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                        Bill Burns --- 1911

                                                                           February 27-March 1, 2015   

In preparation for the 2015 Season, I tend
to break out my baseball DVD’s to get in the
spirit as snow falls from the sky in the
Midwest. Pride of the Yankees is on the list,
as well as The Natural, where I get to see
several friends on screen in cameo roles as
Robert Redford swings the “Wonder Boy”

The “movie de jour” last week was Eight
Men Out, the story of the 1919 Black Sox
Scandal. The movie takes the viewer inside
“the fix” of the 1919 World Series, when
several members of the White Sox laid
down for the Cincinnati Reds. Featured in
the flick were a young John Cusack as Buck
Weaver, John Mahoney from “Frasier” fame
as Sox manager “Kid” Gleason as
Christopher Lloyd played “Sleepy” Bill
Burns, a former big league pitcher turned
gambler. Out of curiosity, I checked in on
Burns’ stats and cardboard status.

With a career that lasted five big league
seasons Burns moved between the
Senators, Reds, White Sox, Phillies and
Tigers. Burns would never post a winning
season, logging a 30-52 record in 117
appearances, with a 2.72 ERA during
Baseball’s “dead ball era”.  The lefty would
register 10 or more losses in four of his five

A laid back mound demeanor earned him
the moniker of “Sleepy”. Burns did enjoy
one small blip of notoriety, as he was the
first big league hurler to twice lose no-hit
bids with two outs in the ninth inning. His
career ran from 1908 to 1912, as Burns did
indeed make it onto cardboard with this
1911 rectangle.

Editor’s Note: As the former editor for the
former magazine At The Yard, I wrote on
piece on Buffalo friends Kevin Lester and
Duke McGuire, who as extras took readers
inside The Natural with their recollections.
Here is the piece:

Inside "The Natural" (pg. 1)

Inside "The Natural" (pg. 2)