Friday, February 5, 2010

Name:  Rick Burleson                     
Nickname:  Rooster
Position:  Shortstop                                    
Bats:  Right    
Throws:  Right
Number(s): 7
Years Played As an Angel: 1981-1986
Angels’ Stats: .281 Avg., 244 hits, 39 2Bs, 75 RBIs
Career Stats: .273 Avg., 1401 hits, 256 2Bs, 449 RBIs

How He Was Acquired: Traded in December 1980 from Boston (along with Butch Hobson) for Mark Clear, Carney Lansford and Rick Miller.

Why You Should Know Him: Burleson was one of the best defensive shortstops of his era, setting a major league record for double plays in a season by a shortstop with Boston in 1980, and a major league record for assists in a game (15 in 20 innings) with the Angels in 1982. Burleson was injured early in that season, replaced by fellow veteran Tim Foli.

Burleson was a four-time All-Star (once with the Angels…1981), starting in 1977 for the American League. He won a Gold Glove in 1979 and a Silver Slugger Award in 1981. 

After injury-plagues seasons in ’82, ’83 and ’84, he missed the entire ’85 season, then won Comeback Player of the Year honors in 1986.

Burleson finished his career with the Baltimore Orioles in 1987.  

Memorable Moments/Games: Just a couple of days after turning 15 double plays against Seattle in 1982, Burleson told teammates he felt better than ever before a game against the Twins. During that game, though, he threw the ball across the diamond and felt a terrible pain, “like someone had stuck an ice pick into my shoulder and then pulled it out.” Burleson would miss the Angels’ playoff run that season.

Anecdotes and Quotes: Burleson was angry with Angels manager Gene Mauch for the way he was utilized in 1986. Mauch quipped: “If a fine young man like Rick Burleson doesn’t like you, you must have a personality problem. And in my case, it’s too late to change.

Contributed by Brett Borden - Columnist
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