Ernest Burke was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland. During World War II, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Burke was one of the first black U.S. Marines to serve in World War II, and earned a medal as a sharpshooter. During his tour of duty in the Pacific, Burke began to play baseball.
After the war, he became a pitcher and outfielder for the Baltimore Elite Giants in the Negro American League. He played for Baltimore from 1946 to 1949. In 1949, he joined the Pough-Kingston team in the Western League, then later played in the Canadian Provincial League.
Burke died of kidney cancer complications at the age of 79.
- Negro league baseball statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Negro leagues)
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