Dave Burba

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David Allen Burba

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Biographical Information[edit]

A dependable if rarely dominant right-handed hurler, Dave Burba bounced from the Seattle Mariners to the San Francisco Giants to the Cincinnati Reds before finding a home as a mainstay in the Cleveland Indians starting rotation. Burba joined the Indians' AL Central dynasty when the Reds traded him for first baseman Sean Casey on March 30, 1998, the day before he was slated to be the club's Opening Day starter. During his career, he relied on a sinker and slider.

After graduating from Ohio State University and reaching the big leagues with the Mariners in 1990, Burba was sent to the Giants in December 1991 along with pitchers Bill Swift and Mike Jackson for slugger Kevin Mitchell and southpaw Mike Remlinger. He worked mostly from the bullpen in San Francisco, posting a 10-3 record, including and 8-game winning streak, for the 1993 NL West runners-up – a team which missed the playoffs despite winning 103 games. Not until the Giants dealt him to the Reds in July 1995 did he get a chance to start regularly.

But after totaling 22 wins for Cincinnati in 1996 and 1997, Burba unexpectedly found himself moving cross-state mere hours before his scheduled Opening Day start. Growing up a Reds]fan in Springfield, OH, Burba was stung by his abrupt departure. "For me, it was a dream come true to be the Opening Day starter on a big-league team," he said after the trade. "I can't say I'm not excited to be here, because I am. But I dreamed my whole life of being an Opening Day starter, and they pulled the rug out from under me."

On June 7, 1998, Burba exacted a measure of revenge against his old team, pitching Cleveland to a 6-1 win at Cincinnati during an interleague series and also clubbing a two-run homer, becoming the first Tribe pitcher to go deep since the advent of the DH. He solidified the Indians' often shaky rotation, topping 200 innings pitched for the first time, winning 15 games with a 4.11 ERA and adding victories vs. Boston in the ALDS and vs. New York in the Tribe's six-game loss to the Yankees in the League Championship Series. He continued to be a solid innings eater for Cleveland in 1999 and 2000 while racking up 31 wins against 15 losses. Burba lost his touch in 2001 however, as his ERA soared above 6.00.

From 2001 through 2005, Dave did his best to resurrect a professional baseball career that had covered 19 years. All the way from the Salinas Spurs in the 1987 California League to the end with the 2005 Round Rock Express. He had been in the minors all or parts of 9 seasons and his last game in the major leagues, after 15 seasons, came on September 19, 2004, pitching for the San Francisco Giants.

In 2005 at age 38 Burba went 4-3 with a 4.58 ERA for the Round Rock Express and the big rigthander's active playing days ended.

In 2011 Burba began his coaching career as pitching coach of the Tri-City Dust Devils, a role he continued in 2012. He moved to the Modesto Nuts in 2013-2014. He was with the New Britain Rock Cats in 2015, the Hartford Yard Goats in 2016-2017 and the Lancaster JetHawks in 2018-2019.

He is the nephew of pitcher Ray Hathaway, who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 15 Wins Seasons: 3 (1998-2000)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1998 & 1999)

Sources[edit]

Baseball-Reference.com
Baseball Library.com
SABR MILB Database:page

Related Sites[edit]

Greatest 21 Days