Forrest Harrill "Smoky" Burgess (February 6, 1927 – September 15, 1991), was an American professional baseball catcher / pinch hitter, coach, and scout, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1949 to 1967. Later in his career, Burgess became known for his abilities as an elite pinch hitter, setting the MLB career record for career pinch-hits with 145. During his playing days, he stood 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall, weighing 188 pounds (85 kg). Burgess batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
Burgess in about 1953.
|Born: February 6, 1927|
Caroleen, North Carolina
|Died: September 15, 1991 (aged 64)|
Rutherfordton, North Carolina
|April 19, 1949, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 1967, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Runs batted in||673|
|Career highlights and awards|
Born in Caroleen, North Carolina, Burgess was signed as an amateur free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 1944. In 1947, he led the Tri-State League with a .387 batting average. Burgess followed that by leading (minimum 100 games played) the Southern Association with a .386 average, in 1948. He made his major league debut at the age of 22 with the Chicago Cubs on April 19, 1949. In October 1951, Burgess was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, who promptly traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies for catcher Andy Seminick before the start of the 1952 season. With the Phillies, he platooned alongside the right-handed-hitting Stan Lopata. Burgess had his best season in 1954, when he had a .368 batting average in 108 games for the Phillies, earning his first All-Star Game selection.
At the beginning of the 1955 season, Burgess was once again traded for Andy Seminick and returned to Cincinnati, where he finally got the chance to play every day. He rose to the occasion, hitting for a .306 batting average for the rest of the season along with 20 home runs and 77 runs batted in, gaining his second consecutive berth on the National League All-Star team. On July 29, 1955, Burgess hit three home runs and had nine runs batted in during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He began the 1956 season as the Reds' starting catcher, but when the team faltered early in the season, Reds manager Birdie Tebbetts decided to shake things up, and replaced Burgess with a younger man, Ed Bailey.
In 1959, Burgess was traded along with Harvey Haddix and Don Hoak to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Whammy Douglas, Jim Pendleton and John Powers. He was the Pirates catcher on May 26, 1959 when Haddix took a perfect game into the 13th inning against the Milwaukee Braves, before losing the game. Burgess also won a World Series with the Pirates in 1960, batting .333 in the seven-game series.
By 1963, Jim Pagliaroni had taken over as the Pirates' starting catcher and in late 1964, Burgess was acquired by the Chicago White Sox, who were in the middle of a heated pennant race. In his first plate appearance with the White Sox, on September 15, against the Detroit Tigers, he hit a game-tying home run off pitcher Dave Wickersham. Over the next three years, Burgess was used almost exclusively as a pinch hitter, appearing in just 7 games behind the plate. In 1966, he set a Major League record which still stands for the most games in a season (79) by a non-pitcher who did not score a run.
During an eighteen-year major league career, Burgess played in 1,691 games, hitting for a .295 career batting average, with 126 home runs, 673 RBI, and a .362 on-base percentage. He accumulated 1,318 career hits, with 230 doubles, and 33 triples. His .295 career batting average ranked him 10th among Major League catchers, as of 2009. A six-time All-Star, Burgess led National League (NL) catchers in fielding percentage three times, in 1953, 1960, and 1961. His Major League record of 145 career pinch hits was broken by Manny Mota, in 1979. Along with Curt Simmons, he was the last player to formally retire, who had played in the major leagues in the 1940s (not counting Minnie Miñoso, who un-retired twice).
The 1944 Chicago Cubs season was the 73rd season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 69th in the National League and the 29th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League with a record of 75–79.1952 Chicago Cubs season
The 1952 Chicago Cubs season was the 81st season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 77th in the National League and the 37th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fifth in the National League with a record of 77–77. Starting from this season, WGN was the exclusive television broadcast partner of the Cubs franchise with the transfer of WBKB ownership to CBS.1952 Cincinnati Reds season
The 1952 Cincinnati Reds season was the franchise's 63rd year as a member of the National League and its 71st consecutive year of operation in Major League Baseball. The Reds won 69 games, lost 85, and finished sixth, drawing 604,197 spectators to Crosley Field, next-to-last in the eight-team league.1955 Cincinnati Redlegs season
The 1955 Cincinnati Redlegs season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Redlegs finishing in fifth place in the National League, with a record of 75–79, 23½ games behind the NL and World Series Champion Brooklyn Dodgers. The Redlegs were managed by Birdie Tebbetts and played their home games at Crosley Field.1959 Cincinnati Reds season
The 1959 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in a fifth-place tie with the Chicago Cubs in the National League standings, with a record of 74–80, 13 games behind the NL and World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
Prior to the season the club, after calling themselves the Cincinnati Redlegs for the past six seasons, changed its nickname back to the Reds. The Reds played their home games at Crosley Field.1959 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The 1959 Pittsburgh Pirates season saw the team finish in fourth place in the National League at 78–76, nine games behind the NL and World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.1960 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the team's 79th season. The team finished with a record of 95–59–1, seven games in front of the second-place Milwaukee Braves to win their first National League championship in 33 seasons. The team went on to play the heavily favored New York Yankees, whom they defeated 4 games to 3 in one of the most storied World Series ever.1960 World Series
The 1960 World Series was played between the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League (NL) and the New York Yankees of the American League (AL) from October 5 to 13, 1960. It is most notable for the Game 7, ninth-inning home run hit by Bill Mazeroski, the only time a winner-take-all World Series game has ended with a walk-off home run.
