100 Greatest Phillies: 22 – Pat Burrell

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Thu, March 05, 2009 04:00 PM | Comments: 69
100 Greatest Phillies, Posts

Pat Burrell

Career w/Phillies: .257 AVG / 251 HR / 827 RBI / 5 SB

With the first pick in the 1998 draft, the Phillies selected Pat Burrell, a big outfielder from the University of Miami. In return, the slugger gave the Phils and their fans nine crazy but ultimately rewarding seasons. He finished second on the franchise all-time home run list with 251, but no hit was larger than his final hit as a Phillie, a smoked double off the left-center field wall that turned into the winning run of the clinching game of the 2008 World Series. Before then, Burrell bashed the ball regularly, with eight straight seasons of 20 or more home runs. He also had troubles staying consistent, hitting for below a .260 average six times. Still, his best seasons were extremely good. In 2002 he hit .282 with 37 homers, and he parlayed a ridiculous second half in 2007 to finish with 30 homers. He also reached base a ton toward the end of his run, finishing in the NL top 10 for walks in his final four seasons in Philadelphia. He signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009, the same team that fell victim to his biggest hit.

Comment: Burrell gave fans some great times during his nine-year career. He was what he was: A strong power hitter who found consistency sparingly. But when he was on, boy was he on. We’ll miss Burrell, and he definitely earns a top 25 spot in the Greatest Phillies countdown, with a little debate on whether he should be top 20.


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About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1948 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Mark

  • Posts: 0 JohnKruksLoveChild

    In a way it’s amazing that after all the animosity over his performance throughout the years, in the end he left a hero. It’s a small list of ex-Phillies that get standing ovations when they come back to town with another team. The fact that Pat will be one of those guys, along with Thome and others, speaks volumes about his last several years here.

    It’s not how you start or even what happens in the middle, but how you end that seals the deal. Pat has cemented his place in Philly’s heart, got his ring, and can enjoy the rest of his career being a DH.

    Kudos to “The Bat”.

  • Posts: 0 Tyler

    like the pick, Tim, however, I would love to know how much his final Phillie at-bat influenced this decision. : )

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Although Burrell was inconsistent during the course of a season, his end of year stats were pretty similar year to year, with the obvious exception of the ’03 .209 BA debacle.

    His OBP for the last 9 years were .359, .346, .376, .309, .365, .389, .388, .400 and .367. Pretty consistent.

  • Posts: 0 Chris.I

    Burrell will always be one of my top 5 Phillies of all time (In my 25 year era of being a Phillies fan). I know its unlikely, but I hope he comes back to retire here. He just doesn’t look right in a Tampa uniform.

  • Posts: 0 Evan

    Ibanez was probably an upgrade over Pat the Bat, but man I’d rather have Pat in the lineup just for nostalgia purposes. I won’t really miss him in the field… Just gonna miss hearing Harry Kalas saying “Burrell steps up to the plate.” Hearing that you always knew there was a chance he’d rock one.

    Looks kinda effeminate in the picture posted

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    hahahahahahahhahahahahahhahaha @ Evan’s comment

  • Posts: 0 Chutley

    my favorite Phillie. bought tickets to the april 3rd showdown. was hoping he made top 20. what a way to finish

  • Posts: 0 blough


  • Posts: 0 ashmidt

    good riddance pat, when this guy came up in a clutch situation, the best i could hope for was a walk, more often then not he would either look at a called third strike or pop up , in my book he is the all time prima donna and choke in my 45 years of following the phils. you just cant have him and howard being in a funk at the same time. you can live with howard because when he gets hot he can carry the team.

  • Posts: 0 Brett

    Going to see him play Philly in Tampa June 26th!!!

  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    Its funny…if you would have asked for an opinion about Burrell’s production 2 years ago,well,lets just say it wouldnt be so heartwarming as today.No body wanted this guy on the Phils,they were ready to run him out of town.
    Now,he is a “beloved former Phil”.
    Wow….a world series win really softens up the fans.As I guess it should.

  • Posts: 0 Kev

    Burrell drank so many beers, what a legend

  • Posts: 0 christopher

    i feel like a broken record, but man did this list ever throw the 08 team under the bus.

