Pat Burrell will retire from the game of baseball with the same team in which he entered. The Philadelphia Phillies selected Burrell with the first overall pick in the 1998 MLB amateur draft, and after he signs a one-day contract, minor league contract with the club, he will retire a Phillie.
Burrell will sign his contract during the three-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park on May 18-20. He’ll throw out the first pitch on May 19 and will sign autographs in the Hall of Fame Club.
Initially, Burrell didn’t want to make a big fuss about his return to Philly, but came around after some time. Here’s what he said, from a great Paul Hagen story on MLB.com:
“‘Hesitant’ isn’t the right word — I just don’t like to make a big deal about things,” Burell explained. “But the more I thought about it, it’s the right thing to do. I was with that organization for so long. I have such good memories. You realize it’s an honor and I’m very appreciative of the fact they wanted to do this for me. I’m looking forward to it. I really am.”
Burrell, only 35 years old, was forced to retire after last season – which he spent with the San Francisco Giants – because of foot problems. He’s still involved with the game, working as an assistant to Giants general manager Brian Sabean and as a special assignment scout.
Burrell has two World Series titles to his name – the 2008 title with the Phillies and the 2010 championship with the Giants. He spent nine seasons with the Phillies, ranking fourth in franchise history in home runs (251), eighth in RBIs (827) and ninth in extra-base hits (518).
For his career, which also includes two seasons with the Giants and one with the Tampa Bay Rays, he hit .253 with 292 home runs, 976 RBIs and 767 runs scored.