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Power surge
The '50s was the decade of power and the numbers put up by the untainted athletes were impressive.
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INSIDE:

CLUBHOUSE
CRONICLES

Jimmy Palermo, during a historic 7-day span in May, 1939, saw the meteoric rise of Williams and tragic decline of Gehrig.

THE GAME'S
GOLDEN ERA

An exclusive WIWAG ongoing feature.


MEMORIES
The field seemed vast to a 7-year old who had looked forward to this day for two months.

BREAKING THE COLOR LINE
The year marks the 60th anniversary of the first major league tryout for black players.

SPECIAL COLOR
LINE TIMELINE

Bud Fowler is the first know black players on an integrated team.

BOOMING BATS
of the '50s

Qualify as Grade A10.


AMERICA'S ORIGINAL
SPORTS BAR
First sports bar featured 12-inch Farnsworth TV.

BASEBALL
HISTORIANS

Two unsuspecting vintage baseball fans rediscover a "National Treasure."
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SMOKY'S bat was a Louisville Slugger (model M140) with a signature barrel stamp.











SMOKY BURGESS, a six-time National League all-star catcher, used this bat in a Phillies-Cardinals series in July of 1954. The left-hand hitting Burgess lead the National League with a .368 average during the 1954 season. But, because he platooned at catcher with Stan Lopata, Burgess appeared in 108 games and had only 345 at-bats, thus making him ineligible for the title.

SMOKY BURGESS

ALL-STAR: 1954, 1955, 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1964

Burgess posted .295 lifetime average over 18-year career

An excellent defensive catcher, 'Old Smoky' led all National League catchers in fielding three times

MAJOR LEAGUE ALL-STAR

IN 1954, Burgess had the highest batting average in the National League at .368.
SMOKY BURGESS WEB LINKS

Smoky Burgess began his Major League career on April 19, 1949 with the Chicago Cubs at the age of 22. He played for 18 seasons for the Cubs, Phillies, Reds, Pirates and White Sox — and ended his big league playing career in 1967.

"Old Smoky," who inherited his name from his father, was a six-time National League all-star with three different teams.

Built short and squat, he was a fine catcher and became one of the best pinch hitters of his era. He retired with a record 507 pinch at-bats. Only Manny Mota has surpassed Burgess's 145 pinch hits.

Burgess lead the league in pinch hits in back-to-back years in 1965-66 with the White Sox. He was also a good defensive catcher — he led National League catchers in fielding three times, and was selected to the all-star team six times.


SMOKY BURGESS played for 18 seasons for the Cubs, Phillies, Reds, Pirates and White Sox.

The 5' 8", 200-pounder dieted before the 1954 season and lost 20 pounds. But, at a svelte 175 pounds, he seemed to have lost his hitting prowess. Not until he regained his weight back did he start hitting again.

In 1954 he had the highest batting average in the National League at .368. However, he didn't qualify for the batting title because he only had 345 at-bats in 108 games.

Burgess retired as a .286 lifetime pinch hitter. Over an 18-year career he batted .295 with 1,318 hits.

SMOKY BURGESS: Did you know...

...Burgess played for the Cubs, Phillies, Reds, Pirates and White Sox. The longest he spent with one team was with the Pirates — for whom he played in his only World Series in 1960.

...Burgess was signed by the Chicago Cubs before the 1944 season as an amateur free agent.

...Burgess was traded in Oct. 1951 by the Chicago Cubs with Bob Borkowski to the Cincinnati Reds for Johnny Pramesa and Bob Usher.

...Burgess was traded in Dec. 1951 by the Cincinnati Reds with Howie Fox and Connie Ryan to the Philadelphia Phillies for Andy Seminick, Eddie Pellagrini, Dick Sisler, and Niles Jordan.


SMOKY BURGESS played for 18 seasons for the Cubs, Phillies, Reds, Pirates and White Sox.


...Burgess was traded in April 1955 by the Philadelphia Phillies with Stan Palys and Steve Ridzik to the Cincinnati Redlegs for Andy Seminick, Glen Gorbous, and Jim Greengrass.

...Burgess was traded in Jan. 1959 by the Cincinnati Redlegs with Harvey Haddix and Don Hoak to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Whammy Douglas, Jim Pendleton, Frank Thomas, and John Powers.

...Burgess was selected off waivers in Sept. 1964 by the Chicago White Sox from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

...Burgess was released by the Chicago White Sox in Oct. 1966.

...Burgess was again signed by the White Sox before the 1967 season during which he had only 8 hits, 2 of which were homers.

...Burgess was released by the Chicago White Sox in Oct. 1967.

...Burgess was born Feb. 6, 1927 in Caroleen, North Carolina. He died Sept. 15, 1991 in Asheville, North Carolina at age 64.

BURGESS, built short and squat, was a fine catcher and was one of the best pinch hitters of his era.

"OLD SMOKY," who inherited his name from his father, was a six-time National League all-star with three different teams.