Despite losing the series, the Yankees scored 55 runs, the most runs scored by any one team in World Series history, a unique record, and more than twice as many as the Pirates, who scored 27 runs. The Yankees won three blowout games (16–3, 10–0, and 12–0), while the Pirates won four close games (6–4, 3–2, 5–2, and 10–9) to win the series. The Series MVP was Bobby Richardson of the Yankees, the only time in history that the award has been given to a member of the losing team.
This World Series featured seven past, present, or future league Most Valuable Players. The Pirates had two – Dick Groat (1960) and Roberto Clemente (1966) – while the Yankees had five: Yogi Berra (1951, 1954, 1955), Bobby Shantz (1952), Mickey Mantle (1956, 1957, 1962), Roger Maris (1960, 1961), and Elston Howard (1963).
As noted in the superstition called the "Ex-Cub Factor", this was the only Series after 1945 and until 2001 in which a team with three or more former members of the Chicago Cubs (Don Hoak, Smoky Burgess, and Gene Baker) was able to win a World Series.
The World Championship for the Pirates was their third overall and first since 1925.1961 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (first game)
The first 1961 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played in Candlestick Park in San Francisco on July 11, 1961. The National League scored two runs in the bottom of the tenth inning to win 5–4. Stu Miller was the winning pitcher and Hoyt Wilhelm was charged with the loss.1961 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (second game)
The second 1961 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played in Fenway Park in Boston on July 31, 1961. It was the first MLB All-Star Game to end in a tie. The game in 2002 also ended in a tie.Rocky Colavito's one-out home run in the bottom of the first off National League starter Bob Purkey gave the American League a 1–0 lead, but Purkey only allowed two walks in the second before Art Mahaffey pitched a scoreless third and fourth, allowing only a leadoff walk to Mickey Mantle in the fourth. The Americans only got three more hits versus Sandy Koufax and Stu Miller.
American starter Jim Bunning pitched three perfect innings, but Don Schwall allowed a bases-loaded single to Bill White that tied the game in the sixth. All five hits the Nationals got were charged to Schwall. Camilo Pascual pitched three shutout innings before the game was called due to rain after nine innings with the score 1–1.1967 Chicago White Sox season
The 1967 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 67th season in the major leagues, and its 68th season overall. They finished with a record 89–73, good enough for fourth place in the American League, 3 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox.1973 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1973 followed the system in place since 1971, except by adding the special election of Roberto Clemente, who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and
elected Warren Spahn.
The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.
It selected three people: Billy Evans, George Kelly, and Mickey Welch.
The Negro Leagues Committee also met in person and selected Monte Irvin.Bob Bowman (outfielder)
Robert Leroy Bowman (May 10, 1930 – January 27, 2017) was an American professional baseball right fielder and pinch hitter, who played all or part of five seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies (1955–1959). Late in his career, Bowman saw action as a relief pitcher, as well. He batted and threw right-handed, standing 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) and weighing 195 lb (88 kg), during his playing days.
Bowman played right field for the Phillies from 1955 to 1958 and was noted for his strong throwing arm. The Phillies briefly tried converting Bowman to pitcher in 1959 when they were short arms in the bull pen. He made his first appearance pitching against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 28. Bowman's first pitch was hit out by Smoky Burgess, but Bowman went on to pitch the rest of the game with two scoreless innings. He appeared six times overall in the majors. His only decision came on September 18, his final appearance in the major leagues, losing to the Chicago Cubs, 5–4, with Alvin Dark hitting a RBI double to score the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning. When he returned to the minor leagues in 1960, he also returned to the outfield, pitching just four more times. Bowman holds two major league records with the highest pinch hitting batting average in 1958 and most pitching appearances as a position player with six appearances in 1959.
