March 2009

A Little Background…

First and foremost, welcome to my blog site.  I figured that I should give a little background on who I am, where I came from and where I am today.  So….

My name is Greg Burke and I am currently in the San Diego Padres organization.  I am originally from Bellmawr, NJ and recently have relocated to the suburbs of Baltimore.  I attended Duke University and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a certificate in Markets & Management.  Duke was awesome!  It was a fantastic experience and I am forever grateful for the opportunity that I was given to attend the university and complete my degree. 

I took the road less traveled by most professional baseball players.  Fortunately, I tore my elbow (UCL) during my sophomore year at school and had to have surgery, which in turn, led to a year missed and a 5-year collegiate career.  I say fortunate because the time I had to rehab and get back on the mound (about 1 1/2 yrs) after surgery allowed me to refine my mechanics and improve my physical health, which wouldn’t have happened if I did not tear my ligament.  When I look back, it took me about 3 years post surgery to fully get my velocity and command back.  If you do the math, that means I didn’t get back to 100% until my “super senior” (red-shirt senior) year.  So, that led to me not getting drafted (although I had some looks) and ending up signing a 1 year contract with the Atlantic City Surf of the Atlantic League, which is not affiliated with any MLB franchises… Independent Ball.  My velocity came back, I learned a new pitch from Gary Bell (AC Surf teammate) and next thing you know… I was signed at a tryout in Peoria, AZ by the Padres.  Since that day, I have went on to play three full seasons in the Padres minor league organization, working my way through both single A affiliates and last year in AA San Antonio. 

Today, I am writing from my hotel in Peoria.  My success last season earned me an invite to “Big League” camp.  This off-season I married my high school sweetheart and I am grateful for every day that I get to play a game that I love.  I am truly thankful for each day that I get to put on a uniform and call myself a professional baseball player.