The Dodgers Embrace the Family of a Player They Once Shunned

 

“He may bounce out of a stadium,” mentioned Rick Monday, Burke’s former Dodgers teammate and now the membership’s radio analyst. “Together with his vertical leap, he may have been certainly one of Santa’s reindeer.”

However Burke was additionally a person to this point forward of his time that the occasions 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 problems at 42 in Might 1995.

That’s the place the story may have ended. However right this moment, the credit proceed to roll.

Credit score…Larry Corrigan

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

Burke made his debut with the Dodgers in 1976 and largely backed up their nice outfield of that period — Baker, Reggie Smith and Monday. Within the 1977 World Sequence, between the Dodgers and the Yankees, he began Sport 1 in heart 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-Might deal that didn’t add up except 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 let you know, he was the lifetime of the occasion,” Baker, now managing Houston, mentioned from Seattle over the weekend. “He’d get out and dance; he may dance his butt off. He’d crack on anyone, and we beloved having Glenn round. Glenn was a giant a part of our group, man. And he was a hell of a ballplayer who was studying easy methods to hit.”


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