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Pat Burrell

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Patrick Brian Burrell
(Pat the Bat)

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[edit] Biographical Information

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Pat Burrell hit over 250 home runs in a major league career mostly spent with the Philadelphia Phillies, but also with the Tampa Bay Rays and San Francisco Giants.

Burrell was a strong power hitter who set many records at the University of Miami. He won the Golden Spikes Award in 1998 as top college baseball player in the United States and ranks among the all-time NCAA top ten in batting average (.442) and slugging percentage (.888). He was named the most outstanding player in the 1996 College World Series.

In the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, Pat hit .231/.535/.625 with an amazing 15 walks in 9 games. He hit 3 home runs and scored 8 times. He tied for 5th in the event in homers. He was 1 for 4 with two walks in the Bronze Medal game loss to Australia. Paul Gonzalez beat him out for All-Tournament honors at third base.

Pat was selected by the Phillies with the first overall pick in the 1998 amateur draft.

When Burrell was on, he could hit mammoth home runs, but often had trouble with the outside breaking ball and ended up flailing at bad pitches, which is why he struck out so often.

Burrell was the last player to get a hit at Veterans Stadium when he singled off Jason Marquis of the Atlanta Braves with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth on September 28, 2003.

In 2002, he was the 12th Philadelphia Phillies player to hit 30 home runs and collect 100 RBI. He had a fan group at Veterans Stadium called Burrell's Bunch.

Burrell was a key part of the Phillies' offense when they conquered the second World Series title in team history in 2008; he hit 33 doubles and 33 homers that season, driving in 86 runs while walking 102 times. He hit two home runs in the NLDS and one in the NLCS, but in the World Series, he only went 1 for 14 (.071) with his only hit a double.

He became a free agent after the season, but fell victim to the market correction caused in part by the economic crisis that befell the United States that fall. With his services little in demand, he ended up signing a two-year contract worth $16 million with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Phils' opponents in the World Series. Installed as the full-time designated hitter in 2009, he had a disappointing season, hitting only .221 in 122 games, with 14 homers and 64 RBI.

In 2010, he began the season platooning at DH with Willy Aybar but was released on May 15 after hitting only .202 with 2 homers in 24 games. He played a few games with the Fresno Grizzlies and then was called up to the 2010 San Francisco Giants. He found his hitting stroke again with the Giants, hitting .266/.364/.509 in 96 games, with 16 doubles and 18 homers. The Giants went on to win their first-ever World Series since their move to San Francisco, CA. Burrell had a few hits in the first two rounds of the postseason, but in the Series, Texas Rangers pitchers held him hitless with 11 strikeouts in 13 at-bats. He returned to the Giants in 2011 but fell to .230 in 92 games, was only given 183 at-bats - the lowest total of his career - and had only 7 dingers. He became a free agent after the season.

On January 30, 2012, Burrell announced his retirement from baseball, citing a chronic foot injury. He ended his career with 292 home runs. The Phillies had him sign a one-day contract and brought him back to Philadelphia on May 19th to allow him to retire as a Phillie as they honored him before their game against the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park.

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