In his last start a month ago, 55-year-old Lew Burdette gave up only one hit in three innings of shutout relief.
Burdette dropped out of the Braves' regular rotation years ago--he retired in 1967--but he still makes spot appearances in old-timers' games in Florida. He will also be one of 16 pitchers representing the National and American leagues in the Cracker Jack Old-Timers Classic July 19 at RFK Stadium, it was announced yesterday.
"I can still throw the ball over the plate; I always was a pretty good control pitcher," Burdette said yesterday from his home in Sarasota, Fla. "But I hope these people aren't expecting too much. If I could still throw worth a damn, I'd probably still be pitching (in the majors)."
Burdette's 203 victories over 16 years include a no-hitter and 33 shutouts.
Also expected to pitch for National League Manager Walter Alston are Ewell Blackwell, Bob Friend, Don Newcombe, Johnny Vander Meer, Hoyt Wilhelm and Hall of Famers Warren Spahn and Robin Roberts.
American League Manager Al Lopez will be able to call on Don Larsen, Jim (Catfish) Hunter, Hal Newhouser, former Senator Camilio Pascual and Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Whitey Ford, Lefty Gomez and Early Wynn, the latter another former Senator.
The rest of the rosters have not yet been announced, but Henry Aaron, Brooks Robinson and Ernie Banks have indicated they are willing to play.
Between them, the 16 pitchers selected for the game span four decades. Their combined totals are 3,217 victories, 27,749 strikeouts, 540 shutouts, 11 no-hitters, four Cy Young awards and four most-valuable-player awards.
The game was conceived about 1 1/2 years ago by Dick Cecil, who played 17 years with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and later was vice president of the club.