  • Posts: 0 ryan

    ravaged quite a few ladies in center city as well. and went through cigs and dip like it was his job.

    two enduring images of pat burrell that i will never forget. his double off the wall in the series. and him riding on the budweiser cart with his mammoth bulldog elvis.

  • Posts: 0 ryan

    i had season tickets in the section behind pat and really used to love yelling stuff at him in the field. especially when he came out after a big hit.

  • Posts: 1650 Tim Malcolm

    Avatar of Tim Malcolm

    Pat’s final at bat was a wonderful moment that capped a great Phillie career. The numbers don’t lie: He was one of the most consistent power hitters in franchise history.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    I love the “choke” nonsense about Burrell. His two homers in the clinching game of the NLDS, his game winning home run off of Lowe in game one of the NLCS and his double that scored the winning run of the World Series clincher show how un-clutch he is.

    I also love how people dismiss his walks. Citizen’s Bank Park lead the majors in % of runners on base who came around to score.

  • Posts: 0 Chutley

    i think you mean un-un-clutch

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    I actually meant it sarcastically but it didn’t come off that way. “un-un-clutch” sounds good to me, Chutley.

  • Posts: 0 Tim C

    I remember driving to New York one night to visit family, listening to the Phillies playing the Mets at Shea and Pat hitting a homerun to win the game off Armando Benitez. It was amazing, and then showing up at my mets fan Uncle’s house and gloating about Pat the Bat.

    Thank You Pat for ALL the memories.

  • Posts: 0 BFO

    Best memory besides the big double – home run off Wagner in the crazy ’08 comeback game against the Mets. Often frustrating, but at least he never whined to the press.

  • Posts: 0 ryan

    let us also not forget, that Pat the Bat completely OWNED the mets. especially at shea stadium

  • Posts: 0 James Kay

    For a guy with a colorless and predictable batting technique, he undeniably was able to consistently produce the power numbers. Just goes to show you that most pitchers are dumb. I didn’t realize he is that high on the franchise all-time home run list. I am impressed. # 22 is fine with me even though he could neither run nor field well. Top 20? No way. The top 20 demands more than 25+ yearly homers and a pedestrian .257 BA. Aim the ball at his effeminate looking head and banish him to the Amercian League.

    Damn, trying to select the top 10 is proving to be a perplexing experience.

  • Posts: 0 Tyler

    BFO, i completely agree.
    I was at the parade and everyone in my section (on Broad Street unfortunately) was yelling, “One more year! One more year!” And you know what, I was too because that double made my being a Phillies Phan that much more worth it. But in hindsight, yes we got Ibanez at a bad price, but it’s better for Pat the Bat to go out with a bang instead of another frustrating bum year.
    But Pat, thanks for the memories. That double will always be cherished among all Phils Phans!

  • Posts: 0 Jeltzismyhombre

    Between the two, I’d take Del Ennis.

  • Posts: 0 deal

    Top 20 just for the games when he beat the Mets with his late inning Dingers.

    In a perfect world that ball goes out in his last at bat of the World Series.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    I agree, deal, I wanted that ball to get out and see Pat jog around the bases to end his Phillies career.

  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    The one thing I’ll say is Burrell, even when in one of his crazy bad slumps, was always a standup guy to the media. he never threw his teamates under the bus, always took responsibility for his play. Just for the amount of pipe that man layed in our glorious city, he is deserving of the top 25. I wonder what Pat was doing the night Jason Michaels was arrested? Whatever it was, it was probably a lot more interesting than what I was doing.

  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    I wanted nothing more than “The Bat” to hit that one out. Off the bat we were praying for that to get out. But still fitting that in the box score he scored the winning run.

  • Posts: 0 ashmidt

    i hope del ennis and the bull get this much love, they are way more deserving and they were CLUTCH.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    yes, I just wish Pat Burrell had a big hit or four en route to winning the World Series….

  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    I love on the Phils WS DVD, Rollins calls him out. Telling Pat he needs to get his swagger back and then Pat just to spite Jimmy goes and hits a 400 ft double. His only hit in the series and it was the biggest of his career.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Pat Burrell’s career OPS is .852.

