Thursday, September 11, 2014

#279 Todd Burns

About the Front: Sometimes I look at photos of baseball players from the 1950s and 1960s and I can't believe how old they look. Attribute it to changes in fashion, lifestyle, upbringing, or what have you. It might just be an unflattering photo, but Todd Burns has got to be one of the most weathered-looking 29-year-olds to appear in the 1993 Topps set.

About the Back: Todd appeared in a total of five World Series games out of the A's bullpen, with four scoreless appearances. However, he was hammered in two-thirds of an inning in the 1990 Series opener, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk.

Triple Play:

1. Burns earned his first career win with 4.2 innings of shutout relief against the Blue Jays on July 3, 1988, pitching around five walks and two hits and hanging in there from the 12th inning through the 16th.

2. He was nicknamed "The Mad Hatter", due to his habit of frequently tugging at his cap while pitching.

3. Todd now operates the Todd Burns School of Baseball in Huntsville, AL.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: If I were more into wordplay as an adolescent, I would've noticed that "Todd Burns" is not just a name, but a complete sentence as well.

Bill James Said: "Made five starts in May and June, and was hit so hard (7.62 ERA) that his ERA was shot for the season." Burns went 0-8 with a 5.08 ERA for the Rangers and Cardinals in 1993, and never pitched in the majors thereafter.

On This Date in 1993: September 11. Ben McDonald tosses a four-hitter in a 3-1 Orioles win over Bob Welch and the Athletics. Chris Hoiles hits his 24th home run in the winning cause. It's the second of four complete games that McDonald will toss in September, part of a career-high total of seven for the season.

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