Pat Burrell to Retire

Pat the Bat retires after 12 productive seasons with 2 World Series rings. Photo: AP

Pat Burrell is set to announce his retirement today according to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors. Burrell, also known as Pat the Bat and the Machine, was a beacon of hope for a floundering franchise scorned by JD Drew’s famous refusal to sign. Burrell was the number one pick out of the University of Miami in 1998 and provided solid production over nine years in Philadelphia. Drafted as a third baseman, Burrell was selected with high expectations and for his ability to reach the Majors quickly. Burrell joined the club in 2000.

Burrell’s last game as a Phil was Game 5 of the 2008 World Series saw him reach base three times, including a lead-off double that helped the Phils clinch the title. Burrell’s double cemented him forever in Phillies’ lure and reflected his often-clutch performances. Burrell finished his career with a year-and-a-half each with both Tampa and San Francisco. Burrell finished 2010 with 18 second-half home runs and led the charging Giants past Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Texas to capture the 2010 World Series.

For many, Burrell never reached the unrealistic expectations set forth by many as the number 1 pick, but to me, Burrell’s double was the perfect exclamation mark to a terrific career. Playing mostly left field for the Phils, Pat the Bat appeared in 1306 games for the Phillies hitting 251 HRs with a triple-slash of .257/.367/.485.  Burrell finishes his career just shy of 300 (292) HRs, with a career triple slash of .253/.361/.472.  With so many moments to choose from, including many Shea Stadium bombs and his Game 5 double, what is your favorite Pat Burrell moment?

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  1. Theresa Porter

    January 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    My family went to the Philles vs Tampa Bay exhibition game in April 2009 – a few days before they announced it was going to be Pat Burrell Recgonition Night. The Phillies gave out photos of Pat Burrell from signing day through the 2008 World Series parade. They played a montage of him before the game. He teared up after and came out for a curtain call. It was a great tribute form the Phillies and showed what a class act both Burell and the Phillies organization were. He will e missed and always a Phillie in my mind. People may say he was never a great player but he was ALWAYS proud to be a Phillie and thankful to be here.

    • Johanna

      January 31, 2012 at 9:19 am

      I was at that game too. I have that photo framed and up in my office. That was a great moment.

      • Theresa Porter

        January 31, 2012 at 2:51 pm

        It was a great game and ery classy of the Phillies to honor him.

  2. JoeyM

    January 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Ok I was batboy down in Spring Training and Burrell was at the plate when he broke his bat. I went to go get him another one but before I could, Chase Utley grabbed one of Burrell’s bats and chucked it out on the field at him. Burrell just stared at Utley, and everyone in the dugout started laughing.

  3. dennis

    January 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    in 2008 we had a double header vs the brewers on a sunday day/night. Pat the Bat hit a bomb up near the scoreboard pourch which was right by us in LF. the other top one is the nlcs were he went deep off Lowe.

  4. Paul

    January 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Early May 2008, the Giants had just gone up one in the 10th inning on an Aaron Rowand home run. In the bottom of the inning, Burrell hits a two-out full-count two-run bomb that wins it for the Phils. Harry the K’s call is priceless. He just keeps saying, “Pat Burrell! Pat Burrell!”

    Also, not to nitpick, but Burrell’s double in game 5 of the WS wasn’t actually a go-ahead double. It was a lead-off double that set up the winning run that pinch runner Eric Bruntlett scored on Pedro Feliz’s single.

    • Ian Riccaboni

      January 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you Paul. In my mind’s narrative, he hit the go-ahead hit 🙂 It’s been fixed.

      Thanks all for sharing so far, great stuff!

    • Manny

      January 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      That May 2008 game vs the Giants really sticks out in my mind. I was there.. and it was awesome. Rowand appeared to win the game in extras… and people started leaving… I managed to move down CBP from the nose-bleeds to some nifty field seats behind the dugout.. and freaking Pat the Bat, with two-outs, full count, hit a 2-run BOMB that wins it all! Amazing! I was jumping up and down, hi-5ing everybody (those poor seats)…

      Btw, he was scorching hot in early 2008. A very-early MVP candidate even.

      • windbag

        January 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm

        I think that game is for sale on itunes.

  5. EricL

    January 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    My favorite Pat Burrell Moment:

    • Manny

      January 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      One of my favorite gifs of all time. Lol.

    • Marc T.

      January 30, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      ahahah this is def. a memorable moment for Pat the Bat!

  6. Nancy F

    January 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I wish he would come back to Phillie to retire. Wish they would sign him to a one day contract so he could. I always loved Pat. He’s the reason I started following the Phillies.

  7. Lefty

    January 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Can he retire a Phillie? How does it work in MLB?

    • Lefty

      January 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      Answer to my own question, he may sign a one day contract. RAJ said “we are considering it”

  8. bacardipr05

    January 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I figured he would retire, although i thought there would be a possibility he could land somewhere as a pinchhitter, 5th OF’er. Well 2 rings and 71 Million richer, he has nothing really to gain.

  9. Nick

    January 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    My favorite “Pat the Bat” moment…..he left.

    • Chuck A.

      January 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      Guess you didn’t really appreciate 2008, especially the 5th Game of the WS, then…

    • Dave L

      January 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      I’m with you. He had to lead the league every year in called third strike/strikeouts! Very frustrating! And I’ll never forget how much of a negative clubhouse influence he was just prior to Bowa getting axed. He was one of the mutineers for sure. Very overrated player initially that actually overachieved during his career considering his lack of skills.

    • Marc T.

      January 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      jesus are you kidding me?!?! ya he was hard to watch at times, we don’t win the WS with out him!

