He burst into the league for the new millennium, and gave Phillies fans their first superstar of the decade. He's Pat Burrell, and recently rumored retirement from baseball at 35, has Phillies fans reminiscing . He hasn't officially announced it yet, but there are many reports out there that Burrell will indeed retire.
Burrell stole the hearts of many Phillies fans, many of them were female. The stories of how Pat and fellow teammates practically owned the town, with their superstar skills and personalities.
Pat Burrell started his career in professional baseball by being the number 1 pick in all of baseball in 1998. He then started his MLB career in 2000, and finished 4th overall for Rookie of the Year. He showed the fans and team owners that he had power to his game, in his first year Pat hit 18 HR's and 79 RBI as a rookie.
There was a time when a lot of people thought Burrell would remain a Phillies player for his whole career. The culmination of Pat's time with the Phillies just happened to be in 2008, when the Phillies won the World Series. During the regular season in 2008, Pat hit 33 HR and 86 RBI. His signature swing is still one of the better photos in sports.
After the Phillies won the World Series in '08, there was Pat's biggest dilemma with keeping him as a Phillie. Yes, he was a part of the team that had won the World Series, but he earned $14.25 million for 2008, and the Phillies didn't want to spend that much or more to bring him back.
Burrell then tested his free agent status and landed with the Phillies opponent in the 2008 World Series. The Tampa Rays signed Pat for the 2009/10 seasons at two years for $16 million, he was nagged by injury and still produced 14 HR and 64 RBI in 2009. The Rays finished out of the money in the playoffs for '09 with a third place finish in their division.
The 2010 season saw the Rays enthusiasm with Burrell wane, Burrell spent a lot of time on the bench, and he was only DH's for the Rays. Burrell's career with the Rays ended early in the season of 2010. Pat was designated for assignment by the Rays and some speculated that Pat's career was over.
Burrell searched for a team that would need his services, he found the San Francisco Giants. Burrell is no stranger to the area around San Francisco, he grew up in San Jose. His spot on the Giants brought him back to his hometown area and reunited him with former Phillies outfielder, Aaron Rowand.
The Giants team all melded together to make an awesome run for the World Series championship in 2010. There wasn't really a big 'go to' guy on the Giants. They won it all on team work, and some great play by the 2010 NL NLCS MVP, Cody Ross.
Burrell now had two World Series rings to his name, and he wanted more. Burrell signed on with the Giants for 2011, in the quest to defend that World Series championship. To Burrell, it wasn't about money at this point. Burrell signed on with the Giants for 2011 at a bargain $1 million dollar salary.
Is this time for real? Is Pat Burrell retiring? Will the Phillies offer him a one-day contract to retire as a Phillie? We'll see what happens with Burrell, who's nickname is 'Pat The Bat'. He certainly is one of the most popular Phillies player in Phillies recent history, and is a crowd favorite. What ever decision he makes, we'll always remember his gutsy play on the Phils team.