Tim Burke

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Timothy Philip Burke

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Biographical Information[edit]

Tim Burke was an All-Big Eight baseball player three years in a row at the University of Nebraska. Originally property of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Bucs dealt him to the New York Yankees as part of a package to snare former New York Mets All-Star outfielder Lee Mazzilli in December 1982. Almost one year to the day later, the Yanks peddled Tim to the Montreal Expos for minor league journeyman Pat Rooney. The Bucs and Yankees loss would soon be the Expos gain.

Tim went 11-8 with a 3.49 ERA and 2 saves for the Indianapolis Indians in 1984, playing for his future big league manager, Buck Rodgers. He made the Expo staff as the team's last pitcher in spring training of 1985, then promptly went on to tie the Major League record for most appearances by a rookie with 78, while pitching to a 9-4, 2.39 record with 8 saves in 120 1/3 innings. During that year, he put together a streak of 20 2/3 scoreless innings from June 15 to July 14. He was the set-up man for Jeff Reardon during his first two seasons In Montreal, and took over the closer's job when Reardon was traded to the Minnesota Twins after the 1986 season. In 1987, he was a ridiculous 7-0, 1.19 with 18 saves in 91 innings. In 1989, he made his lone All-Star team, finishing 9-3, 2.55 with 28 saves in 68 appearances (84 2/3 innings). He eventually wore down in 1991 and was dealt to the New York Mets for Ron Darling, finishing his career battling injuries in Queens before the curtain fell in The Bronx in 1992.

Tim, whose finest pitch was his sinker, had an unusual pitching motion. He started his windup with the ball in his glove. He would then pick it up with his pitching hand when his arms joined together about waist high, and would proceed to throw, all without pausing. The windup served him well; in an eight year career, he finished 49-33 with a 2.72 ERA and 102 saves in 498 games. He is still the franchise leader for the Expos/Washington Nationals with 425 games pitched.

After his playing career, he wrote a book with his wife, Christine, and author Gregg Lewis: Major League Dad: The Moving Story of an All-Star Pitcher Who Gave up Baseball for His Family (1994). In 1995, he appeared in the Geoff Moore & The Distance music video for their single, "Home Run".

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL All-Star (1989)
  • NL Games Pitched Leader (1985)

Related Sites[edit]