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Card-by-Yankees Card: The 1977 Topps Set, Card #190, Ray Burris (Article 35)

by Paul Semendinger (as part of a continuing series)



In 1979, Ray Burris pitched for the Chicago Cubs, the New York Yankees, and the New York Mets.

That season, for the three combined teams, he won one game.

One.

And that win came as a Yankee…

***

On May 23, 1979, the New York franchise sent long-time Yankee Dick Tidrow to the Chicago Cubs for Ray Burris, but he wouldn’t be a Yankee for long. On August 20, 1979, the Mets claimed Ray Burris off of wavers from the Yankees.

As a Yankee, Burris appeared in 15 games – all as a relief pitcher.

In those games, he toiled 27.2 innings. He allowed 40 hits. He walked 10 guys. His WHIP was 1.807. Of the batters he faced as a Yankees pitcher, 37.8% reached base. (Ouch.)

As a Yankee, Burris lost games to the Brewers, Twins, and Blue Jays. He also blew two saves. One to the Brewers (in a game the Yankees would win) and one to the Royals.

But, he did win one game.

And we like to find the good!

On May 27, 1979, the Yankees played a double header against the Indians in Cleveland.

The Indians won the first game 5-0.

In the second game, Luis Tiant started for the Yankees. The Yankees had a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the 6th, but Tiant could hold it. Jim Kaat came in relief for the Yankees and got two outs. With a runner on third, two outs, and Bobby Bonds coming up, the Yankees summoned Ray Burris.

Burris got Bonds to fly out to left field. Inning over.

In the Top of the 7th, Graig Nettles tied the game on a ground out that scored Willie Randolph.

Burris did not allow a run in the seventh.

In the top of the eighth, Lou Piniella hit a solo homer to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead.

Burris did not allow a run in the eighth.

The Yankees failed to score in the top of the ninth…

and Burris didn’t allow a run in the bottom of the ninth.

And the Yankees won.

Ray Burris pitched the final 3.1 innings and earned the victory. That was his lone victory in 1979.

***

From 1980 to the end of his career, Ray Burris won 52 games pitching for the Mets, A’s, Brewers, Cardinals, and Brewers (again).

Ray Burris retired after the 1987 season with a lifetime record of 108-134, 4.17 in 480 games over a 15-year career.

And for a brief time, he was a Yankee.

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