Burton finishes career
Published 12:00 am Monday, May 28, 2007
GREENSBORO – What sport did Brian Burton play at Guilford College that had practices seven days a week in January?
Guilford recruited him out of Hertford County High School, where he was a place kicker on the football team for four years, to be their kicker. After his first season, he walked on to the Quaker’s baseball team.
Being the designated hitter for Guilford was not Burton’s first time on the diamond.
He started playing T-ball at age four; he made an all-star team in a six to eight year old league at age six.
“He lit it up pretty good in high school and Legion,” Chris Burton, Brian’s father, said.
Guilford has some baseball history.
One graduate, Rick Ferrell, went on to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Burton attended Guilford for other reasons.
“It was a small school,” Burton said.
“I knew all my professors by their first names.
I wasn’t just a number.
It was the only place I had a chance of doing anything athletic.”
That chance of doing something athletic was important to Burton.
“A lot of people don’t realize we had to practice seven days a week,” Burton said.
“Baseball gave me a familiar structure. When you’re used to practicing every day, when it stops, it’s a little different.”
The practice must have had some effect. His sophomore year Burton hit his first career home run against Williamsburg. The next game, he hit his second homer off Vassar.
“That was my only moment in the sun,” Burton said, laughing.
“It was all singles to right after that.”
That year he hit .345.
He finished his career with a .319 batting average and four homeruns.
“It was a good experience,” Burton said.
“It could have been a lot better or a lot worse.”
He was the only member of his class on the baseball team to graduate on time. He finished his academic career at Guilford with a double major in accounting and business.
After graduating, Burton began working for Pittard, Perry, and Crone, Inc, an accounting and consulting agency.
When asked how he felt about finishing his time at Guilford, Burton responded, “I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.
Next January, I’ll probably wish I was doing that [playing baseball] rather than some of the thing I’ll probably be doing.”
Burton finished his career at Guilford with a .317 batting average with 20 doubles, four home runs and 47 RBIs in 73 games.
He was Second Team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference in 2005 and was the George Wynn Most Improved Athlete that year. He was recognized as Second Team ESPN The Magazine/COSIDA Academic All District III squad in 2005.