Monday, February 06, 2006

February 6th, 1927

Smoky Burgess Born

"Smoky Burgess was fat. Not baseball fat like Mickey Lolich or Early Wynn. But FAT fat. Like the mailman or your Uncle Dwight. Putsy Fat. Slobby Fat. Just plain fat. In fact, I would venture to say Smoky Burgess was the fattest man to ever play professional baseball. Of course, he was not always fat; when he was a catcher...he was merely plump, the way good hitting catchers can afford to be.


But as Burgess grew older a curious tendency began to manifest itself...the older he got and the fatter he got, the better his hitting seemed to become, until at the age of thirty-eight Smoky weighed close to 300 pounds and was hitting over .320.


I don't have any idea what Smoky is doing these days (he retired finally in 1967), but I can tell you one thing for sure, he must be an interesting and instructive sight, now that he's been out of baseball for a few years and has had the chance to really get out of shape."

~Brendan C. Boyd and Fred Harris, The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book

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