Although he hasn't played the game since praying to be walked in elementary school, Mr. Burrow is an avid baseball fan. Ever since childhood his favorite team has been the New York Yankees. He also follows the White Sox, Twins and the Orioles, and in the National League he likes the Rockies, the Dodgers, the Cubs, and the Mets.
The Major League parks he has visited include old and new Yankee Stadiums, Shea Stadium, and Citi Field (all in New York), Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles), Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs), the Ballpark in Arlington (Texas Rangers), the Metrodome and Target Field (Minnesota Twins), Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore), old and new Busch Stadiums (St. Louis Cardinals), Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals), Coors Field (Colorado Rockies), Pacific Bell Park (San Francisco Giants), Jacobs Field (Cleveland Indians), Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers), Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers), Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati Reds), PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates), Safeco Field (Seattle Mariners), and Skydome (Toronto Blue Jays). He has also been to, but not inside of, Boston's Fenway Park, Seattle's old Kingdome, Anaheim Stadium, and Montreal's retired Olympic Stadium.
Mr. Burrow's "home field", though, will always be Comiskey Park (now officially U.S. Cellular Field, though he hates calling the place that) on the south side of Chicago. While they've never been his favorite team and Comiskey is far from the world's best ballpark, the White Sox are the team he grew up with. He remembers watching famed announcer Harry Cary doing White Sox games long before he moved up the 'L' line to broadcast for the Cubs. Comiskey was the first place he saw a big league game, he's been there more than any other big league park, and he can't help but cheer for the good guys in black. (He's particularly pleased that we now have a President who's also a Sox fan.)
In addition to the big league games, Mr. Burrow has seen the home parks of the AAA Iowa Cubs, Omaha Royals (and their successors the Storm Chasers), Nashville Sounds, Louisville Bats, Memphis Redbirds, Oklahoma Redhawks, Buffalo Bisons, Tacoma Rainiers, and Round Rock Express; and the AA Jackson Generals (now defunct), Huntsville Stars, Mobile Bay Bears, and Binghamton Mets. In the Class A Midwest League he has seen the Bees at at Community Field in Burlington (the smallest city in America with a full-season professional baseball team), the Quad City River Bandits at historic Jack O'Donnell Stadium in Davenport, the Beloit Snappers, the Clinton Lumber Kings, the Dayton Dragons, the Peoria Chiefs, the South Bend Silver Hawks, the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (where he was part of the largest crowd ever--6,660--at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton) and the Kane County Cougars from Geneva, Illinois (where he encountered the most annoying baseball crowd anywhere). He has also seen two A-level High Desert Mavericks games at "friendly" Mavericks Stadium in Adelanto, California.
Mr. Burrow has also enjoyed independent minor league games in Thunder Bay, Ontario; Schaumburg, Illinois; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; O'Fallon, Missouri; and Mankato, Minnesota. Perhaps his most fascinating baseball experience was sitting in Row 1 by the on-deck circle for the 1998 Northern League All-Star Game. The game was at Lewis & Clark Stadium in Sioux City, the home of the Explorers. It was fascinating to see the players up close and at times to even talk with them as they warmed up. An unexpected bonus was seeing a former student, Darwin Schiltz, working as the third base umpire for the All-Star Game.
Besides professional baseball, he has watched the USM Golden Eagles in Hattiesburg Mississippi and, of course, the Bishop Garrigan High School Golden Bears. He was honored to be asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to open the 2003 season at BGHS--which fell short of the plate, but wasn't too terrible for the first pitch he'd thrown in decades.
He was as thrilled as anyone when a Garrigan player, Brad Nelson, was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth round of the 2001 MLB Amateur Draft. After completing his first full professional season, he was named the Brewers' Minor League Player of the Year, and in 2004 was a Southern League All-Star. In 2005 he was part of the Nashville Sounds team that made it to the Pacific Coast League championship series. Brad made his Major League debut with Milwaukee in September 2008 and was successful enough to make the team's post-season roster. Mr. Burrow was delighted to be able to spend time the past several summers following Brad around the Midwest, California, Southern, Pacific Coast, and International Leagues, and also Major League Baseball. He claims no credit whatsoever for Brad's success, but he is proud to know such a talented young man. Since leaving Milwaukee, Brad has been with the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins systems, and Mr. Burrow continues to wish him good luck.
Former Bishop Garrigan Golden Bear Brad Nelson, the Milwaukee Brewers' 4th Round 2001 Draft Pick
(now with the Chicago Cubs organization)
David Burrow, behind home plate at Comiskey Park in Chicago
Mr. Burrow's former student and good friend, James White, playing for Bishop Garrigan High School.
(James created baseball cards for the entire Golden Bear team as an independent art project.)
Links to other sites on the Web
New York Yankees
Chicago White Sox
Bishop Garrigan High School Baseball
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