Rick Burleson

From BR Bullpen


Richard Paul Burleson
(The Rooster)

BR page

Biographical information[edit]

"Some guys didn't like to lose, but Rick got angry if the score was even tied. He was very intense and had the greatest arm of any infielder I had ever seen." - Bill Lee

Shortstop Rick Burleson was a four-time American League All-Star in a thirteen season career spent primarily with the Boston Red Sox.

Rick was the fifth overall selection in the secondary phase of the January 1970 draft by the Sawx. On the retirement of Luis Aparicio, he beat Mario Guerrero for the starting shortstop job in 1974, holding it down until 1980, when he would depart in free agency. A great glove man, Rick was no slouch with the bat either, earning a starting nod at the 1977 All-Star Game while batting .293 with 80 runs scored. He was named team MVP in back to back years (1978 and 1979), making two more All-Star Game trips while winning a Gold Glove in the latter year. He moved to the California Angels as a free agent in 1981 and enjoyed one final full-time, All-Star season, playing 109 games in the strike shortened '81 while hitting .293 and winning his lone Silver Slugger Award. An injury to his throwing arm derailed his career, only appearing in 206 games over his final six seasons, the last spent as a part-time player with the Baltimore Orioles.

Following his playing career, Rick was an Oakland Athletics minor league infield instructor in 1989 and scout in 1990. He was an A's coach in 1991 and a member of the BoSox staff the next two seasons, 1992 and 1993. He was an Angls minor league baserunning instructor in 1994 and a coach for the big leaguers in 1995 and 1996. He later managed the Lancaster JetHawks in 1997 and 1998, the San Bernardino Stampede in 1999, the San Antonio Missions in 2000, the Billings Mustangs from 2001 to 2003, the Louisville Bats in 2004, and Billings again in 2005 and 2006. In 2007, he replaced Pat Kelly as manager of the GCL Reds on July 4th, after Kelly was named bench coach by Cincinnati Reds interim manager, Pete Mackanin. Switching to the minor league system of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Burleson was the hitting coach of the Visalia Oaks in 2008 and moved up to the Triple A Reno Aces in 2009-2012.

Burleson was a 2002 inductee into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1997 Lancaster JetHawks California League 75-66 3rd Seattle Mariners Lost in 2nd round
1998 Lancaster JetHawks California League 78-62 3rd Seattle Mariners Lost in 1st round
1999 San Bernardino Stampede California League 80-61 2nd Los Angeles Dodgers League Champs
2000 San Antonio Missions Texas League 64-76 7th Los Angeles Dodgers
2001 Billings Mustangs Pioneer League 46-29 3rd Cincinnati Reds League Champs
2002 Billings Mustangs Pioneer League 38-37 3rd Cincinnati Reds Lost in 1st round
2003 Billings Mustangs Pioneer League 24-14 -- Cincinnati Reds replaced by Jay Sorg
Louisville Bats International League 16-17 2nd Cincinnati Reds Lost in 1st round replaced Dave Miley (63-47) on July 29
2004 Louisville Bats International League 67-77 10th Cincinnati Reds
2005 Billings Mustangs Pioneer League 43-33 2nd Cincinnati Reds
2006 Billings Mustangs Pioneer League 51-25 1st Cincinnati Reds Lost in 1st round
2007 Sarasota Reds Florida State League -- Cincinnati Reds replaced Joe Ayrault /
replaced by Pat Kelly
GCL Reds Gulf Coast League 16th Cincinnati Reds replaced Ron Ortegon on July 11

Records Held[edit]

  • Double plays, shortstop, season, 147, 1980

Further Reading[edit]

  • Ray Birch: "Rick Burleson", in Bill Nowlin and Cecilia Tan, ed.: '75:The Red Sox Team that Saved Baseball, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015, pp. 5-10. ISBN 978-1-933599-97-7

Related Sites[edit]