Burdette joins Miller Park Walk of Fame

Burdette joins Miller Park Walk of Fame

MILWAUKEE -- As the Brewers honored the late Lew Burdette on Friday, the former Milwaukee Braves pitcher became the newest member of the Miller Park Walk of Fame.

Burdette, who pitched for the Braves from 1953-63, was a key member of the 1957 World Series champion team, and he becomes the fourth former Braves player inducted since they were added to the ballot in 2007.

He joins fellow Braves greats Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn and John Quinn as inductees in the Walk of Fame. As Burdette's daughters reminisced about him, Spahn's name came up quite a bit, as the two were close friends.

Of course, there weren't many people with whom Burdette was not friendly.

"We grew up just so honored to have him because not only was he a wonderful ballplayer, he taught me a lot about how to be a great friend. Dad never knew a stranger," Mary Lou Burdette-Wieloszynski said. "He also was very gracious to his fans and gave autographs out freely.

"Whenever he talked about Milwaukee, he talked about how wonderful the fans were in Milwaukee, and he liked them so much and said that they were good people. ... He and Warren, he said they loved it because they were treated like a real person."

Brewers members of the Walk of Fame are Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Commissioner Bud Selig, Cecil Cooper, Bob Uecker, Harry Dalton, Jim Gantner, Gorman Thomas, Don Money and Harvey Kuenn.

With Burdette being honored by the Brewers, his daughters -- Burdette-Wieloszynski, Elaina Fontana and Madge Burdette -- were in attendance Friday for the club's series opener against the Rangers.

At a pregame news conference, they were excited for their father's honor.

During the 1957 World Series, Burdette went 3-0 with a 0.67 ERA, allowing just two earned runs over 27 innings pitched, en route to earning MVP honors.

"We're just really proud of our dad and very honored to be here," Fontana said. "We've just had a wonderful experience growing up with our dad."

Overall, Burdette went 173-109 with Milwaukee with a 3.53 ERA in 420 games. In 1959, he led the National League with 21 wins, and in 1956 his 2.70 ERA also led the league.

Burdette's oldest daughter hoped to make her father proud as she threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

"I hope I can throw that ball, and it's not in the dirt," Madge Burdette said, "and make him smile from heaven. I know he's watching us. I'm just proud to be here."