Burkhart led the NL in winning percentage with a 19-8 (.704) mark as a Cardinals
rookie in 1945. When the veteran players returned from WWII, he faded. Following
an arm injury, he had to use an unusual shot-put delivery.
An excellent umpire,
he umpired in back-to-back no-hitters in September 1968, Gaylord Perry on the 17th
and Ray Washburn the next day. Burkhart was involved in a controversial play in the
opening game of the 1970 WS when he became entangled with Orioles catcher Elrod Hendricks
in a play at the plate. Burkhart called the Reds' Bernie Carbo out although replays
showed Hendricks had tagged Carbo with his mitt while holding the ball in his other
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»May 18, 1945:
Jimmie Foxx hits the 2nd pinch grand slam of his career, off Ken Burkhart, to give the Phils an 8–7 lead. But St. Louis rallies in the 9th to win 11–8.
»August 16, 1947: Ralph Kiner hits three successive home runs for the host Pittsburgh Pirates, in a 12–7 win over the Cardinals in a game in which the two clubs bang out major-league record (since topped) 10 homers. Two other Bucs, Hank Greenberg and Billy Cox, and one Cardinal (Whitey Kurowski) each contribute two home runs to set a major-league record for most players with 2+ homers in a game. Kiner matches the ML mark of seven home runs in four games, six in three games, five in two games, and four in consecutive at bats. By the end of the month, Big Ralph will still trail Mize 39 to 43 in a head-to-head home run competition that will only be matched by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 1961. Starters Roger Wolff and the Cards Ken Burkhart exit in the first inning.
»April 24, 1960:
George Altman of the Cubs earns a "3-ball walk," as umpire Ken Burkhart accidentally counts a balk as a ball in Chicago's game against the Giants. The Cubs add some offense and win, 9–4, behind Don Elston. Billy Loes loses.