Bowman died in 2017 in San Jose, California, at the age of 86.Caroleen, North Carolina
Caroleen is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in southeastern Rutherford County, North Carolina, United States. Its population was 652 as of the 2010 census. Caroleen has a post office with ZIP code 28019. U.S. Route 221 Alternate passes through the community.Harvey Haddix's near-perfect game
On May 26, 1959, at Milwaukee County Stadium, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched a perfect game for 12 innings against the Milwaukee Braves, but lost the game in the 13th. His perfect game bid was broken up in the bottom of the 13th by a throwing error; he would lose the no-hitter, and the game with it, on a Joe Adcock hit (a baserunning mistake caused it to be changed from a 3-run home run to a 1-run double) later in the inning.
Braves starter Lew Burdette, despite giving up eight hits through nine innings, was pitching a shutout of his own. Three times, the Pirates came close to scoring the winning run for Haddix. In the third inning, a baserunning blunder by Don Hoak negated three consecutive singles; in the ninth, Bill Virdon, after reaching base on a hit with one out, advanced to third on Rocky Nelson's single; however, Bob Skinner grounded back to Burdette the threat. In the 10th inning, with the Pirates still not having scored, pinch-hitter Dick Stuart flied out to center fielder Andy Pafko on a ball that came within a few feet of a two-run home run. The Pirates also recorded hits in the 11th, 12th and 13th innings, but left a runner on base in the latter two innings.
Félix Mantilla, who entered the game in the 11th after Del Rice had pinch-hit for Johnny O'Brien, was the Braves' first hitter in the 13th inning. He hit a ground ball to third baseman Hoak, who fielded the ball cleanly but threw wide to first, pulling Nelson off the base. Mantilla was then sacrificed to second by Eddie Mathews. Haddix, his perfect game bid gone but his no-hit bid still intact, then intentionally walked Hank Aaron to set up a double play situation for Adcock, who had already grounded out twice earlier in the game, striking out the other two times. Adcock hit a fly ball to deep right-center field, just beyond the reach of right fielder Joe Christopher, who was making his Major League debut (he replaced Román Mejías in right field after Stuart had pinch-hit for Mejías), for an apparent home run, the ball landing between the outfield fence and another fence behind it, in front of a line of pine trees. Mantilla rounded third and touched home plate for the winning run; however, in the confusion, Aaron saw the ball hit the second fence but did not realize it had carried over the first and, thinking that the game had ended when Mantilla scored the winning run, rounded second and headed for the dugout. Adcock rounded the bases, running out his home run. First base umpire Frank Dascoli ruled that the final score was 2-0; he was overruled by National League president Warren Giles, who changed Adcock's home run to a double and declared that only Mantilla's run counted for a final score of 1-0. In addition to Stuart being used as a pinch-hitter, two other Pirate regulars did not play in this game: Dick Groat, who would win the 1960 National League Most Valuable Player Award, was mired in a slump and had been benched, and Roberto Clemente was sidelined with a sore shoulder.
In 1989, during a banquet attended by players from both teams commemorating the game's 30th anniversary, Milwaukee pitcher Bob Buhl told Haddix that the Braves' bullpen had stolen Smoky Burgess' signs, the Pittsburgh catcher exposing them due to a high crouch. From their bullpen, the Braves pitchers repeatedly repositioned a towel to signal for a fastball or a breaking ball, the only two pitches Haddix used in the game. If a fastball was coming, the towel was made visible to the batter; if a breaking pitch was coming, the towel was out of sight. Despite this assistance, the usually solid Milwaukee offense managed only the one hit. All but one Milwaukee hitter, Aaron, took the signals. Haddix's 12 2/3-inning complete game, in which he struck out eight batters against the team that had just won the previous two National League pennants (including winning the 1957 World Series), and featured one of the top offensive lineups in the Major Leagues, is considered by many to be the best pitching performance in Major League history. Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski would say, "Usually you have one or two great or spectacular defensive plays in these no-hitters. Not that night. It was the easiest game I ever played in." In 1991, Major League Baseball changed the definition of a no-hitter to "a game in which a pitcher or pitchers complete a game of nine innings or more without allowing a hit." Under this new definition, Haddix's masterpiece was one of 12 extra-inning no-hitters to be struck from the record books. Haddix's response was, "It's O.K. I know what I did." Haddix's near-perfect game is immortalized by the Baseball Project, whose song, Harvey Haddix, appears on their debut album, 2008's Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails.List of Chicago White Sox nicknames
In the last 100-plus years, the Chicago White Sox have had many players with colorful and memorable nicknames from "Shoeless Joe" Jackson to "Old Aches & Pains" Appling, Minnie the "Cuban Comet" Minoso, "Little Louie" Aparicio, "Black Jack" McDowell, and Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas. These are some of the best.