    His OPS with 2 outs and Runners in Scoring Position is .856

    His OPS in games labeled “late and close” is .870

    So much for that CLUTCH argument.

  • Posts: 0 Greg V.

    Pat the Bat, one of my all time favorites! I basically matured as a baseball fan as Burrell matured as a player. It all came full circle last year and what a way to finish it off for the Phils as well. I still get a bit choked up watching that infamous double that would eventually score the game winning run. If Burrell’s time in Philly had to end, that was the way to end it.

  • Posts: 0 Joel

    Pat the Bat! Nice pick! Great player while he was pick but… He’s atta here!!!

  • Posts: 0 MikeB

    I agree with aschmidt. Taking Burrell’s whole career under consideration after he was drafted in 1998, he was an underachiever. Too inconsistent to be rated higher than 35th or so.

  • Posts: 0 MikeB

    Sorry; that should be ashmidt.

  • Posts: 0 trini

    pat the choke artist. how is he above chase?!?!

  • Posts: 0 ashmidt

    hey griffin, i dont know what ops means, i am old school, tell me what his ba was with men in scoring position. games labeled late and close? you really sound like a rotisserie geek.

  • Posts: 0 Chapps

    Pat has been my Favorite Phil since he first put on a uni. The problem is that most fan are still mad that he never lived up to the hype, I could care less, he was a stand-up guy and a good ballplayer. The fact that the fans demanded that he be traded almost every year and the media throw him under the bus, and he still had nothing bad to say about either speaks volumes of his character.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Y.

    I always liked Pat-the-Bat.

  • Posts: 0 Bear Mike

    I bought Hall of Fame Club tickets (just in case it is brutally cold) for the April 4th game just to see Pat the Bat Burrell again……live. Standing Ovations for sure! He certainly did frustrate me at times, but damn, when he was on, that swing of his was sweet!…………Outta Heeeereeeeee!!!!!

  • Posts: 0 Phan in TN

    I remember teaching a large bag of cheetos a lesson. It barely stood a chance as I was watching the Phillies and stuffing my cheeks full of cheetos. My cat’s head was orange by the time that Burrell walked.

    I have plenty of other Burrell stories.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    ashmidt, what can I say? I am not exactly young but I took the time to learn new stats that tell a lot more about a player than BA and RBI do. I just looked up stats that proved that Burrell was the same player in “clutch” situations as he was in situations with no one on base. But if you’d like to just hate on Burrell because you don’t like him, feel free.

  • Posts: 0 Bill

    Dirty Laundry!

  • Posts: 0 Keith

    I remember Pat hitting a homer at the Vet that broke the plastic on one of the lighted signs in left field. Thanks, Pat, for your years of service to all of us starving fans. Let’s remember him for what he did. He helped win a World Series for the Phils and that alone is plenty.

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    I will miss Pat-the-Bat soooooo much. He was my 2nd favorite Phillie behind Rollins. I personally think he should have been top 20, but that’s just me. I got my ticket to the April 3rd Pat the Bat tribute and I can’t wait for it. I’m going to be the loudest one there when he gets in the batters box for the 1st time. I bet you he cries when he gets his ovation.

    For all of you saying he’s not clutch, let it be known that he had the 2nd most amount of game winning hits in the NL behind Derek Lee last year. He was also really good on the road too, which most players aren’t. Just some FYI. Pat Burrell was ridiculously clutch. I can name some really big moments. Home run off of Wagner. Home run off of Wilson. Home run off of Velverde. Double in the WS. I just think the people who are bashing his “unclutchness” are just thinking about his streakiness. FYI Late innings in close games he had a .418 OBP. That’s insane. His batting average is .298. So if he didn’t get a hit he got on base which still helps his team. He has a career OBP of .500 in extra innings which is also insane.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Phil, good stuff. As I stated earlier in this post, Burrell had the two homer game in the NLDS clincher against the Brewers, the game winning homer off of Lowe in Game 1 of the NLCS and the double that led to the game winning home run of the World Series clincher. Sounds clutch to me.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    And the extra-innings home run on a 3-2 count vs. Rowand’s Giants… One of the best moments ever.

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