Larry Wayne Burchart (born February 8, 1946) is an American former Major League Baseball pitcher who appeared in 29 games for the 1969 Cleveland Indians. Burchart was a collegiate All American for Oklahoma State University leading the Cowboys to two College World Series appearances. The Cowboys finished second in the nation during the 1966 campaign and 5th in the nation during the 1967 campaign. Burchart was inducted into the Oklahoma State athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.
The 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m), 205 lb (93 kg) right-hander was a high draft choice out of Oklahoma State. First being selected by the Kansas City A's (who were unable to sign him) and next being selected in the first round (17th overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the June 1967 Major League Baseball draft. While with the Dodgers, Burchart led the Tommy Lasorda managed Ogden Dodgers to the 1967 pioneer league championship. This was Lasorda's first professional championship as a manager. Burchart was the winning pitcher in the championship game in which Lasorda commented that Burchart was one of the fiercest competitors he'd coached. After two successful seasons in the Dodger farm system, the Dodgers were unable to protect Burchart from being drafted in the 1968 Rule 5 Major League Baseball draft by the Cleveland Indians. The draft compelled Cleveland to keep Burchart on their Major League roster for the 1969 season or offer him back to the Dodgers. Working as a relief pitcher for the Alvin Dark led Indians, Burchart allowed 42 hits and 24 bases on balls in 42⅓ innings pitched, with 26 strikeouts and no saves.
Burchart experienced injuries during his 1969 season. Burchart was seriously injured while covering first base against the Boston Redsox. George Scott of the Redsox, collided with Burchart which led to the pitcher tearing the muscles off of his shoulder and putting him on the disabled list. The Indians sent Burchart to their Triple-A Wichita Aeros affiliate, where he pitched in 1970–1971 before leaving the game.
By Dean Hanley
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