Inside Pitch Magazine, Spring 2012

The Change Up: Introducing Chris Burke

Chris Burke

We are delighted to introduce Chris Burke as our lead instructor for Inside Pitch. Burke – who played in a College World Series and a Major League World Series during his career – will provide readers with intimate knowledge of the game.

"I would have never chosen the path that my career took, but now in the coaching world I feel blessed to have seen the game from so many different angles," said Burke. "I am extremely thankful and excited about the opportunity to share my experiences and knowhow with the readers of Inside Pitch."

A two-time All-American at the University of Tennessee, Burke still holds school records in seven offensive categories. He participated on the 2000 Team USA college team, was a unanimous choice as the 2001 SEC Player of the Year, and was selected by the Houston Astros with the tenth overall pick of the 2001 MLB draft. He played every position except pitcher and catcher in a professional career that spanned ten years.

On his way to the "The Show," Burke spent three full seasons in the minor leagues, where he participated with Team USA on the 2003 Olympic Qualifying team and was a selected as an MLB Futures game starter in 2003 and 2004.

Burke made his MLB debut on July 4 of 2004 and was named the Astros' top prospect by Baseball America in 2005. That same year, he hit an NLDS-clinching, walk-off homerun against the Atlanta Braves. The dinger ended an 18-inning game that still stands as the longest postseason game in MLB history, and sent the Astros to the NLCS- where they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals- eventually making their first World Series appearance in 44 years.

Currently, Burke owns and operates Chris Burke Baseball in his hometown of Louisville, Ky., and has recently accepted a position with eCoach Sports to be its Director of Coaching. He was featured in the inaugural issue of Inside Pitch's Frame-by-Frame section, breaking down former teammate Lance Berkman's swing.

While he spent the majority of his playing career playing at the highest levels of the game, Burke's passion is to teach the game's fundamentals to players of all ages and skill levels.

"I have had the opportunity to play with All Stars, MVP's, Cy Young and Gold Glove award winners, and first-ballot Hall of Famers. I played for or coached with three College World Series head coaches and 13 professional managers that each left their mark on me in many ways."

"My hope is to use this platform to provide players and coaches alike with insight that will enable them to hone their craft in a new and fresh way."

Inside Pitch Magazine is published six times per year by the American Baseball Coaches Association, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt association founded in 1945. Copyright American Baseball Coaches Association. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without prior written permission. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, it is impossible to make such a guarantee. The opinions expressed herein are those of the writers.