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Elmer Burkart

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Elmer Robert Burkart
(Swede)

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Pennsylvania native Elmer Burkart was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies out of Temple University in 1936. The 19-year-old right-hander was assigned to the Hazleton Mountaineers of the class A New York-Pennsylvania League, where he went 1-1 in nine appearances before being brought up to the Phillies, making his debut on September 14,1936. At nineteen years of age, the leaderboard declared Burkart the youngest pitcher in the National League for the 1936 season. Elmer appeared in two games with no decisions.

Burkart rode this same horse for the next three seasons. In 1937 he was with the Albany Senators of the same NYPL league, appearing in 31 games but had a 6-13 record in his appearances. In 1938, he went 10-16 in 44 games for the Montgomery Rebels of the class B Southeastern League and finally in 1939 he went 2-9 for the Baltimore Orioles of the International League.

Elmer was called up to Shibe Park, usually late in the season, with the exception of 1939, during these three years. In 1937, he appeared in seven games with no decisions and in 1938 he pitched ten innings and lost his only game in the big leagues. In 1939, Elmer finally won his first and only game in The Show, giving him a career 1-1 record with a 4.93 ERA. He pitched his final game in the major leagues on May 5, 1939.

Burkart signed on with the Baltmore Orioles in 1939 and stayed with the International League team until 1944. His final season came in 1945 with the Columbus Red Birds and the Milwaukee Brewers both of the American Association. He finished up his ten-year minor league career with a 47-76 record in 283 appearances. He managed just one year over the .500 mark when he went 5-3 in 1944.

After baseball, Elmer lived in Baltimore, MD, where he worked and lived until his retirement. Burkart died on February 6, 1995 in Baltimore at the age of 78.

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