On a night of pride, the Dodgers embrace Glenn Burke, whom they once shunned

“He could have jumped out of the stadium,” said Rick Orshang, a former Dodgers teammate and now the club’s radio analyst. “With his vertical jump, he could have been one of Santa’s deer.”

But Burke was so far ahead of man in his time that time did not recognize him. He was traded by the Dodgers, shunned by the Oakland Athletics, and eventually expelled from baseball. He was wounded, lost, lonely and alienated. He was left homeless for a while and switched to cocaine and crack. He spent a short time in prison for drug possession. He contracted AIDS and died of its complications at the age of 42 in May 1995.

Here’s where the story might have ended. But today, loans continue to turn around.

Credit …Larry Corrigan

“The most unique person, the most dynamic person I have ever met,” said Larry Corrigan, a Burke Small League teammate (1973-1976), who worked for more than three decades as a scout and executive. Minnesota. “He was built like God. He was funny, witty, and half-loud if he knew you. But he could also be silent. “

Burke debuted with the Dodgers in 1976 and mainly supported them in the big field of that era – Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith and Monday. When the 1977 World Series opened between the Dodgers and the Yankees, he started playing at 1 Central Pitch, and on Monday slammed his back. Just seven months later the Dodgers sent him to Auckland to trade Bill North. It was a confusing, mid-May deal that would not have happened if you had not known about Burke’s personal life. The Dodgers players did, but most say they didn’t care. When the trade shock shifted to the club, few said they shed tears.

“I’m telling you, it was a party life,” Baker, who now rules Houston, said from Seattle over the weekend. “He would come out and dance; He could dance on his back. He would hit anyone and we loved being around Glenn. Glenn was a big part of our team. And he was a hell of a ball player who was learning to shoot. “

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