This seems like a different type of page to have but death is a natural part of life. Below are some eulogies from some of the Milwaukee Braves greats. These are obviously very moving and great rememberances of these great men. A special thanks goes to the contributors of these. Without them we could not have these rememberances.
John Robert "Red" Murff
Warren Spahn: April 23,1921 - November 24, 2003
Eulogy for a legend
(contributed and delivered by Gary Caruso)
Immortal lefthander remembered as WWII hero, greatest pitcher in history.
NOTE: On Nov. 24, Warren Spahn - the winningest pitcher in Braves history - died at the age of 82 at his home in Broken Arrow, Okla.
Eulogy for a legend
NOTE: On Nov. 24 (2003), Warren Spahn - the winningest pitcher in Braves history - died at the age of 82 at his home in Broken Arrow, Okla. ChopTalk editor Gary Caruso, who spearheaded the fundraising campaign that resulted in a statue of Spahn being dedicated outside Turner Field Aug. 12, was asked by the Spahn family to deliver the eulogy for the man who wore uniform No. 21, now permanently retired. Following are Caruso’s words, delivered the afternoon of Nov. 29 at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church in Tulsa with the Reverend Dr. Mouzon Biggs Jr. presiding. Burial was Dec. 1 near Spahn’s ranch in Hartshorne, Okla.
Before I begin, Dr. Biggs has asked me to introduce some members of the baseball family who are here today. First, the Commissioner of Baseball, Allan “Bud” Selig... the all-time home run king, Hank Aaron... one of the greatest shortstops in Braves history, Johnny Logan... behind them, Bill Bartholomay, chairman of the Atlanta Braves... one of the great names in baseball history, Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish... Brad Penny, pitcher for the World Champion Florida Marlins... up here with me, Dale Petroskey, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown... and a great pitcher for the Braves and a great friend to Warren Spahn, Lou Burdette.
(NOTE: Former major leaguers Don Demeter and Mike Brumley, Sr., also attended.)
I’ve been preaching the gospel of Warren Spahn since I was eight years old - closer to half a century than I like to admit. But I never thought I’d be doing it in a church. I’m deeply touched that his family asked me to be here today to help celebrate his life. I’m not sure anyone can do justice to the greatness of the man we’re here to remember and to honor, but I’ll do my best to represent the millions he impacted with his splendor - on and off the baseball field...
Over the last 74 years - no pitcher won more games than Warren Spahn... and no one will ever win more than he did. Besides being a great pitcher, he also was a keenly intelligent and witty man... feisty - oh, yes - yet kind, warm, genuinely modest and so very proud just to have had the rare privilege of being a big leaguer.
He endured and flourished at the grimmest test a man can have in life - armed combat - and at the sternest test a man can have in sport - pitching. What a magnificent test pitching is... man against man... man against men... the lone pitcher against whoever the opposing team can send to the plate. No one thrived on that test more than Warren Edward Spahn.
Close your eyes for just a second and let your imagination take over...
Not all that long ago, but in a galaxy that seems like it was far, far away, there was a grand sport known as Major League Baseball. It bore a resemblance to the corporation of the same name today. There were still 90 feet between bases, and 60 feet-6 inches from the pitcher to home plate...
But the term “superstar” had not been coined... the players made a nice living, seldom more... there was no designated hitter or wild card playoff teams... kids collected baseball cards and autographs because it brought them closer to their heroes and the game’s magic, not because some book said they were worth $5 or $10... Book? There wasn’t even such a book that attached “value” to these things! The “value” was in the hearts of youngsters - Baby Boomers - who collected and traded these cards and autographs.
World War II was behind us, and baseball really WAS America’s pastime! God, it seemed even bigger than that to some of us...
It was a time when legendary sluggers named Willie Mays... Mickey Mantle... Hank Aaron... Ted Williams... Stan Musial... Frank Robinson... Roberto Clemente... and Eddie Mathews... ruled the coliseums of our generation, carrying wooden clubs that threatened an outbreak of chaos at any moment.
Charged with taming these giants and maintaining order were a select few men who wore no badges, just the title “pitchers” who came armed only with a small, hard ball. Their bold leaders were Bob Gibson... Sandy Koufax... Whitey Ford... Jim Bunning... Don Drysdale... Bob Feller... Juan Marichal... Lou Burdette... and... Warren Edward Spahn.
Warren Spahn was the Wyatt Earp of the National League. No one maintained law and order among the larger-than-life hitters of baseball’s grandest era BETTER for LONGER than the man we are here to remember today... No one did it BETTER for LONGER!
