Phillies’ Burrell continues powerful baseball career

By Katie Clark
April 19, 2007

MCT

The Philadelphia Phillies are back. Fans attending the first few games of the season may have noticed left-fielder Patrick Brian Burrell. Burrell has earned his spot playing in the Major Leagues throughout his powerful baseball career.

Burrell was born on Oct. 10, 1976 in Eureka Springs, Ariz. He attended the Bellarmine Preparatory School in San Jose, Calif. He played baseball and was the quarterback for the football team.

In his junior year he hit .374 and decided to give up his career in football in order to pursue his dream of baseball. By his senior year in high school, his batting average was .369 with 11 homeruns and 29 RBIs. He was announced as California Coaches Association’s Player of the Year.

According to the Philadelphia Phillies’ homepage, Burrell was soon accepted into the University of Miami in Fla. By the end of his freshman year he was the first freshman to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association batting title with a batting average of .484.

In both his freshman and sophomore year he was named first team All-American by the Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, and in his sophomore year by The Sporting News as well.

He was also named Most Outstanding Player both his freshman and junior year. Then in his sophomore and junior year he played in the College World Series.

In the game of his junior year, he hit a home run his first time at bat; however, before this game Burrell missed 38 games between March 22 to May 20 due to a stress reaction to the lowest vertebra in the lumbar of his back.

Throughout those three years Burrell’s stats were outstanding with a batting average of .442, 61 home runs, 187 RBIs, 170 BBs and 94 SOs within 162 games. He ranked 7th on NCAA’s all time list. Then by 1998 he was the winner of the Golden Spikes Award which announced him as the nation’s top amateur player.

Burrell made his Major League debut on May 24, 2000. He was the starting first baseman for Houston. In his first Major League game he made his first hit and RBI within the sixth inning. He was soon drafted over to the Phillies where he is well-known and respected by many of Philadelphia fans.

He was the co-winner of the 2005 Mike Schmidt MVP Award by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Burrell is respected by the fans because of his numerous amounts of donations and works in charity. In 2002 Burrell started the “Burrell’s Buddies” where he purchases $5000 worth of tickets to distribute to youth groups to be able to come out to the games. He also gives donations to his high school and college and to the Phillies Charities Inc.

Just recently Burrell proposed to his now fiancee, Michelle Fonseca at the Royal Palms. Burrell planned a romantic evening for the two of them. After he proposed to her, he had Fonseca’s family there to surprise her.

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Katie Clark

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