. The sixth game of the Series was a 12-inning classic at Boston's Fenway Park culminated by a game-winning home run by Carlton Fisk to extend the series to seven games.

It was the third World Series appearance by the Reds in six years, losing in 1970 to Baltimore and in 1972 to Oakland.

Oddly, this was the fourth consecutive time that a seven-game series winner (Pittsburgh 1971, Oakland 1972, Oakland 1973, Cincinnati 1975) scored fewer runs than the losing team.

1976 Boston Red Sox season

The 1976 Boston Red Sox season was the 76th 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, 15½ games behind the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox did not come close to repeating the previous year's success. An off-season contract dispute with Fred Lynn was a distraction. In early May, a brawl with the New York Yankees led to a shoulder injury for Bill Lee, one of their best pitchers and a 17-game winner in 1975; Lee would be out until mid-1977, and his loss was keenly felt. The Red Sox' beloved owner, Tom Yawkey, died of leukemia in July. Manager Darrell Johnson was fired shortly thereafter, and replaced by coach Don Zimmer. Overall, it was a disappointing season for a talented but underachieving team.

1977 Boston Red Sox season

The 1977 Boston Red Sox season was the 77th 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 97 wins and 64 losses, 2½ games behind the New York Yankees.

Lack of pitching depth might have been a hindrance, but the team was helped by a league-leading offense, which during one ten-game span hit 33 home runs. With that kind of scoring, Boston managed to compete with the Yankees and Orioles – leading the division as late as August 22 – but at season's end, not even 97 wins would be enough.

1977 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1977 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 48th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 19, 1977, at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York, New York the home of the New York Yankees of the American League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 7–5.

The host Yankees won the World Series; the third time in history that a team hosting the All-Star Game would win the World Series in the same year. As of 2018, the 1977 Yankees were the last team to accomplish this. The previous teams to accomplish this were the 1939 New York Yankees and the 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers.

This was Yankee Stadium's third time as host of the All-Star Game, and it would be its last until 2008; the last year of the park's use by the Yankees.

1978 American League East tie-breaker game

The 1978 American League East tie-breaker game was a one-game extension to Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1978 regular season, played between the rival New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox to determine the winner of the American League's (AL) East Division. The game was played at Fenway Park in Boston, on the afternoon of Monday, October 2.

The tie-breaker was necessitated after the Yankees and Red Sox finished the season tied for first place in the AL East with identical 99–63 (.611) records. Entering the final day of the season on Sunday, the Yankees had a one-game lead: they lost 9–2 to Cleveland while Boston shut out Toronto 5–0 to force the playoff. The Red Sox were the home team by virtue of a coin toss. In baseball statistics, the tie-breaker counted as the 163rd regular season game for both teams, with all events in the game added to regular season statistics.

Ron Guidry started for the Yankees, while Mike Torrez started for the Red Sox. The Yankees fell behind 2–0, with a home run by Carl Yastrzemski and an RBI single by Jim Rice. The Yankees took the lead in the seventh on a three-run home run by Bucky Dent. The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 5–4, with Guidry getting the win, while Goose Gossage recorded a save. With the victory, the Yankees finished the regular season with a 100–63 (.613) record, and clinched the AL East championship, en route to winning the World Series. This was the first tie-breaker to be contested after the introduction of divisional play in 1969. As of 2018, the '78 Yankees remain the last team to have won the World Series after playing a tiebreaker.

1978 Boston Red Sox season

The 1978 Boston Red Sox season was the 78th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 99 wins and 64 losses, including the loss of a one-game playoff to the New York Yankees after both teams had finished the regular season with identical 99–63 records.

1979 Boston Red Sox season

The 1979 Boston Red Sox season was the 79th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League East with a record of 91 wins and 69 losses, 11½ games behind the Baltimore Orioles.

1980 Boston Red Sox season

The 1980 Boston Red Sox season was the 80th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fifth in the American League East with a record of 83 wins and 77 losses, 19 games behind the New York Yankees. Manager Don Zimmer was fired with five games left, and Johnny Pesky finished the season as manager.

1982 California Angels season

The California Angels 1982 season involved the Angels finishing 1st in the American League west with a record of 93 wins and 69 losses.

2003 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 2003 season consisted of the Reds finishing in fifth place in the National League Central division, as they moved their home games from Cinergy Field to their brand new Great American Ball Park.

Greenville Spinners

The Greenville Spinners were a minor league baseball team located in Greenville, South Carolina.

They played in the Carolina Association from 1908–1912, the South Atlantic League from 1919–1930, 1946–1950 and 1961–1962, the Palmetto League in 1931 and the Tri-State League from 1954–1955.

The team had affiliation deals with the Washington Senators (1939–1941), Chicago White Sox (1946), Brooklyn Dodgers (1947–1950) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1961–1962).