Warren Spahn retired - not without quite a fuss, mind you - with 363 notches on his belt, all but the last seven earned as a Boston and Milwaukee Brave. Yes, that’s more victories than any other left-handed pitcher in history - and that is how he is best known - “winningest lefthander.”
It's a noble and distinctive way to be remembered - winningest lefthander - but, at the same time, it is a disservice to this man and to this pitcher who had NO peer - left-handed OR right-handed.
Only four men - Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Grover Cleveland Alexander - ever won more games than Warren Spahn... NONE of the 4 missed three-plus years of his prime to fight for this country in armed combat...
NONE of the four won a game after 1929...
NONE of the four pitched against African-Americans...
NONE of the four pitched against Latin Americans...
NONE of the four pitched with the knowledge and fear that missing his target by an inch or two against the big sluggers could well result in having his hopes and dreams for that game launched over yonder fence! Home runs were barely a reality when Young, Johnson, Mathewson and Alexander pitched.
But Warren Spahn, winner of 363 games, was off to war at age 21, fighting the Nazis as a combat engineer in the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded at Remagen, a battle so fierce and so significant that they made a movie about it. He missed more than three years of his baseball prime, but came home with three battle stars, a Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, a citation for bravery, and a battlefield commission.
What must that experience do to a young man? Many are never the same again - and who can blame them?
Warren Spahn, however, returned to baseball as a man, hungry for success. He’d faced hardship and danger beyond imagination... and stared down death.
Willie Mays? Humm... Bring him ON!
Spahnie himself said it best in comparing the pressure of pitching in the major leagues to the pressure of combat. About returning to baseball from war, he said: “If I goof, there’s going to be a relief pitcher come in. Nobody’s going to shoot me.”
He didn’t “goof” very often. In the 17 years from 1947 through 1963, Warren Spahn averaged - I said AVERAGED - just over 20 wins per season. I want to make sure you hear that and comprehend that... for 17 straight years, in the most-glorious era baseball has ever known, Warren Spahn AVERAGED more than 20 wins per season!
If you know baseball - and most of you do - you know how rare it is for a pitcher to win 20 games in any season. Warren did it 13 times - a National League record.
He did this when baseball was integrated with the very best Blacks and the very best Latins... He did it almost exclusively before expansion watered down the talent - when there were but 16 teams - barely half the number there are today. It was baseball’s most competitive era - and no one competed more fiercely than Warren Spahn... He did it - averaging more than 20 wins for 17 straight years - as the consummate pitcher’s pitcher.
Make no mistake, Spahnie was a man’s man - on and off the field. And on the days when he pitched, he was a warrior’s warrior. He finished - FINISHED - nearly 60 percent of the games he started, an untold number going extra innings.
Most of you know that on occasion, Warren was known to utter a curse word or two... none of them stronger - in his opinion - than RELIEF PITCHER - unless it was CLOSER! If he had the ball to start the game, he wanted it in his hands when it was over. He led the league in wins eight times... and in complete games nine times. BOTH are major league records - not likely to be broken!
On top of it all, Warren Spahn was the most majestic of all pitchers. He worked with a stylish motion that was as beautiful as it was effective in hiding the ball and deceiving the hitters. Smooth, fluid and flawless... It began with a deep bow as he rocked into the windup, arms flaring out behind him like a great bird spreading his wings. Then came the signature high leg kick - his right buttocks pointing toward the plate like he was “mooning” the hitter, he said... And finally, the arms came flowing through his torso toward the plate in a unique delivery that defied batters to find the ball in his glowing No. 21 jersey.
Warren’s definition of his craft is classic. It’s still repeated by pitchers and pitching coaches and always will be, because it is as perfect as any definition of any word in Webster’s. “Hitting is timing... Pitching is upsetting timing.” He did just that - better than anyone else - with all the weapons at his disposal. A power pitcher early in his career, he quickly became an expert craftsman who used pinpoint control, change of speeds, a variety of pitches - and perhaps most of all, intelligence - to keep hitters guessing for over two decades.
If sport at its highest level is art - and I believe it is - Warren was the Rembrandt of pitching...
Stan Musial, one of the greatest hitters of all, once said, “I don’t think Warren Spahn will ever get into the Hall of Fame, because he’ll never stop pitching.”
