From now until the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2010 is announced, The Hall is going to be breaking down each candidate. Some write ups will be lengthy...some will be the opposite. Some will be brand new pieces...some will be re-hashes of previous pieces.
While I would never, ever, use the words “Ellis Burks” and “future Hall of Famer” in the same sentence, I was surprised to see that he was not as UNqualified as I thought.
Sure, there were plenty better out there than the two-time All-Star...but there were a lot worse. Just look at these career stats...2116 hits, 407 home runs, 1333 RBI and a .295 batting average.
Wait, hold on...those were Hall of Famer Duke Snider's stats!
Burks, however, wasn't that far behind with 2107 hits (more than Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Harmon Killebrew and Gary Carter), 1206 RBI and a career batting average of .291. His 352 home runs would rank him 34th among those enshrined in Cooperstown.
In 1996, Burks was robbed of the National League MVP Award when he compiled a career best .344 batting average, 40 home runs and 128 RBI. His 30 stolen bases was just the icing on the cake for a season that included leading the league in runs scored, slugging percentage and total bases.
Unfortunately, that's the best I can say about the outfielder. Wait, there is this...I hope he enjoys his one year on the Hall of Fame ballot.