Robert Britt Burns (born June 8, 1959) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher from 1978 until 1985, pitching for the Chicago White Sox compiling a career mark of 70 wins and 60 losses with a 3.66 ERA.
Burns pitched for Huffman High School in Birmingham, Alabama from 1975 to 1977. When he graduated, he held the state record for career victories with 35 against only 2 losses (a record that stood for over 12 years), and as of 2008, still holds the single season record for lowest earned run average after posting a 0.00 in 1977. He was discovered by Chicago Tribune book critic Bob Cromie while pitching in Birmingham in 1978. He made his debut later that season at the age of 19. Burns did not become as full-time major leaguer until 1980 when he won 15 games. In 1983 he helped the White Sox into the ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles, pitching 91⁄3 innings before surrendering a home run to Tito Landrum in the fourth and final game of the series.
1985 would prove to be a bittersweet year for Burns as he won 18 games for Chicago, but was traded on December 12 with Glen Braxton and Mike Soper to the New York Yankees for Ron Hassey and Joe Cowley. A chronic, degenerative hip condition, however, put Burns' career on hold before he could ever pitch for New York. After years of rehab, he attempted a comeback in 1990, making four unsuccessful minor-league starts before finally retiring as a player.
Burns was the minor league pitching coordinator for his hometown Houston Astros up until 2010. He is currently the pitching coach for the Birmingham Barons, the White Sox's AA affiliate.
- ^ AHSAA Baseball Records, retrieved on April 03, 2008
- ^ Verdi, Bob (26 September 1985). "Burns Learned His Lessons Well". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
By Dean Hanley
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