Baseball miracles still happen.
Look at Mets reliever Greg Burke. The first thing you notice is he pitches submarine style. When your career has bottomed out, you’ll try anything to survive, including dropping down so low your knuckles scrape the ground.
Burke was looking into a new career in medical sales after a terrible 2011 minor-league season. Now, the 30-year-old right-hander has a real shot to make the Mets.
“It would be a miracle,’’ Megan Burke, his wife and high-school sweetheart, told The Post yesterday.
He has spent eight years in the minors, the journey beginning in the independent Atlantic League in 2005. Burke pitched in the majors with the Padres in 2009, compiling a 4.14 ERA. Three years later, the New Jersey native has a chance to make it back, but as a completely reinvented pitcher.
“Greg went from getting a plane ticket home to getting a lottery ticket to the major leagues,’’ former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson said. Peterson has been essential to Burke’s resurrection, starting with a winter’s day tutorial on a New Jersey high school field in 2011, a meeting arranged by Burke’s agent and friend, Jim Ulrich.
One day in the visiting clubhouse in Triple-A in Nashville, Burke saw a quote from John Wayne: “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
“I was pregnant,’’ recalled Megan, now the mother to the couple’s 16-month-old son, Colton. “We were just buying a house and it was like: ‘What do you do? How long do you hang around the game?’ ’’
That John Wayne quote is now on a plaque in the Burkes’ family room. “It’s a reminder that it’s OK to be scared, you just don’t know how it’s going to turn out,’’ Megan said.
Mets' submariner Burke has 2nd chance
New York Post | Feb 27