For years, it seemed as if he really didn’t get older - only better. At age 39, when most ballplayers are ex-ballplayers, off fishing or playing golf, he pitched his first no-hitter - because he said he couldn’t let his good buddy Lou Burdette, who’d just pitched a no-hitter, get ahead of him. Then early the next season, at age 40, Spahnie pitched another no-hitter - probably just to one-up Lou! What good buddies they were - Lou and Warren. No two teammates ever had more fun together!
On Spahnie went, winning 21 games in 1961 at age 40... then, in 1963, compiling one of his finest seasons at the age of 42. He won 23 games that year and provided us with what I consider THE signature game of his career. It was a defeat, but it’s the one game that more than any other, demonstrates just what Warren Edward Spahn was all about.
On July 2, 1963, at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park - the most hostile place major league baseball was ever played - Warren battled 25-year-old Juan Marichal, 17 years his junior and a future Hall of Famer himself - in one of the most magnificent duels of all-time... perhaps even the premier duel of the post World War II era.
They matched each other, pitch for pitch, into the 16th inning, neither giving up a run. The closest the Braves came to scoring was when Spahn himself doubled off the top of the fence in the seventh inning - just inches from a home run. But he was stranded... And on and on they went into the bottom of the 16th, still 0-0. With one out in the 16th, Warren hung a screwball, and Willie Mays hit it over the fence to end the game, 1-0. It was Spahnie’s 201st pitch of the night.
The San Francisco lineup Warren faced that night included not only Mays, but also future Hall of Fame sluggers Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda. That Giants team hit 58 more home runs than any other team in the National League and also led the league in slugging percentage and on-base percentage. It was a frightening lineup to face... yet 42-year-old Warren Edward Spahn paralyzed it for 15 1/3 innings. There was no “quit” in the man - not that night, not ever.
In fact, I imagine the first thing Spahnie did Monday when he finally got free of that broken-down body was to head for the Iowa cornfield where Hollywood tells us immortals such as The Babe, Mickey, Shoeless Joe, the Iron Horse, the Splendid Splinter, the Yankee Clipper, the Georgia Peach, and Warren’s old Braves teammate Eddie Mathews still play this wonderful little boy’s game like the little boys they once were - for the sheer joy of it.
Walk tall in those cornfields, Spahnie, and walk proud. For you fulfilled your human mission - as father, grandfather, husband, friend, companion, soldier, citizen and teammate - with love, honor and distinction that will never be forgotten. And, as for the pitching, no one did it better. I’m sure even Cy Young has told you that by now.
Thanks for the memories and for the lessons you taught us along the way. We love you and miss you - and we always will. But we’re grateful that your pain is gone and that you’re free again to kick that leg high and nick the outside corner with a screwball at the knees... God help the hitters in that Iowa cornfield!
So long, Spahnie... You’re the best pitcher there ever was.
Lou (Lew) Burdette: November 22,1926 - February 6, 2007
(contributed and delivered by Gary Caruso)
On Feb. 24, ChopTalk Editor/Publisher Gary Caruso had the honor of delivering the eulogy at a memorial service for Lou Burdette, a member of the Braves Hall of Fame, who died Feb. 6. Following is the text of that eulogy.
THERE ARE FEW THINGS AS PRECIOUS TO ME AS MY MEMORIES OF THE MILWAUKEE BRAVES OF THE 1950s... THE MAN WE ARE HERE TO REMEMBER AND TO HONOR IS A HUGE REASON FOR THAT.
SELVA LEWIS BURDETTE... I GREW UP KNOWING HIM AS "FIDGETY LOU"...
FORMER BRAVES MANAGER FRED HANEY USED TO SAY, "BURDETTE WOULD MAKE COFFEE NERVOUS," BECAUSE OF ALL HIS GYRATIONS ON THE MOUND.
I ALSO GREW UP KNOWING HIM AS THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER OF THE 1957 WORLD SERIES. HE PUT ON A PITCHING DISPLAY OF POSITIVELY MYTHICAL PROPORTION AGAINST THE LIKES OF MICKEY MANTLE, YOGI BERRA AND THE REST OF A GREAT YANKEES TEAM...
BUT IT WAS NO MYTH... LOU PITCHED 3 COMPLETE GAME VICTORIES OVER THE HIGHLY FAVORED YANKEES... ALMOST SINGLE HANDEDLY PITCHING THE BRAVES TO THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP... THAT WAS A BRAVES TEAM LOADED WITH STARS - HALL OF FAMERS HANK AARON, EDDIE MATHEWS AND RED SCHOENDIENST... AND PLENTY OF OTHERS, INCLUDING ERNIE JOHNSON AND GENE CONLEY, WHO ARE HERE WITH US TODAY...
