September 23, 1924: Pat Burke
Like many players in the early days of baseball, Patrick Edward Burke got his major-league shot in the same city in which he was born and raised. Burke was born and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and unfortunately for him, ended up landing with the town's second-rate franchise, the Browns.
By the time Burke made his debut with the team, though, it was having one of its best seasons.
Remarkably, St. Louis stood at 74-75 near the end of the year. They hosted a struggling Philadelphia Athletics squad. By the fifth inning, the Browns had fallen behind 10-3 and Burke was summoned to pinch hit for everyday third baseman Gene Robertson, who was slotted in the No. 2 slot in the batting order.
In front of 1,000 fans at Sportsman's Park that day, Burke was not able to record a hit, but the Browns kept chipping away at the lead. As Burke went 0-for-3 from the dish, the team cut the lead to 11-5 entering the ninth inning. In the final frame, he drove in a run with a fielder's choice, giving him one career RBI without a career hit.
The St. Louis rally fell just short as they scored four in the ninth, but lost 11-9. Burke is not recognized as having played any minor-league baseball and with his professional career over at just 23, it's likely he played semi-pro ball afterward, but there's no records of what he did on a diamond after that fateful day, which was 95 years ago today.
Burke, who passed away in 1965, likely wouldn't define his life by the way his baseball career turned out, but for one day, he played for his hometown franchise in the city he lived his entire life in and even drove in a run. If you can't get romantic about baseball when hearing stories like that, I might have to check your pulse.