Burke was a starter in the Pirates' and Yankees' organizations, but was brought to
the majors as a reliever by Montreal's Buck Rodgers, who had managed Burke in Triple-A.
A sinker-slider specialist with a back-to-the-batter delivery, Burke set an NL rookie
record with a league-leading 78 appearances in 1985; as set-up man for Fireman of
the Year Jeff Reardon, he won his first eight ML decisions, and finished 9-4 with
eight saves. He became the leader of Montreal's fine bullpen-by-committee when Reardon
was traded in 1987, going 7-0 with 18 saves and a 1.19 ERA, and walking fewer batters
per inning than any other NL reliever (19 in 91 innings). He saved 28, went 9-3,
and made the All-Star team in 1989.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»December 22, 1982: Versatile Lee Mazzilli is traded for the 3rd time this year. The Yankees send him to the Pirates for four minor leaguers, including pitcher Tim Burke.