FOR SURE, BURDETTE DIDN'T WIN THE SERIES ALL BY HIMSELF... BUT HE CAME AS CLOSE AS ANY MAN HAS COME TO DOING EXACTLY THAT...
27 INNINGS... ONLY 2 RUNS ALLOWED... AND NO RUNS - ZERO - OVER THE FINAL 24 INNINGS! THAT'S THE SECOND-LONGEST STREAK IN HISTORY FOR ONE WORLD SERIES - AND THE LONGEST FOR THE LAST 101 YEARS!... POSITIVELY MYTHICAL IN PROPORTION...
BEFORE 1957, NO ONE HAD DONE ANYTHING TO MATCH THAT SINCE CHRISTY MATHEWSON IN 1905... AND NO ONE HAS DONE IT SINCE.
AS ALL OF US WHO KNOW BASEBALL REALIZE, IT WILL NEVER BE DUPLICATED EITHER, UNLESS BASEBALL TURNS BACK THE CLOCK ON HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED... AND PITCHED.
I COULD TALK ABOUT JUST BURDETTE'S ROLE IN THE 1957 SERIES UNTIL YOU RUN ME OUT THE DOOR... I WILL SPARE YOU THAT - BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO TALK ABOUT.
MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE IS LOU BURDETTE - THE MAN... THOSE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO KNOW HIM... AS I IMAGINE MOST OF YOU DID... REALIZE THAT HE WAS A DELIGHTFUL MAN TO BE AROUND... NO 'AIRS' AT ALL... I'VE TOLD SEVERAL PEOPLE SINCE HIS PASSING THAT HE WAS THE KIND OF GUY YOU'D LOVE TO HAVE AS A NEIGHBOR AND FRIEND - EVEN IF HE NEVER PICKED UP A BASEBALL AND BECAME A STAR.
BUT YOU BETTER NOT TURN YOUR BACK ON THAT RASCAL - RIGHT, GENE? RIGHT, ERNIE?
HAS ANYONE EVER HAD MORE FUN AS A BALLPLAYER THAN LOU BURDETTE HAD - USUALLY IN TANDEM WITH WARREN SPAHN, HIS OLD ROOMIE AND PARTNER IN COUNTLESS PRACTICAL JOKES... SOME OF THEM NEARLY AS LEGENDARY AS THEIR PITCHING EXPLOITS...
I TOLD LOU'S DAUGHTER - ELAINA - THAT HER DAD AND SPAHNIE PROBABLY HAVE ALREADY GIVEN A 'HOT FOOT' TO SOME UNSUSPECTING ANGELS UP THERE... CALIFORNIA ANGELS, NO DOUBT!
AS MOST OF YOU KNOW, LOU'S HEARING TROUBLES THE LAST FEW YEARS COULD MAKE IT A CHALLENGE TO COMMUNICATE WITH HIM. BUT HE ALWAYS KNEW WHAT STORY I WANTED HIM TO TELL, AND HE WAS ALWAYS MORE THAN HAPPY TO OBLIGE.
IT'S A STORY THAT RECALLS THE LOST INNOCENCE AND GOOD TIMES FROM A DIFFERENT ERA OF BASEBALL, WHEN MEN PLAYED TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES - NOT THEIR AGENTS AND BROKERS.
IT SEEMS THAT LOU AND SOME BRAVES TEAMMATES WERE IN NEW YORK AND DECIDED TO GO OUT FOR A FEW BEERS AFTER THE GAME... I'M SURE THAT WAS A VERY RARE OCCURRENCE!
THE ESTABLISHMENT THEY VISITED ALSO WAS HOSTING SOME HOCKEY PLAYERS...
LOU TOLD ME: "YOU KNOW THOSE HOCKEY PLAYERS. BEFORE THE NIGHT IS OVER... THERE'S GOING TO BE A FIGHT."
AND HE SMILED THAT SMILE THAT IN MY OPINION WAS WORTHY OF A HOLLYWOOD ACTOR... AND HE CONTINUED...
"SURE ENOUGH, AFTER WE'D ALL HAD A FEW, THERE'S GOING TO BE A FIGHT!"
THE FIRST TIME HE TOLD ME THE STORY, I GOT A LITTLE WORRIED. ARE LOU AND MY BELOVED BRAVES ABOUT TO GET BEAT UP? WILL THEY WIND UP IN JAIL?
