|Pinch runner/Pinch hitter/Catcher|
|Born: April 21, 1935|
|May 25, 1956, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 22, 1958, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
Mack Edwin Burk (born April 21, 1935 in Nacogdoches, Texas) is a retired American professional baseball player. Normally a catcher, Burk appeared in 16 Major League games played for the 1956 and 1958 Philadelphia Phillies—13 as a pinch runner, two as a pinch hitter, and only one game (and one inning) as a catcher.
Burk stood 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) tall, weighed 180 pounds (82 kg) and threw and batted right-handed. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and signed a $40,000 bonus contract with the Phillies in September 1955. Under the rules of the day, a "bonus baby" such as Burk was compelled to spend his first two years as a professional baseball player on a Major League roster. In his pro debut, on May 25, 1956, Burk pinch-ran for catcher Andy Seminick. In his third game, on June 5, he pinch hit for pitcher Curt Simmons in the fifth inning and singled off left-hander Joe Nuxhall of the Cincinnati Redlegs. He came around to score his first big-league run that inning on a sacrifice fly by Stan Lopata. He scored two more runs during the 1956 season, both as a pinch runner. In his lone appearance in the field, Burk caught one inning, the bottom of the eighth, in relief of Lopata on July 25 against the Cardinals, and handled one chance flawlessly.
Burk missed the entire 1957 season due to military service. But in 1958, he returned to baseball and was able to gain much-needed playing time in minor league baseball. He also played in one game with the Phillies. In his second big-league plate appearance and at bat, he was called upon to pinch hit for Phils' pitcher Ray Semproch in the 14th inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants, and he was called out on strikes against veteran Johnny Antonelli. It would be Burk's final MLB appearance. All told, he collected three runs scored, and one single in his two at bats for a career batting average of .500.
Mack Burk continued his career in the minors through 1960 in the Phillies' farm system before leaving pro baseball.
- J. G. Taylor Spink, ed., The Sporting News 1956 Official Baseball Register, page 29
- 1956-06-05 box score from Retrosheet
- 1956-07-25 box score from Retrosheet
- Rose, George (2004). One Hit Wonders: Baseball Stories. United States: Excel/Kaleidoscope. p. 212. ISBN 9780595318070.
- 1958-06-22 box score from Retrosheet
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