    • EricL

      January 31, 2012 at 12:15 am

      lol, sorry about Pat “batting” your girlfriend, Nick.

  10. Don M

    January 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    The coolest thing about Burrell, to me, was that when he hit .209, and had a terrible season with fans booing like crazy… He never really got mad at the fans, he knew we wanted results from such a high draft pick. Not taking things personally is a great thing for Philly athletes to think about

  11. Marc T.

    January 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Every home run he hit against the METS are my favorite memories of him, some of those balls still have landed yet. Obviously his last AB in red pin-stripes will forever be with me, and watching him roll down Broad St. with Elvis and being pulled by the Budweiser Horses. the Machine will live forever!!,r:6,s:0&tx=69&ty=5

  12. Sean

    January 30, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    In 2004 the Phillies were playing a home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the bottom of the ninth, Pat Burrell hit a home run that tied the game. The Phils went on win in extra innings. I remember another game in 2004 when the Phils played the Red Sox. I was in attendance at the ball park and the Sox were embarrassing the Phils. During the late innings of the game, when the score was (I think) 8 to 0, Red Sox, one of the Sox players hit the ball into the left field corner. Pat flew to the corner and slid into the dirt to try to catch the ball. He didn’t make the play, but I admired his attempt. Under the circumstances, I didn’t think too many people would have blamed him if he had just fielded the ball and threw to the cut off man. I also fondly remember the “Vote for Pat” campaign to try to get Pat onto the 2008 NL All Star team. That was 2008, wasn’t it?

  13. BigGerman

    January 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I remember Pat’s first hit.All that anticipation,then he finally comes through.He came to the plate in what was the time Enron Field in Houston.Pat stood at the plate and drove a blast that landed 3/4 of the way up that hill in deep center field.By the time he finally finished running he was standing on third and I’ve rooted for him ever since.I’ll be sad to see him go.

  14. Mazinman

    January 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Game 5 double vs. The Rays. Definately my top moment and his most important hit. He definately should sign a one day contract and retire as a Phillie. I hope he gets involved with the team in some other way too.

  15. FishaRoo

    January 31, 2012 at 12:18 am

    My first time at Shea Stadium, 6/7/07 The Bat takes Billy Wagner deep to tie it up in the ninth and the Phils win in extras for the sweep. Against a loudmouth like that, in NY, made it all the sweeter! Oh, & after a great unjustified tirade for which he was tossed, Charlie didn’t leave the field for what felt like 15 minutes. Those two plays turned the momentum in that game and the Mutts never recovered.

  16. Bruce

    January 31, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Some of my favorite moments with Pat The Bat are already covered by some posters here. So I’ll just wish him all the best in his next endeavor or project in the coming years of his relatively young life.

    It would be a grand gesture for GM Amaro to offer a one-day contract to Burrell so that he may retire as a Phillie. Perhaps to go one step further and offer Burrell a chance to join the Phillies organization in some capacity; be it administrative or on field scouting or coaching in the minors.

  17. Brooks

    January 31, 2012 at 5:40 am

    A couple of things

    A) the double he hit in game 5 was actually insignificant to the outcome but, because we bled Pat the bat, because he got the pass for his looong slumps, it meant everything in the world to the sold out CBP at the time, me too.
    B) Pat was not the clutch hitter that Ian is making him out to be. He had 1 hit in the WS in 2008 and 1 hit for the Giants in 2010, he does have 2 rings.

    He was slow, lumbering but he did put forth effort and he never did seem to mind the long slumps. Who can forget that HUGE swing? It was a classic that has been etched in our minds and hearts. Sure, I will miss him, his attitude, his competitiveness but in reality, he was at best, mediocre in talent.

    • Manny

      January 31, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Brooks, how was Pat the Bat’s double insignificant? He got a double then Charlie replaced him with Bruntlett (to pinch-run). Bruntlett then scored the winning run (Feliz RBI).

  18. Brooks

    January 31, 2012 at 6:15 am

    I need to mention one thing – that is extremely important to this discussion.
    At the end of the season, no matter the highs or low, slumps or streaks – you could always count on one thing – Pat wound up with just about the same stats, year after year:
    27-30 hrs; 84-95 rbi and his average was almost always hoovering around .250.
    Sometimes he kept the Phils alive and sometimes he was completely (and annoyingly) silent but, at the end of the year you could count on Pat’s stats.
    9 years with the Phils
    6 out of 9 he hit 27 or more hrs
    7 out of 9 hit had 84 or more rbi (topped 100 twice)
    6 out of 9 seasons he hit between .250 and .260

    • schmenkman

      January 31, 2012 at 8:08 am

      Yes, he finished his career with a .253 batting average, but also a .361 OBP, which would be behind only Utley (.377) and Howard (.368) on the current team. Werth is at .360.

  19. therookie300

    January 31, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I think my favorite moment might have been at the WS celebration at CBP. After all the heat he took from the fans over the years, the fans were completely on his side that day. I can hear the chants even now “Bring back Pat”. It was really cool to see him get some respect for his time here.

  20. Johanna

    January 31, 2012 at 9:31 am

    My favorite moments with Pat were every time my husband started trashing him – he hit a home run.

    One game we were at, my husband started trashing him, and I said, he is going to hit it out. He did. Next at bat, I said, he’s going to do it again. He did. Third up to bat, I said he’s going for three. He hit a long fly ball, not a home run – but just shy…it was a great game.

    Second favorite memory – 2008 NLDS. We had seats right behind Pat in the outfield. My husband was messing with me and yelled out, Pat! You’ve got a little bat! I turned to him and said, the man is trying to work here. Stop distracting him from doing his job. Everyone laughed.

    Best memory of all – seeing him in the 08 WS Parade.

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