Published Date Written by Lloyd JonesCONWAY — Each year at the Spring Sports Awards at Kennett High, the Jack Burns Award is presented in baseball. The award is named after retiring head baseball coach Bob Burns' father who was a first baseman, coach and scout in Major League Baseball.
Jack Burns (Aug. 31, 1907–April 18, 1975) was nicknamed "Slug," and his professional playing career began, according to the popular website Wickipedia, in 1928 in the New England League. After leading the Class A Western League in home runs with 36 in 1929, his contract was purchased by the St. Louis Browns of the American League.
After a brief MLB trial in 1930, Burns became the starting first baseman for the Browns in 1931. He handled those duties until he was traded to the Detroit Tigers on April 30, 1936, for pitcher Chief Hogsett. He returned to the minor leagues at the end of that campaign for the remainder of his playing career.
In Burns' finest season for the Browns, 1932, he scored 111 runs, batted .305, hit 11 homers and drove in 70 RBI. Over his Major League career (1930–36), he appeared in 890 games, and batted .280 with 44 homers and 417 runs batted in. He led American League first basemen in assists in 1931 and 1932.
Burns became a manager in the minor leagues with the 1938 Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League, replacing Dan Howley on June 27 with the Leafs in eighth place. He rallied the team to a fifth-place standing that year, but when Toronto finished last in 1939, Burns was released.
After World War II, he joined the Boston Red Sox farm system, managing the organization's Eastern League affiliates in Scranton and Albany from 1949 to 1954. His 1952 Albany Senators won the league pennant, while his 1954 Senators were the Eastern League playoff champions.
Burns then spent five seasons (1955–59) as the Red Sox' third-base coach, working primarily under manager Pinky Higgins. He scouted for Boston from 1960 until his death, in Brighton, Mass., at the age of 67.
The following Eagles received the Jack Burns Baseball Award under Coach Bob Burns:
1975 — Mike Ulitz
1976 — Mike DeVos
1977 — Bruce Knox
1978 — Dan Sargent and Bob McGraw
1979 — Richard Roberts
1980 — Dave Mayhew, Frank Hansen and Mike Luciano
1981 — Brandon Knox
1982 — John Eastman
1983 — Chuck Crouse
1984 — Jon Rivers
1985 — Jim Gribbel and Greg Luciano
1986 — Mike Wheeler, Matt MacDonald and Steve Larson
1987 — Mike Clemons
1988 — Bob Burns, Jr. and Geoff Lynn
1989 — John Walter
1990 — Steve Jones and Jim Hidden
1991 — Jason Wrobleski and Mike Brooks
1992 — Kevin Walker and Geoff Bechtold
1993 — Chris Olds and Brian Earle
1994 — Erik Wagstaff
1995 — Abe Wrobleski
1996 — Nate Noyes, Ryan Gentile and Skye Stokes
1997 — Ben Fresco
1998 — Dan Noyes, Carlton Peare andTrevor MacDonald
1999 — Tim Benham and Chip Kennett
2000 — Josh Schoen, Mike Lane and Matt Perry
2001 — Dave Soroka, Brett Belcastro
2002 — Rene Etter-Garrette and Tom Dyrenforth
2003 — Josh Donabedian and Scott Butters
2004 — Torin Hjelmstad, Ryan Martin, Ben Day, Todd Frechette, Alex Hamlin and Nick Phillips
2005 — Sean Guinard and Jake O'Donnell
2006 — Rob Knox and Jeff Locke
2007 — Josh Butters and Justin Whiting
2008 — Noah McCleevey-Weeder
2009 — Seth Shackford
2010 — Jeff Sires and Mike Larson
2011 — Nick Kevlin, Matt Gadomski and Adam Marata
2012 — Josh Drew