AS IT TURNED OUT, LOU AND THE BRAVES ALSO WERE SMART - ANOTHER REASON THEY WON SO MANY GAMES. THEY WERE SIMPLY BYSTANDERS TO THE FIGHT... INNOCENT OR NOT, YOU CAN DECIDE.
"THEY'RE ALL GOING OUTSIDE - THE HOCKEY PLAYERS AND THIS OTHER CROWD," LOU SAYS. "YOU KNOW ALL THOSE HOCKEY PLAYERS HAVE FALSE TEETH," AND HE PUT HIS HAND TO HIS MOUTH AS IF TO ADJUST HIS... "BEFORE THEY WENT OUTSIDE, THEY ALL TOOK OUT THEIR TEETH AND PUT THEM ON THE BAR!"
AND I WISH YOU COULD HAVE SEEN THE TWINKLE IN HIS EYES AT THIS POINT.
"THEY GO OUT AND HAVE THEIR FIGHT, AND WE JUST WAITED... BUT WHILE THEY WERE OUTSIDE, WE MOVED AROUND ALL THEIR TEETH ON THE BAR SO THEY WOULDN'T KNOW WHICH WAS WHICH WHEN THEY CAME BACK!"
HE LOOKED LIKE A MAGICIAN DOING A SHELL GAME AS HE DEMONSTRATED WITH HIS HANDS...
"SURE ENOUGH," LOU SAYS, "THEY COME BACK IN AND WHEN THEY GO TO PUT IN THEIR TEETH, THEY DON'T FIT RIGHT! WE JUST SHRUGGED OUR SHOULDERS!"
LOU LAUGHED AND LAUGHED - EVERY TIME HE TOLD THE STORY... AND, BY THE WAY, HE SAID THE HOCKEY PLAYERS LAUGHED, TOO!
LOU BURDETTE LOVED TO HAVE A GOOD TIME AND LOVED TO LAUGH, AND AS SAD AS HIS PASSING IS, HE WOULD WANT US TO LAUGH AND HAVE A GOOD TIME IN REMEMBERING HIM.
THOUGH IT IS THE 1957 WORLD SERIES FOR WHICH LOU WILL BEST BE REMEMBERED, I THINK THERE'S ONE SINGLE GAME - ONE OF THE MOST MONUMENTAL IN HISTORY - THAT BETTER THAN ANY OTHER DEMONSTRATES THE SORT OF PITCHER AND THE SORT OF MAN HE WAS.
IT'S BEEN REFERRED TO AS "THE NIGHT THE KITTEN PURRED." THAT NIGHT WAS MAY 26, 1959, AT MILWAUKEE'S COUNTY STADIUM. IT WAS THE NIGHT PITTSBURGH'S HARVEY HADDIX - NICKNAMED "THE KITTEN" - PURRED TO THE TUNE OF 12 PERFECT INNINGS AGAINST ONE OF BASEBALL'S MOST-POTENT LINEUPS.
THIRTY-SIX BRAVES UP... AND 36 BRAVES DOWN - A LINEUP THAT INCLUDED AARON, MATHEWS AND JOE ADCOCK...
WHAT SORT OF PITCHER... WHAT SORT OF MAN... NOT ONLY STANDS UP TO THE TYPE OF ADVERSARY HADDIX WAS THAT NIGHT, BUT BEATS HIM?
THAT'S WHAT LOU BURDETTE DID - HE WAS ON THE OTHER END OF WHAT OFTEN IS CONSIDERED THE GREATEST GAME EVER PITCHED... HE DIDN'T PITCH IT - HE JUST WON IT!
WHILE HADDIX WASN'T GIVING UP ANYTHING, LOU GAVE UP 12 HITS TO THE PIRATES... ALL, HOWEVER, WERE SINGLES... AND HE DIDN'T WALK A SINGLE MAN.
THE BRAVES MANAGED JUST ONE HIT IN THE BOTTOM OF THE 13TH AND BEAT HADDIX, 1-0, IN ONE OF THE MOST BIZARRE ENDINGS TO A GAME EVER RECORDED.
LOU TOLD ME THAT AFTERWARDS, HE CALLED HADDIX IN THE CLUBHOUSE AND SAID, "HARVEY, YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER THAN TO BUNCH YOUR HITS!" HE SAID HADDIX HUNG UP ON HIM. LOU MEANT NO HARM. HE JUST WANTED TO LIGHTEN THE LOAD HADDIX UNDOUBTEDLY FELT FROM THE DEFEAT. THAT WAS LOU - HE WANTED EVERYONE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME.
