At Pride Night, Dodgers Embrace Glenn Burke, Who They Once Shunned

“He might soar out of a stadium,” stated Rick Monday, Burke’s former Dodgers’ teammate and now the membership’s radio analyst. “Along with his vertical leap, he might have been one in every of Santa’s reindeer.”

However Burke was additionally a person thus far forward of his time that the instances didn’t — wouldn’t — acknowledge him. He was traded by the Dodgers, shunned by the Oakland Athletics and, finally, ostracized from baseball. He wound up misplaced, alone and alienated. He was briefly homeless and turned to cocaine and crack. He did a brief stint in jail for drug possession. He contracted AIDS and died from its issues at 42 in Could 1995.

That’s the place the story might have ended. However as we speak, the credit proceed to roll.

Credit score…Larry Corrigan

“Essentially the most distinctive human being, essentially the most dynamic particular person, that I’ve ever met,” stated Larry Corrigan, a minor-league teammate of Burke’s (1973-1976) earlier than working greater than three a long time as a scout and government, principally for Minnesota. “He was constructed like a god. He was humorous, witty and semi-loud if he knew you. However he may very well be quiet, too.”

Burke debuted with the Dodgers in 1976 and principally backed up their nice outfield of that period — Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith and Monday. When the 1977 World Collection opened between the Dodgers and Yankees, he began Recreation 1 in middle area whereas Monday nursed a sore again. Solely seven months later, the Dodgers shipped him to Oakland in a commerce for Invoice North. It was a baffling, mid-Could deal that didn’t add up until you knew about Burke’s private life. The Dodgers’ gamers did, however most say they didn’t care. Because the shock of the commerce plowed by way of the clubhouse, a number of say they shed tears.

“I inform you, he was the lifetime of the social gathering,” Baker, now managing Houston, stated from Seattle over the weekend. “He’d get out and dance; he might dance his butt off. He’d crack on anyone, and we cherished having Glenn round. Glenn was a giant a part of our staff, man. And he was a hell of a ballplayer who was studying the best way to hit.”

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