Dick Allen: "Wampum"
Sandy Alomar: "Iron Pony"
Luis Aparicio: "Little Louie"
Luke Appling: "Fumblefoot" or "Kid Boots" or "Old Aches & Pains"
Cuke Barrows, Roland Barrows: "Cuke"
Bruno Block, James John Blochowicz: "Bruno"
Ken Boyer: "Cap" or "Captain"
Smoky Burgess, Forrest Harrill Burgess: "Smoky"
Iván Calderón: "Ivan The Terrible"
Norm Cash: "Stormin’ Norman"
Eddie Cicotte: "Knuckles"
Rocky Colavito, Rocco Colavito: "Rocky"
Eddie Collins: "Cocky"
José Contreras: "Commander"
Joe Crede: "Clutch Norris"
Bucky Dent, Russell Earl O’Day: "Bucky" or "Bucky 'Fucking' Dent"
Octavio Dotel: "Ol' Dirty"
Richard Dotson: "Dot"
Brian Downing: "Incredible Hulk"
Red Faber, Urban Clarence Faber: "Red"
Carlton Fisk: "Pudge"
Nellie Fox, Jacob Nelson Fox,: "Nellie", "Little Nel", or "The Mighty Mite"
Freddy García: "Chief"
Ralph Garr: "Road Runner"
Kid Gleason, William Gleason: "Kid"
Goose Gossage, Richard Michael Gossage: "Goose" or "The White Gorilla"
Craig Grebeck: "The Little Hurt"
Bo Jackson, Vincent Edward Jackson: "Bo"
Joe Jackson: "Shoeless Joe"
Bobby Jenks: "Big Bad Bobby Jenks"
Lance Johnson: "One Dog"
Ted Kluszewski: "Big Klu"
Paul Konerko: "Paulie"
Carlos Lee: "El Caballo"
Ted Lyons: "Sunday Teddy"
Jack McDowell: "Black Jack"
Catfish Metkovich, George Michael Metkovich: "Catfish"
Minnie Miñoso, Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) Miñoso: "Minnie" or "The Cuban Comet"
Blue Moon Odom, Johnny Lee Odom: "Blue Moon"
Magglio Ordóñez: "El Caribe Mayor (The Caribbean Mayor)" or "Mags"
Tom Paciorek: "Wimpy"
Don Pall: "The Pope"
Herbert Perry: "The Milkman"
Bubba Phillips, John Melvin Phillips: "Bubba"
Billy Pierce: "Billy the Kid"
Scott Podsednik: "Pods"
Carlos Quentin: "TCQ"
Tim Raines: "Rock"
Alexei Ramírez: "The Cuban Missile"
Ray Schalk: "The Cracker"
Tom Seaver: "Tom Terrific"
Bill Skowron: "Moose"
Moose Solters, Julius Joseph Soltesz: "Moose" or "Lemons"
Nick Swisher: "Dirty Thirty"
Frank Thomas: "The Big Hurt"
Jim Thome: "Big Jimmy" or "Mr. Incredible"
Javier Vázquez: "The Silent Assassin"
Robin Ventura: "Batman"
Dayán Viciedo: "The Tank"
Ed Walsh: "Big Ed"
Skeeter Webb, James Laverne Webb: "Skeeter"
Hoyt Wilhelm: "Old Sarge"
Walt Williams: "No Neck"
Taffy Wright, Taft Shedron Wright:: "Taffy"
Early Wynn: "Gus"Steve Ridzik
Stephen George Ridzik (April 29, 1929 – January 8, 2008) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for five teams from 1950 to 1966, primarily the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Senators.
Born in Yonkers, New York, Ridzik was signed by the Phillies at the age of 16 and made his major league debut on September 4, 1950, pitching in relief. In 1953, Ridzik started 12 games and relieved in 30 more going 9-6 with an earned run average of 3.77. The Phillies traded him on April 30, 1955, along with Smoky Burgess and Stan Palys, to the Cincinnati Redlegs for Andy Seminick, Glen Gorbous, and Jim Greengrass. After having his contract sold to Seattle of the Pacific Coast League that same year, the New York Giants claimed him the next month in the Rule 5 draft.
