Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Baseball Birthday..."Sleepy" Bill Burns

Today we say Happy Birthday to big league pitcher Bill Burns.

Bill Burns was born on January 17, 1880, in San Sabo, Texas.

"Sleepy" Bill made his big league debut with the Washington Senators on April 18th, 1908, at the age of 28.

Burns was a left handed  pitcher who started 85 games , pitched  717 2/3 innings in five seasons of big league baseball.

"Sleepy" Bill was given his nickname due to his deliberate mound presence and his propensity to sleep in the dugout during days he didn't pitch.

Bill Burns recorded 30 wins and suffered 52 losses.

Burns did complete 45 games, and managed to hit 38 of the 2, 846 batters he faced in the big leagues.

As soon as I saw the name Bill Burns today in, I wondered if he was the same "Sleepy" Bill Burns from the movie "Eight Men Out."

He is indeed, the same former pitcher who was involved in negotiations between the gamblers and the players.

The 1988 movie by director John Sayles tells the tale of the 1919 Chicago "Black Sox" and their throwing of the '19 World Series vs. the Cincinnati Reds.

"Sleepy" Bill Burns is played by Christopher Lloyd in the movie.

I was also surprised that Bill Burns was once a teammate of Ty Cobb, in Burns final big league season of 1912.

Burns and the Tigers were a not so good 69-84 in 1912, a 6th place finish in the American League.

Ty Cobb was just 25 years old in 1912, and the games best hitter swatted 226 hits in just 140 games, batting .409, with 30 doubles and 23 triples.

Today's Baseball Birthday is why I love baseball.

We learned that birthday boy Bill Burns was the same "Sleepy" Bill Burns in the movie Eight Men Out, played by the famous Christopher Lloyd, and that Burns was Ty Cobb's teammate in 1912, his last year of baseball.

Bill Burns made his mark in baseball, infamous, or not.

Burns passed away at the age of 73, on June 6th, 1953...D Ramona, California.

Happy Baseball Birthday "Sleepy" Bill!

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