Continued writing on Subject Player.
Friday night; August 28, 1964; Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.
As I stated, Phillies were leading 2 to 0 going into the bottom of ninth. Bill Virdon and Jerry Lynch got singles putting runners at first and second with one out. Willie Stargell looped a well placed single and a run scored. With the Phillies now leading 2 to 1, Manager Gene Mauch pulled pitcher Jim Bunning for Ed Roebuck. Smokey Burgess hit a home run deep into the lower deck in right field. Roebuck threw only two pitches. It was Burgess’ only bright spot of the season and the Pirates won 4 to 2.
Had the Philadelphia Phillies won, they would have tied the first place St. Louis Cardinals. This would have meant a best of five playoff and given them a chance to get into the World Series. As for Burgess, the Pirates dealt him to the Chicago White Sox near the end of the year. Smokey was a bullpen coach and pinch hitter no longer able to be a catcher. Here are his statistics for the next two years strictly as a pinch hitter :
1966-22 for 77 HR 2 RBI 24 BA .286
1967-21 for 67 HR 0 RBI 15 BA .313
Smokey Burgess retired with the following credentials HR 126 RBI 673 BA .295
His 145 pinch hits were the most until Manny Mota broke that record in 1979. With 507 at bats, this meant a lifetime pinch hit average of .286.