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Ellis Rena Burks Born September 11, 1964 in Vicksburg, MS. He graduated from Everman High School and attained All-Region honors as both a shortstop and as a pitcher during his senior season. Burks then attended Ranger Junior College for one year, where he garnered all-state honors as an outfielder. In 1987, Ellis Burks would see playing time for the Boston Red Sox.

Ellis would start in centerfield, next to fellow rookie Mike Greenwell in left and veteran Dwight Evans in right. The three would star as a power hitting outfield for the late 80's Red Sox. In his rookie season, Ellis became the third player in club history to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in the same season. Ellis would excel in his first two seasons, and then came 1989. In 1989 Ellis would require shoulder surgery, putting him out for most of the season.

Ellis proved that a little injury wouldn't keep him down and hit well throughout the 1990 season culminating in a late season game against his future team, the Cleveland Indians. August 27, 1990 Burks hit two home runs in a 12-4 lambasting of the Indians. Burks became the second Bosock to do so. The other is Bill Regan who did so on June 16, 1928.

Burks would be nagged by little injuries throughout his career, especially in what would be his last year in a Red Sox uniform. At the end of the 92 season, the Red Sox chose not to re-sign Ellis, and let him wade through the waters of free agency. On January 4, 1993 the Chicago White Sox decided they needed Burks, and signed him to a one year deal. Ellis hit well in Chicago, but the ChiSox only needed him for one year. Ellis signed with the fledging Colorado Rockies for their second season.

Ellis would never his numbers like he did as a Rockie. His seasons in 96 and 97 are his career best, smacking 42 and 38 home runs respectively. On September 12, 1996 Ellis Burks got his birthday present a day late as he stole his 30th base of the season on this date, making him the 19th member of the 30-30 club, at the age of 31. On April 2, 1998 Ellis Burks set a major league record by homering in 33 different stadiums! He would soon be joined by Gary Gaetti and Fred McGriff. As of when I last checked, Burks has homered in 41 different stadiums!

On July 31, 1998 Burks was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Darryl Hamilton, James Sloops and a player to be named later. Burks would see an increase in hitting with his new team, but the Giants couldn't get the job done, and let Ellis go after the 2000 season. On November 19, 2000 The Indians signed free agent Ellis Burks to a 3 year deal with an option for a fourth. In his advanced age, for a baseball player, and after all the nagging injuries to his shoulders, hamstring and knees, I'm impressed that Burks is still playing ball, even if it's only as a designated hitter.

After the Columbine shootings, Burks organized the monetary and memorabilia donations for the victims and their families. Also while playing for Colorado, Ellis donated a large amount of money to the Rockies' field restoration program, and now has two diamonds named in his Honor. His charity work did not end with his time as a Colorado Rockie. Currently, Ellis donates $100,000 per season to various Cleveland Indians Charities.

Statistics:

Number: 23
Position: DH
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 205
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season  Team  G   AB  R   H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB  CS  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS
1987    Bos  133 558  92 152 30   2  20   59  41  98  27   6 .272 .324 .441  .765
1988    Bos  144 540  93 159 37   5  18   92  62  89  25   9 .294 .367 .481  .848
1989    Bos   97 399  73 121 19   6  12   61  36  52  21   5 .303 .365 .471  .836
1990    Bos  152 588  89 174 33   8  21   89  48  82   9  11 .296 .349 .486  .835
1991    Bos  130 474  56 119 33   3  14   56  39  81   6  11 .251 .314 .422  .736  
1992    Bos   66 235  35  60  8   3   8   30  25  48   5   2 .275 .327 .417  .744
1993    CWS  146 499  75 137 24   4  17   74  60  97   6   9 .275 .352 .441  .793
1994    Col   42 149  33  48  8   3  13   24  16  39   3   1 .322 .388 .678 1.066
1995    Col  103 278  41  74 10   6  14   49  39  72   7   3 .266 .359 .496  .855
1996    Col  156 613 142 211 45   8  40  128  61 114  32   6 .344 .408 .639 1.047
1997    Col  119 424  91 123 19   2  32   82  47  75   7   2 .290 .363 .571  .934
1998    Col  100 357  54 102 22   5  16   54  39  80   3   1 .286 .355 .510  .865
1998     SF   42 147  22  45  6   1   5   22  19  31   8   1 .306 .387 .463  .850
1999     SF  120 390  73 110 19   0  31   96  69  86   7   5 .282 .394 .569  .963
2000     SF  122 393  74 135 21   5  24   96  56  49   5   1 .344 .419 .606 1.025
2001    CLE  124 439  83 123 29   1  28   74  62  85   5   1 .280 .369 .542  .911
sources: sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=4051
http://www.pubdim.net/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/B/Burks_Ellis.stm
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/cle/team/cle_player_bio.jsp?club_context=mlb&playerid=111736
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/players/1907/latest_news.html

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