THE COURAGE IT TOOK TO FACE THAT TYPE OF CHALLENGE AND WIN IS SOMETHING ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE COMPETED AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF THIS GREAT GAME CAN TRULY COMPREHEND... BUT THE REST OF US CERTAINLY CAN APPRECIATE IT.
BESIDES ILLUSTRATING LOU'S COURAGE AND GAMESMANSHIP, THAT GAME ALSO PORTRAYS HIS PITCHING STYLE...
OPPOSING TEAMS KNEW THEY'D GET THEIR HITS OFF LOU - EXCEPT ON AUG. 18, 1960 WHEN HE PITCHED HIS ONLY NO-HITTER... BUT GETTING RUNS OFF HIM WAS ANOTHER MATTER.
HE WAS CRAFTY AND CLEVER... DIDN'T MIND GIVING UP BASEHITS... SELDOM WALKED ANYONE... WAS SUPREMELY CONFIDENT HE WOULD GET OUT OF ANY JAM WITH LITTLE OR NO DAMAGE. HE WENT AFTER THE HITTERS... SOMETIMES, THE HITTERS WON... BUT LOU CERTAINLY DID ALL RIGHT FOR HIMSELF.
NOT TO GET BOGGED DOWN IN STATISTICS... BUT THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND BASEBALL UNDOUBTEDLY MARVEL AT A MAN WHO CAN PITCH AN ENTIRE SEASON GIVING UP MORE HOME RUNS THAN WALKS... VERY FEW HAVE EVER DONE IT - IN 1962... LOU GAVE UP 26 HOMERS AND ONLY 23 WALKS.
A FLUKE? HOW ABOUT THIS... IN 1959 - THE YEAR HE BEAT HADDIX IN 13 INNINGS - LOU LED THE NATIONAL LEAGUE WITH 21 WINS... HE WORKED 289 2/3 INNINGS... AND CATCH THIS... GAVE UP 38 HOME RUNS... AND WALKED THE EXACT SAME NUMBER - JUST 38... 3 OF THEM INTENTIONAL (THAT'S ONE WALK ABOUT EVERY 8 INNINGS). GRED MADDUX-LIKE, IF YOU WANT A CONTEMPORARY COMPARISON.
JUST ONE MORE STAT I'D LIKE TO LEAVE WITH YOU...
IN THE 9-YEAR PERIOD FROM 1953-1961, LOU WON 15 OR MORE GAMES EIGHT TIMES... ONLY HIS BUDDY, WARREN SPAHN, DID IT ALL NINE YEARS... AND NO ONE ELSE - INCLUDING HALL OF FAMERS WHITEY FORD AND ROBIN ROBERTS - DID IT MORE THAN SIX TIMES.
JUST HOW GOOD WAS LOU BURDETTE? I WENT TO A PRETTY GOOD SOURCE TO FIND OUT, AND THIS IS WHAT HE SAID...
"I HAVE ALWAYS FELT WHAT LOU DID WAS TAKEN FOR GRANTED. IF ANYBODY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR THE HALL OF FAME, IT IS HIM. LOOK AT HIS RECORD... IT IS SO SIMILAR TO DON DRYSDALE'S. LOU WAS A GREAT PITCHER, AND I DO THINK HE DESERVES TO BE IN THE HALL OF FAME."
THAT CAME FROM NONE OTHER THAN THE ALL-TIME HOME RUN KING, HANK AARON, TWO DAYS AGO.
SELVA LEWIS BURDETTE HAD FEW PEERS AMONG PITCHERS OF HIS ERA, AND NO ONE IN ANY ERA EVER HAD MORE SHEER FUN AS A BALLPLAYER THAN THE MAN WE'RE HERE TO SAY GOODBYE TO...
WE ALL LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU LOU... BUT WE KNOW YOU'RE BETTER OFF NOW THAT YOU'RE FREE OF YOUR AGING BODY... FREE TO JOIN EDDIE (MATHEWS) AND JOE (ADCOCK) AND BOB (BUHL) AND OTHERS FROM THOSE FABULOUS MILWAUKEE BRAVES TEAMS FOR A GREAT GAME HOLLYWOOD TELLS US IS PLAYED IN AN IOWA CORNFIELD... AND FREE - OF COURSE - TO RUN RAMPANT WITH SPAHNIE ONCE AGAIN... YOU TWO TRY TO BEHAVE YOURSELVES!
John Robert "Red" Murff: April 1,1921 - November 28, 2008
(contributed to us from Marilee Stripling)