Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Monday, June 21, 2010

1976 Topps #471 - Jim Burton

  • Jim Burton had a short major league career (1975-1977) with the Boston Red Sox. Burton was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1971. He pitched in the minors until 1975. Control and back problems kept him from having success until 1975.
  • In 1975 Burton started with AAA Pawtucket and pitched very well, going 8-2 with a 1.54 ERA. He pitched a no-hitter against Tidewater on June 8 and was called up to Boston the next day. Jim was a valuable lefty out of the bullpen for the Red Sox and went 1-2 with a 2.89 ERA in 29 games (4 starts).
  • Jim pitched on September 20 but wasn't used again until the World Series. In game 3 Jim walked Ken Griffey and allowed a sacrifice fly to Joe Morgan. In the top of the 9th inning of game 7 with the score tied Red Sox manager Darrell Johnson turned to Burton because the Reds had several left-handed batters coming up and his closer (Dick Drago) had pitched three innings in game 6. Burton said later that he didn't have anything because he hadn't been used in so long. Jim walked Griffey and Cesar Geronimo sacrificed him to second. Griffey went to third on Dan Driessen's ground ball. Burton walked Pete Rose and the Reds had runners on first and third with two out. Joe Morgan hit a Burton slider into center field to score Griffey and eventually win the Series. Burton and Morgan both later said that Jim made a good pitch and Morgan just hit it.
  • Don Aase and Rick Jones beat out Burton in spring training in 1976 and Burton found himself back in Pawtucket. He didn't pitch well in 1976 but bounced back in 1977 to have a good year for Pawtucket. Burton was brought up to the Red Sox in September and pitched in one game (2 2/3 scoreless innings against Baltimore on September 17).
  • After the 1977 season Burton was traded to the New York Mets. He started the 1978 season with AAA Tidewater and eventually ended up in single-A ball. Jim was having elbow problems and decided to retire after the 1978 season.
  • After his retirement Burton started his own printing business in North Carolina. He also travels to Haiti to do missionary work.

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