Joe Stephenson

Joseph Chester Stephenson (June 30, 1921 – September 20, 2001) was a catcher in Major League Baseball who played for the New York Giants (1943), Chicago Cubs (1944) and Chicago White Sox (1947). Following his retirement as a player, Stephenson gained most of his fame as a scout for the Boston Red Sox based in Orange County, California, signing future All-Stars Rick Burleson, Dwight Evans, Bill Lee and Fred Lynn during his tenure of nearly 50 years as a scout in the Boston organization.

Stephenson batted and threw right-handed, and was listed as 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and 185 pounds (84 kg). A native of Detroit, Michigan, and an alumnus of Michigan State University and Western Michigan University, Stephenson's minor league career extended from 1941 through 1951. He caught in part of three big-league seasons in the 1940s. He posted a .179 batting average (12-for-67) with eight runs and four RBI in 29 games played.

He was the father of Jerry Stephenson (1944–2010), like Joe a former MLB player (as a pitcher) who became a longtime scout.

List of Boston Red Sox coaches

The following is a list of coaches, including role(s) and year(s) of service, for the Boston Red Sox American League franchise (1901–present), known during its early history as the Boston Americans (1901–1907).

Louisville Bats

The Louisville Bats are a professional Minor League Baseball team based in Louisville, Kentucky. They play in the International League as the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The Bats play their home games at Louisville Slugger Field which opened in 2000. The team previously played at Old Cardinal Stadium from 1982 to 1999.

The Bats began play as the Louisville Redbirds as members of the Triple-A American Association in 1982. They became the Louisville RiverBats when they joined the International League in 1998. Louisville won the American Association championship in 1984, 1985, and 1995 as the top affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Their lone International League championship was won in 2001 with Cincinnati.

Mario Guerrero

Mario Miguel Guerrero Abud (born September 28, 1949) is a former Major League Baseball shortstop who played for four teams in an eight-year career from 1973 to 1980.

Guerrero signed with the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1968. After four plus seasons in their farm system, he was sent to the Boston Red Sox on June 30, 1972 as the player to be named later in the deal that brought future Cy Young Award winner Sparky Lyle to the Yankees. Guerrero made the BoSox out of spring training 1973, and won the starting shortstop job over Rick Burleson the following Spring following Luis Aparicio's retirement.

During the off season, Guerrero was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Jim Willoughby. He split 1975 between the Cards and their triple A affiliate, the Tulsa Oilers, batting .239 in 64 games at the major league level. He was assigned to Tulsa in 1976 when he was traded to the California Angels for two minor leaguers.

He signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants after the 1977 season only to be packaged in a trade to the Oakland Athletics for Vida Blue during spring training 1978. He played three seasons in Oakland before his contract was purchased by the Seattle Mariners. He retired following his release from the M's in spring training 1981. In 1989, Guerrero played for the Winter Haven Super Sox of the Senior Professional Baseball Association. He batted .315 in 15 games.

His brother Epy Guerrero was a coach for the Toronto Blue Jays. While working as a buscón (headhunter) in the Dominican Republic, Guerrero sued Raúl Mondesí for 1% of his salary. He ended up winning a $640,000 judgment.

Stan Papi

Stanley Gerard Papi (born February 4, 1951) is a former major league baseball player perhaps most remembered for being traded by the Montreal Expos to the Boston Red Sox for Bill Lee during the 1978-79 off-season.

Papi was born in Fresno, California, and was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 2nd round of the 1969 amateur draft but was traded to St. Louis and then Montreal, where he played part of 1977 and 1978 with the Expos.

The Red Sox had a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop in Rick Burleson, and the trade for a light-hitting utility shortstop as Papi for a left-handed pitcher of some quality, was denounced by fans and even questioned by Red Sox team captain and future Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. Shortly after the trade of Lee for Papi was announced, the graffiti "Who the hell is Stan Papi?" was painted on the exterior wall of the Green Monster at Fenway Park. Although Fenway Park staff painted over the graffiti many times, the sentence continued to re-appear until Bill Lee retired in 1982. While Yaz and other fans may have been skeptical of Papi's contributions, Papi remains a cult legend in the eyes of young West Roxbury fans like Father William P. Lohan.In Montreal, Lee went on to win 16 games in 1979 while Papi proved a bust in Boston. Lee was instrumental to the Expos achieving their first winning record (95–65) under manager Dick Williams, Lee's first manager. With a 16–10 won loss record, 3.04 earned run average and three shutouts, Lee proved very valuable to Montreal. Papi appeared in 50 games and hit .188 with one home run and six runs batted in 117 at bats. After appearing in one game in 1980, he was sent to the Philadelphia Phillies to complete an earlier trade for catcher Dave Rader. He was sent to the Phillies' minor league affiliate in Oklahoma City, and never appeared with the major league club. Just over two weeks later, he was sold to the Detroit Tigers, where he ended his career in 1981.

In his six major league seasons, Papi hit .218 with 7 home runs and 51 RBIs in 225 games.


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