Mar 1, 2017

Former Mets Third Base Coach: Tom Burgess (1977)

Thomas Roland Burgess was born September 1st 1927 in London, Ontario Canada. The six foot left handed hitter played first base & outfield. Burgess attended the University of Western Ontario signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1946.

Burgess was a long time 15 year minor league career player with two brief stints in the major leagues. In his first season he hit 16 HRs in the Pony league, and showed power throughout his career hitting over 20 plus HRs three times. after three seasons at A ball, he voluntarily retired & played in the Canadian Baseball League where he was star.

He returned to the Cardinals organization in 1952 & was promoted to AAA the next year. That year he batted .346 but didn't get a chance in the big leagues until the next year. Unfortunately after 17 games he was hitting just .048 and it was back to the minors. In those years he made friends with Joe Frazier who eventually became Mets manager in 1976.

He didn't return to the majors until 1961 at age 34, with the expansion Los Angeles Angels team. He played in 87 games there hitting two HRs with 13 RBIs batting .196.

Post Playing Days: After his playing days he managed the Cardinals minor league system from 1969-1975, winning two league champs titles.


Mets Career: In 1976 he managed the New York Mets AAA Tidewater Tides, but finished seventh. The next season he was chosen as Mets third base coach under his old pal Joe Frazier. After Frazier was fired he remained in that spot under Joe Torre but was dismissed at the end of the year. In 1978 he moved to the Atlanta Braves as third base coach under a young Bobby Cox.

Burgess went back to managing in the minors for the Braves, Texas Rangers & Detroit Tigers before retiring in 1987. He passed away in 2008 at age 81. 

Honors: Burgess is a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame.

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