Giants shortstop Emmanuel Burriss made it back to the major leagues yesterday, a significant moment for both him and for the city of Washington. Burriss attended Wilson High, and he is believed to be the only product of a D.C. public school to make the majors since 1970.
A broken foot had curtailed his career for all of 2010, but when the Giants recalled Burriss from Class AAA Fresno before their game Thursday against the Pirates, it gave the D.C. public school system a big leaguer once again, just before the Giants came to Nationals Park for a four-game series.
“It’s always great to a call-up, but I think this one is a little bit more memorable,” Burriss said. “I got called up at the perfect time.”
Burriss played 94 games in 2008 and 61 in 2009, but last year he broke his left foot after only five major league plate appearances, then broke it again later in the year. Burriss, 26, missed virtually the entire season. When he came back, he wondered if his foot would hold up or break again, which hindered his game.
“It’s been tough more mentally than anything,” Burriss said. “That’s been probably the toughest part, you know, my confidence level. It’s cool, though. It’s alright now. If it’s going to break, it’s going to break again. But I can’t take away from what I’m trying to do.”
Burriss started the year at Fresno 21 for 61 with seven walks and 15 stolen bases, more than any player in organized baseball. Playing winter ball in the Dominican helped Burriss regain his confidence in his health, he said, but “it took a long time.”
Back in Washington, Burriss said ticket demands aren’t quite what they were back in 2008, when he first played in Washington and needed 70 seats. This year, “I’m trying to keep it a little quieter,” he said, and he set aside about a dozen or so.