Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

June 28, 2013

The verdict on Burdick

Lockport great Kevin Burdick is elected to the Western New York Hall of Fame on the first ballot

LOCKPORT —

OLCOTT — Kevin Burdick’s innumerable diamond memories aren’t simply a collection of ecclesiastic apparitions dreamed up by a former baseball great embellishing his glory years in the Erie Niagara Suburban League.
No, Burdick visits his real-life “field of dreams” at Krull Park on a daily basis as a long time employee of the Niagara County Parks Department — wishing every second of every minute of every hour of every day that he could go back and do it all over again.
One of the most respected ball players in Lockport history, Burdick, a fleet-footed outfielder, lead-off hitter, dugout cheerleader and base-stealing threat, has been elected to the Western New York Baseball Hall of Fame on the prestigious first ballot. He will be inducted on Sept. 18 at the Lake Erie Italian Club’s Banquet Center, 3,200 South Park Ave., Lackawanna.
“Buslines was the center of my baseball life for so many wonderful years,” said Burdick, who has competed on baseball diamonds over the years with and against not only the Lock City’s greatest players ever, but professional greats including World Series MVP Bucky Dent and Super Bowl quarterback Ron “Jaws” Jaworski.
“I work on the same field at Krull Park today that I played ball on all those years,” Burdick said. “Today it’s a football field for the New-Wil-Ran youth organization.”
A 1969 graduate of Lockport High School, Burdick was a star basketball point guard for the LHS Lions, under head coach Dick Crossett. Ironically, he never played a minute of scholastic varsity baseball.
“I was just 16 and I already knew that I wanted to play in the Suburban League. If I played high school ball, I wouldn’t have been able to do that,” said Burdick, now 62 and residing on Walnut Street with his wife, Marilyn, on the city’s east side. They have two children, Kevin James and Patricia Ann.

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