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Pete Burnside

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Peter Willits Burnside

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Biographical Information[edit]

"... [Pete] appears to have everything needed in the way of natural hurling ability. There are those graybeards who even suggest his fast ball is more ‘live’ than were those of Walter Johnson and Bob Feller." - Dick Gordon, for The Sporting News, August 7, 1957

Before the 1949 season Pete Burnside signed with the New York Giants as an amateur free agent. The 19-year-old Ivy Leaguer spent his first season with the Class C St. Cloud Rox. Pete pitched for the Giants' organization for three more summers, around the time he graduated from Dartmouth in 1952. Pete was in the United States Military in 1953, serving during the Korean War. He was back on the field with the Minneapolis Millers and the Nashville Volunteers in 1954.

Pete got the late season call to the Polo Grounds in 1955 after going 18-11 with the Dallas Eagles and leading the Texas League with 235 strikeouts. His first victory in the majors was a 5-2 triumph over the Philadelphia Phillies and Robin Roberts, who was trying for his 24th win of the year. Pete joined the Giants in their first year in San Francisco, spending most of the 1958 season helping the Phoenix Giants to a Pacific Coast League pennant with 11 wins. Pete was in the American League with the Detroit Tigers, Washington Senators and the Baltimore Orioles from 1959 to 1963. In 1961, pitching for the expansion Senators, he had the distinction of being the only southpaw to give up as many as three of the record 61 home runs hit by Roger Maris. In 1963, he was joined by a fellow Dartmouth graduate, Art Quirk, on the Senators' pitching staff. Pete finished with an overall record of 19-36 and a 4.81 ERA in the majors. In the minors, he was 60-57 with a 5.29 ERA, dealing from 1949 to 1963.

Pete was in NPB for a couple of seasons, compiling a record of 10-22 with an ERA of 3.10 for the Hanshin Tigers. Following that, the Evanston, IL native received his master's degree at Northwestern and was a teacher and coach at New Trier High School in Wilmette, IL for 26 years, retiring in 1994.

Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page

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