Ridzik pitched for the Giants from 1957 to 1958 appearing in 56 games including 5 starts. On April 8, 1958, the Giants sold his contract to the Cleveland Indians where he would pitch in six more games before his contract was sold again to the Chicago Cubs. He would not pitch a major league game with the Cubs before his contract was sold to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League.
Ridzik signed with the Washington Senators three years later in 1963 after developing a knuckleball. He would appear in 132 games, mostly in relief, over the next three years for the Senators. On April 13, 1966, his contract was sold back to his original team, the Phillies. He would appear in two games with the Phillies that year before calling it a career.
After life as a baseball player, Ridzik worked in the Washington, D.C. area for a military food distributor until moving to Florida in the late 1980s. In Florida, he helped with the organizing of charity events featuring former Major League players. He also helped establish the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association with a former Senators teammate, Chuck Hinton. He died on January 8, 2008, after fighting heart disease for several years.Stu Miller
Stuart Leonard Miller (December 26, 1927 – January 4, 2015) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1952–56), Philadelphia Phillies (1956), New York/San Francisco Giants (1957–62), Baltimore Orioles (1963–67) and Atlanta Braves (1968). He batted and threw right-handed. In a 16-season career, Miller posted a 105–103 record with a 3.24 earned run average, 1164 strikeouts, and 154 saves in 704 games pitched (93 as a starter).
On April 30, 1967, Steve Barber and Miller combined to pitch a no-hitter for the Orioles against the Detroit Tigers, but would lose 2–1 because of a wild pitch and an error allowing two runs to score in the ninth inning.Miller was involved in one of the more memorable moments in All Star Game history, albeit for an exaggeration of the event in question. In the ninth inning of the first of two 1961 All Star Games (two were played between 1959 and 1962), which was played at Candlestick Park, a gust of wind caused Miller to sway slightly, resulting in a balk, which advanced Roger Maris to second and Al Kaline to third. In the embellished version, it is reported that the wind gust blew the 165-pound Miller off the pitcher's mound. Kaline later scored on an error by Ken Boyer on Rocky Colavito's ground ball, which tied the score at 3–3. One batter later, the wind caused catcher Smoky Burgess to drop Tony Kubek's foul pop-up for an error. Miller bailed Burgess out by striking out Kubek, and after Yogi Berra reached base on Don Zimmer's error, Miller got Hoyt Wilhelm to fly out to left to end the inning. In the top of the 10th inning, the defense behind Miller almost did him in; Nellie Fox walked and scored all the way from first on Boyer's three-base throwing error (the second by Boyer in as many innings) on Kaline's ground ball. Miller's teammates bailed him out in the bottom of the inning and made him the winning pitcher; Hank Aaron singled and scored on a double by Miller's Giant teammate Willie Mays to tie the score, then Mays scored the winning run on Roberto Clemente's single.On May 14, 1967, he gave up Mickey Mantle's 500th career home run.
Miller died January 4, 2015, at his home in Cameron Park, California, aged 87 after a brief illness.Whammy Douglas
Charles William "Whammy" Douglas (February 17, 1935 – November 16, 2014) was an American professional baseball player. The right-handed pitcher stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg) during his active career. According to multiple sources, Douglas was able to forge a professional baseball career despite being blind in one eye.Although Douglas only played part of one season in Major League Baseball out of his ten-year pro career, he had a measure of success for the 1957 Pittsburgh Pirates, appearing in 11 games (eight as a starting pitcher), and posting a respectable 3.26 earned run average. In 47 innings pitched, he allowed 48 hits and 30 bases on balls, with 28 strikeouts.
Douglas also was part of a major trade between the Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds in January 1959. Douglas was sent to Cincinnati in a package of players headlined by Pittsburgh slugger Frank Thomas. In return, the Bucs received Smoky Burgess, Harvey Haddix and Don Hoak — and that trio would play integral roles in the Pirates' 1960 world championship season.
Douglas never appeared in an MLB game for the Reds. His minor league record of 82–57 (compiled from 1953–1961; 1965) included a stellar season with the 1954 Brunswick Pirates of the Class D Georgia–Florida League, in which he won 27 games, lost only six and posted a 2.06 ERA.
Members of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame