For one day, Pat Burrell will wear red pinstripes again.Pat the Bat will throw out the first pitch in tonight’s game against the Boston Red Sox. Burrell signed a one-day contract so that he could retire with the Phillies.
Burrell is currently a scout with the San Francisco Giants, the team he won his second World Series ring with, beating the Phillies in 2010 in the NLCS to get there. He won his first ring in 2008 with the Phillies, his only hit in the series was a double in the clinching Game 5.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had this to say in remembrance of the first left fielder he coach with the Phillies:
“The thing I liked, he’d always BS with (pitching coach Rich) Dubee and I,” Manuel said. “He’d rip at you, pick at you. He’d bring his bulldog and let him go under my desk. Elvis. He liked all that. He was always early at the ballpark. He wanted to win. Starting in 2007 he was really more involved with our team. When we changed our team, Pat really got into our team more. He was definitely a leader on our team.”
A leader Burrell was.
Along with Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and Jimmy Rollins, Burrell made himself the face of this era of Phillies. The team seemed to thrive off of how each and every single one of those players played, especially Burrell’s ability to protect Howard in the line up and Utley’s overall play on the field.
Burrell had his share of fun off the field too. Every person not living under a rock in Philly knew Burrell was a partier, had his share of women and was a true character. But it never got in the way of how he played on the field, his teammates and his overall success in Philadelphia.
Burrell was even a good sport in his not-so-finest moments at the dish and in the field. A mediocre fielder and a swing-for-the-fences hitter, Burrell got his fair share of boos for missed balls in the field and his 150-plus strikeouts a season.
But it never tarnished Burrell’s opinions of this fanbase and a city that passionately loves its athletes. And he got the honors of leading the first championship parade in 24 years down Broad Street in 2008 because of it — and because the Phillies knew he wasn’t going to sign in the off season, instead go to the American League to DH.
So here at Team to Beat, we wish you good luck in your post-career endeavors, Pat the Bat. Good luck as a scout and enjoy the retired life.
And to the men in Northern California, make sure your women don’t get Burrell’d.